They are available in a wide range of colors from white and orange through yellow to purple, not only with the elongated taproot, but also as small, spherical carrots. Therefore, they can be found in almost every private vegetable garden, because the early varieties can be harvested crisp and fresh as early as June. If you then sow the late varieties of carrots, you will harvest again in November and have the vitamin-rich vegetables in stock throughout the winter.


Before sowing the seeds, the location in the garden is selected. Carrots love a sunny to partially shaded spot in the bed. If the soil is loose, nutrient-rich and crumbly, the most important prerequisites for good growth are in place. The lighter the soil, the straighter the tasty roots grow. The early varieties of carrots can be sown as soon as the frost clears the ground. Depending on the region, this can be as early as January, but no later than the beginning of March. Then the soil is thoroughly prepared by clearing it of all weeds and troublesome roots. Experienced hobby gardeners do not sow the seeds straight away, but take another two weeks to work the bed using the “false seed bed” method. The intended cultivation area for the carrots is abundantly watered in order to stimulate the existing weeds to grow. This is then thoroughly cleared, loosening the soil as deep as the roots of the preferred carrot variety will grow.

The experts advise against adding garden compost or manure for additional nutrient enrichment of the soil, as this can under certain circumstances promote the formation of root rot on the carrots. However, there is nothing wrong with adding a few handfuls of horn shavings to the soil during processing. Once the soil preparation has been completed, it is the turn of the seeds. The seeds are soaked in a bowl of lukewarm water for two days. If the hobby gardener has a germinator, this can be used. Then sowing can begin. The spade is used to make furrows 1 cm deep. For the short-growing varieties, the furrow depth is 1.5 cm. If the carrots are to be grown in several rows, they are about 20 cm apart. The seeds come into these furrows, 10 g of seeds are sufficient for 10 m². This is followed by a thin layer of sand or earth and the seeds are lightly sprinkled with water. In the event that ground frost is to be feared, the carrot patch is covered with PVC film or a cold frame fleece. If you observe the following work steps, you will be able to bring in the first carrot harvest in June:

  • germination takes place after 20 days;
  • Thinning out 4 weeks after sowing;
  • Distance after thinning 3 cm;
  • thin out a second time when 3 leaves appear;
  • Distance after thinning 8 cm.

The thinning is ideally done in the evening because the plucked carrot leaves give off an intense smell that attracts the harmful carrot flies.


Until the early sowing of the carrots can be harvested in June, the following care instructions must be observed:

  • water regularly;
  • Avoid waterlogging;
  • Weed weeds promptly;
  • Rake the soil well;
  • Do not lime potting soil;
  • fertilize regularly with potassium content;
  • Remove leaf remnants immediately;
  • check for pests daily;
  • harvest only the strongest roots;
  • Keep a minimum distance of 5 cm;
  • Spread a layer of mulch from straw.

The early carrot varieties grow quite slowly, so the harvest can take some time. When all the carrots have been harvested, a late seed variety can be sown in the same bed from July or August. The late varieties of carrots are then harvested in November and can be stored well in the cellar if they are embedded in a layer of sand.

Carrots are well suited for pre- and mixed cultures

Resourceful hobby gardeners use the slow growth time, especially of the early carrot varieties, to mix in their seeds with radish, lettuce or onion onion seeds. This approach has several advantages. Since the radishes and the lettuce grow much faster than the carrots, they mark the sowing very early so that the soil can be raked in good time. These intermediate seeds can then be harvested before the carrots develop properly. The intermediate sowing of the onion sets also has the advantage that the onion odor keeps pests away from the carrots. However, the carrots do not go well with celery and parsley. Chinese cabbage, autumn radish and winter leek are particularly suitable as mixed cultures for the carrot seeds of the late varieties.

The most popular types of carrots

Among the more than 300 types of carrots, the following have proven to be particularly effective:

  • Almaro F1: an early variety
  • Laguna F1: juicy, early carrot variety
  • Parmex: are no more than 4 cm long
  • Parisian market: small and round
  • Oxheart: becomes 8 to 10 cm long
  • Nantaise: one of the most popular varieties
  • Adelaide: up to 15 cm long
  • Merida: long with a blunt end
  • Yellow Stone: a yellow variety
  • Creme de Lite: almost white roots
  • Purple Haze: deep red carrots
  • Harlequin: a mixed bag
  • Sweet Candle: 30 cm long Lagersorte
  • Sperlings Cubic: late variety for storage
  • Tendersnax: tender, sweet variety not storable
  • Baltimore F1: the ideal horse carrot
  • Cubic: large, very late winter carrot
  • Red giants: long, fat camp carrots
  • Sugarnax: sweet, tender carrot

There is the right type of carrot for every taste and every need, either as seeds, for pill seeds or as a practical seed tape.

It is also possible to sow in the balcony box

If you don’t have your own garden, you don’t have to do without home-grown and freshly harvested carrots. Carrots can also be easily planted in the balcony box. It is also possible to plant early and late varieties at this point. The early seed varieties are sown as early as February. The potting soil should be loose, slightly sandy and rich in nutrients. The seeds are planted in here at a depth of about 3 cm, at a distance of 5 cm from one another. The seeds are then lightly covered with earth and carefully watered. If sowing in the balcony box takes place in February or March, it is advisable to cover this with a foil to protect against late frosts. Germination begins at an outside temperature of 10 ° Celsius and lasts for around 20 days. As well, As with carrots sown outdoors, the weaker roots are thinned out after 4 weeks. Regular watering and timely weeding is also required in the balcony box. The first carrots are ready for harvest from June. A second sowing is possible from the end of July / beginning of August with the storable late varieties. The following varieties are particularly suitable for sowing in balcony boxes:

  • Ox heart
  • Rothschild
  • Nantes
  • Purple Haze

There is nothing wrong with adding a few onions or some dill when growing the carrots in the balcony box for a varied harvest and to protect against pests.

Diseases and pests

As easy as it is to grow and care for carrots, these vegetables are, however, quite susceptible to diseases and pests:

Carrot fly
It is the most common pest that affects carrots. The carrot fly lays its eggs in the ground, very close to the roots. Only a few days later the larvae hatch and eat their way up through the carrot from the bottom up. Feeding tunnels are created, which lead to the death of the entire plant. The carrot fly strikes for the first time in mid-May, shortly before the first carrots are harvested. Depending on the climate, one or two more generations will emerge. An effective, preventive measure is the above-described planting of carrots in mixed culture with onions or leeks. Experience has shown that marigolds also protect plants from infestation if they are planted in the immediate vicinity of the carrots. Vegetable nets offer the best protection against the carrot fly, provided that the hobby gardener makes sure that there really is no loophole. Those who cultivate their vegetable beds in the 3-year crop rotation will make sure that carrots are planted again in the same bed after 3 years at the earliest, because the eggs of the carrot fly overwinter in the ground. In general, permanent crop rotation helps against all pests in vegetable growing, including the carrot fly.

A lack of crop rotation paves the way for another pest to acquire the carrot, namely the root nematode . Although various types of nematodes are also used effectively in biological pest control, nematodes are also present among the more than 20,000 species, which, when infected, inhibit the growth of the carrot, lead to deformities and cause unsavory thickening. Permanent crop rotation puts an end to this process, as does the abandonment of compost and manure as fertilizer and mixed cultivation with marigolds.

are among the most voracious pests in the kitchen and ornamental garden. Of course, they don’t stop at the carrots either. The protective vegetable net not only repels the carrot fly, but also keeps the slugs from attacking the carrots. The use of chemical agents, such as slug pellets, is not advisable in connection with carrot cultivation. If a high number of snails is to be expected in the garden, an additional snail fence should protect the vegetable patch with the carrots.

The versatile vegetable plant with the tasty roots enriches the diet of young and old. It is therefore hardly surprising that the carrot has become a permanent fixture in most of the vegetable patches of hobby gardeners. Not only is it healthy and rich in vitamins, calcium and potassium, it is also easy to grow and maintain. It also brings a cheerful variety of colors into the vegetable patch, because in addition to the well-known orange roots, it is also available in white, yellow, red and dark purple. Your early varieties can be planted in the cold frame as early as the end of February and harvested from June. If you want to stock up on these vitamin bombs for the winter, plant the late varieties in July and August, which can be harvested in November and easily stored in the cellar. The carrot is prone to some pests and diseases; but these can be kept under control with biological methods, especially mixed culture and regular crop rotation.

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