If you have a garden with deep, loose soil and extra space, you may consider growing and learning when to harvest carrots. The plant is pretty easy to take care of, and its nutrition value is incredible. Carrots are famous for a large amount of beta-carotene. If you want to get some vitamin A, a half cup of the juice will give you four times of the substance more than the RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance)
Although you are not a professional farmer or don’t have a green thumb, you can be successful growing carrots. The crop is almost year-round if the climate is not too severe. In the winter, you can protect it from the nasty temperature with heavy mulch.
Store-bought carrots are convenient, but we encourage you to grow vegetables on your own if you have conditions to do so. The products from your private garden are insecticide-free, chemical-free, and do cause your health nothing but goodness.
WHAT IF WE DON’T KNOW WHEN CARROTS ARE READY FOR HARVEST?
Before getting to know when to harvest carrots and how to do so, you may question “How long do carrots last in the soil?”. In most cases, these baby plants are ready for picking up in 50 to 60 days. Bigger types need more time, though, which should be up to 75 days.
If you pick them up too early, the quality may not meet your expectation. Ripe carrots have the natural, herbal sweetness while green ones may be a bit tart. On the other hand, if you leave the plants for too long in the soil, it will get woody, and the nutrition value will degrade.
Therefore, you should at least know when to get the results of your hard work. Pay attention to the signals of the plants. They are trying to tell you to get them in their prime.
HOW DO YOU KNOW WHEN CARROTS ARE READY TO HARVEST?
There are several ways you can use to tell if your carrots are mature enough to pick up. Look at those listed below and choose one to your preference.
1. OBSERVING THE CARROT TOPS.
You should pay attention to the baby carrots when the tops are about 10-15cm (4-6”) high. At this time, do not forget to thin them so they can get the maximum size. The proper final spacing should be about 7cm (3”). Now you can tell that the carrots, considering all the plants below the soil, is from 7 to 10 cm.
At this stage, you should leave them in the soil for 3 to 4 weeks more. To get the juiciest crop, give them more water in the last month.
2. ESTIMATE THE DIAMETER
If you have little experience with the type of carrots you are growing, you may consider the second options. Carrots have a wide range of sizes and leaf heights, so the tops of one kind may prove they are ripe, but those of another may tell a different story.
To estimate the diameter, you can wrap your index finger around the top of the carrot to tell how bit it is. If the diameter is about 2.5 cm (1”), the carrots are ready to harvest.
However, there are types which grow larger, such as Chantenay or Imperator. If you are not sure, look at the information given by the seed sellers. They often provide customers with such information.
3. WAITING FOR EXTRA PERIOD
Leaving the carrots in the soil for some time after maturity is not always the wrong idea. How long do carrots last? Usually, the plants can stay in the ground for 2 to 3 weeks more without getting fibrous.
Check your carrots for the mentioned signals. After that, if you are still not sure, leave them for 1 or 2 weeks more. You can consider growing some storage varieties, given that they can hold remarkably longer, especially in some beneficial temperatures.
4. WHEN YOU HAVE THE WINTER WITH SNOWFALL
The weather then is ideal for growing carrots. If the snow in your locality is light, not enough to make the ground freeze solid, you can leave the plants in the soil until you need them. The time is not essential in the case.
If the temperature is too low making the ground freeze solid, dig the carrots out between right after the first snowfall. The coldness is beneficial for the plants instead of harming them. It makes the vegetable sweeter and juicier.
For preservation, store the picked carrots in damp sand in the basement. The humidity is essential to keep up the moisture inside the plant. Without proper caring, the harvested vegetable will become dry and wooded.
HOW TO HARVEST CARROTS AND KEEP THEM AT THEIR PRIME?
Now, after learning when carrots are ready for harvest, you should pay some attention to the procedure afterward. After a long time planting and taking care of the vegetable, you don’t want to ruin them all by one move, do you?
Some people without experience often grab the foliage and try to pull the whole plant up. The method will likely result in a handful of leaves and no carrots out of the soil. Or worse, you may get a half of the plant out and the other broken and left under the ground.
To avoid the terrible result, you should remember to loosen the soil before picking up the carrots. A garden fork will come in handy at the stage. After that, cut off most of the green tops, leaving only ½ inch of them on. Rinse the vegetables to get rid of the muds and dry them with a cloth before preservation.
It is all about when and how to harvest carrots. We genuinely hope that all the information above will be useful for your gardening. If there is something you want to ask about the topic, leave the questions so we can deal with them together.