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How to Grow Carrots

Unless you are growing carrots for show purposes grow them as close as possible to avoid having to weed too much and make sure you water during dry periods.

Sow during early March under glass or between late March to mid August outside once all risk of frost has passed. Sow into deep, fertile soil and do not add manure or compost. Sow thinly and thin out to desired spacing.

Pull up small carrots from June and lift the main crop between October and December and store between layers of sand. Keep in a cool, dry place checking occasionally for any that may be rotting. They should keep until March.

Carrot Troubles





Black Rot

Blackened Carrot Roots seen on stored carrots

Burn diseased roots

Store properly and do not use the same land for carrots next year

Carrot Fly

Reddish leaves which wilt in the sun. Seedlings die and mature roots are riddled with holes and will rot


Don’t grow near tall plants, sow thinly and destroy all thinnings


Not serious but will produce blackened roots  


Dig out any clay in the soil before sowing

Carrot-Willow Aphid

Distorted, discoloured and stunted leaves and weak plants. Transmits Motley Dwarf Virus.

Spray at first sign of attack



Forked roots


Don’t add manure or compost prior to sowing. Don’t make beds too firm

Green Top

Tops of carrots are green caused by exposure to the sun


Earth up around the carrots

Motley Dwarf Virus

Discoloured leaves, reduced growth and yield. Spread by Carrot-Willow Aphid.


Spray young carrots

Small Roots

Small carrots


Dig soil deeply and break up any clay by adding well-rotted manure or compost

Sclerotinia Rot

Mouldy Roots found on stored carrots


Ensure roots are firm and disease free before storing


Split roots caused by heavy rain. These carrots will not store successfully

None but can still be eaten

Water regularly in dry weather and apply a mulch to conserve moisture

Swift Moth

Hollowed-out roots caused by caterpillars


Use Chlorophos to control

Violet Root Rot

Mouldy roots and yellowing leaves


Rotate crops