Hamilton College Community Farm

Plant: Carrots

Family: Carrot

Seed Varieties Dates to Maturity:
  • Danvers Long - A standard orange carrot variety. Others can be used as well.
  • Cosmic Purple - A lovely purple variety with an orange center. Tastes just like a normal carrot.
  • Yellowstone - A pale yellow variety which looks similar to a parsnip, but is a carrot and tastes like a carrot.
  • Rainbow Mix - Packets of a rainbow mix of seeds can be bought, but these have not germinated as successfully as simply planting a variety of colored carrots.

Carrots are slow growing, and all varieties will take 60-70 days to maturity. It may take up to 3 weeks for seedlings to even emerge. So be patient.

Indoor Start Date and Cell Size:

Directly seed carrots in the garden.

Greenhouse Transplant Date and Cell Size:

Directly seed carrots in the garden.

Outdoor Transplant Date and Bed Specifications:

Plant successions every two weeks for continual harvest starting 6/1 and ending on 8/1. Plant seeds in two double rows (two rows 6in apart and then another two rows 6in apart on the other side of the bed) of approximately 30 seeds per foot within each row. When seedlings are about 4 to 5in tall, thin the carrots to 11⁄2 to 2in apart.

Plant Needs:

Make sure the soil is well tilled when the seeds are planted. This will aid in getting straight carrots.

Cultivation Techniques:

Until the seedlings emerge, carrots cannot be cultivated except with a flame weeder, so be patient before the seedlings emerge. Cultivate and weed once when the first leaves are visible. Cultivate and weed again while thinning a week or so later when the plants are about 4-5 inches tall.

Harvest Techniques:

To harvest individually, pull carrots by hand. To harvest large quantities, use a pitchfork to loosen soil, being careful not to damage root. If not harvested at their peak will begin to rot in the ground. However, carrots often mature at different rates so all carrots in one planting will not be ready at the same time, so care must be taken while harvesting not to pull very small carrots.


As usual, harvest early and cool quickly. Wash and store in a perforated bag in a lug. Long-term storage, though, is different. Still cool quickly, but do not wash. Instead, brush the soil off and pack in crates with insulating material (e.g. newspaper) above and below. Store at 30-40 degrees. DO NOT store any damaged carrots because they will rot. Fully mature carrots are the best for storage and the flavor is slightly better if they have been out for a light frost.


Sold in a bunch, either as individual variety or color mixture, for $3.50. For wholesale, sell at $0.75 per pound.

Companion Planting:

Carrots can be planted with lettuce and radishes.