Carrot (Daucus carota sativus)
How to plant carrots
Daucus carota sativus (Carrot) is one of the most popular vegetables in the world. Learn how to plant carrots, from your garden to your kitchen.
The most common cultivars have orange-colored primary roots, but there are also purple, yellow, red and white carrots. As for the shape, carrots can be cylindrical, conical or rounded.
In addition to the primary roots, which are eaten raw or are used in many types of cooking recipes, the leaves can also be eaten, although their consumption is less common, as they have a strong flavor.
Plant profileCommon name: Carrot
Scientific name: Daucus carota sativus, Daucus carota sativus
Plant type: Vegetables
Probably originating in Iran and Afghanistan, the carrot was first cultivated for its aromatic leaves and seeds and later cultivars with thicker and less fibrous roots appeared.
Carrots grown over a thousand years ago were purple or yellow, orange carrots appeared only in Holland during the 17th century and are the best known and most cultivated today.
The root of the wild carrot (Daucus carota) can also be consumed, but it is thin and only the roots of the youngest plants are eatable, as they soon become woody.
Carrots grow best at temperatures between 16°C and 22ºC, although there are cultivars adapted to slightly higher temperatures.
The minimum temperature for planting should be 7°C, however well-developed plants can withstand low temperatures, as the roots survive even when the foliage dies, and thus the plants sprout when the temperature rises again in the spring.
On the other hand, temperatures above 30°C can decrease plant growth rate and harm the taste of roots.
The carrot grows best in full sun conditions, with direct sunlight, but tolerates growing in partial shade as long as the light is good.
Plant carrots in soil without stones and other debris or the roots may grow crooked and branched.
Ideally, the soil should be deep, light, rich in organic matter, fertile, well drained and with a pH between 6.0 and 7.5.
The soil doesn’t need to be particularly rich in nitrogen. Heavy clayey soils can also produce reasonable harvests, as long as they are not compacted and are not soaked during the growing period.
Water carrots when necessary to keep the soil slightly moist. This plant needs good water availability, but the soil must not remain soaked, as excess water can favor the rotting of the roots or the appearance of diseases.