Extending Your Carrot Season
Carrots are both steadily in demand and amenable to season extension efforts. By making multiple succession plantings of Early, Main Crop, and Storage Varieties, you can extend the carrot harvest window and meet year-round demand for this standby crop. To best achieve this, you will need to sow at 3-week intervals, know a little about which types to plant in which sequence, and which ones work best for overwintering and winter harvest.
Johnny's line of carrots is selected to provide for the broadest range of growing conditions and widest possible harvest window. Here is how to get the most from your carrot succession planting program.
Spring Sowing for Summer Harvest
Most types of carrots can be planted in the spring for summer harvests. There are a few exceptions to this, involving variation between different varieties' reproductive triggers and changes in flavor with temperature.
As a result of these factors, it is important to choose the right varieties for your spring sowings. Look for these three criteria when choosing which varieties to plant in spring:
Fall Harvest Carrots
Just as the flavor of some carrots can be ruined by warmer temperatures, fall-harvested carrot flavor tends to be better because the roots mature under cooler conditions. After a few light frosts, carrot roots may become even sweeter, which explains why fall-harvested carrots are so popular.
Once heavy frost threatens, however, your best bet is to either:
To learn more, read our recommendations on Carrot Harvest, Post-Harvest Handling, & Storage.
Winter Harvest & Overwintering Carrots
Depending on your location, you may be able to leave carrots in the ground for harvesting through the winter into early spring. This can be facilitated by either mulching heavily or by planting your carrots in tunnels — a choice which is again dependent upon climate and weather, as follows:
Even in areas where low tunnels are appropriate, heavy row covers and mulching may need to be applied. The trick is to keep the soil insulated just enough to allow for easy digging of the roots throughout winter.
If the tunnel space can be justified for overwintering your carrots, there are a few advantages to this approach that digging and storing your carrots cannot provide:
Making a Year-Round Go of Your Carrots
Once you know which types to plant and when, extending the carrot harvest window is relatively easy to accomplish. Johnny's line of carrots is selected expressly to accommodate a range of conditions and help you provide a year-round supply of this versatile, popular vegetable. We encourage you to explore planting sequences, intervals, varieties, and methods to determine the practices that work best for you.
- Next up in our carrot-growing series: Harvesting, Post-Harvest Handling, & Storing Carrots »
- How to Grow Carrots, with Dr. John Navazio »
- Organic Variety Trial Reports | Collected reports from around the US on organic crop performance »
- Johnny's Blog | Why Grow Carrots? Flavor, Diversity, & Marketability »