Your soil must be deep, fertile and rather sandy if you want to produce fine long specimens. If your soil is rather heavy or stony, try growing short-rooted varieties instead, and don’t grow carrots at all where soil has been manured in the past year. Prepare your seed bed 1–2 weeks before sowing – rake in a general-purpose fertiliser into the surface.

Sowing time

April – June.

Crop care

Thin out carrot seedlings when they are large enough to handle – plants should be about 2–3” apart. Take care when thinning, or the root-ruining carrot fly will be attracted to your garden by the smell of the bruised foliage. Try to do your thinning in the evening, then burn or bury the thinnings. Pull out or hand-hoe any weeds between the seedlings and water during periods of drought in order to keep the ground damp.


You can pull up small carrots as required from June onwards. If the ground is hard, ease them out with a fork. October is the time to lift maincrop carrots: if you store them correctly, the crop can keep until March.