START SEEDS OUTDOORS
In spring once danger of hard frost is past, sow seeds in full sun in finely worked, fertile soil. Sow 1/4 inch deep and 1/2 inch apart in rows 8 inches apart, or broadcast thinly in beds and cover lightly. Keep seed bed evenly moist as carrots can be slow to germinate, emerging over 10 to 21 days. If first sowing comes up unevenly, replant right away as seedlings catch up quickly. Thin young carrots several times so seedlings are 2 to 3 inches apart and have room to size up.
Carrots like well-worked soil and need consistent moisture to grow well. If your soil tends to dry out, cover seedbed with floating row covers to help retain moisture during the germination period. Keep carrots well weeded throughout the growing season. Plant again 3 months before first expected fall frost for a late crop.
HARVEST AND USE
Let carrots size up to at least 6 to 8 inches long before pulling for best sweet flavor. Eat them raw, sliced up as tasty fresh snacks, sautéed, steamed or braised. Set off their flavor with fresh lemon or orange juice and a sprinkling of minced herbs like fresh mint or thyme or glaze with a little honey, ginger or cinnamon. Wonderful in colorful stir-fries all season long.
Soil temperature: 60 - 65 degrees fahrenheit
Seeding depth: 0.25 - 0.5 inches
Germination days: 12 - 18 days
Maturation days: 70 days