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How Long Do Carrots Take To Grow From Seed

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Follow any gardening discussion forum, and at some point, there will be an inquiry into how long it takes to grow a carrot. Often, the question will be followed by heated debates on planting and harvest dates.

Depending on several variables, a carrot can take between 32 to 95 days from seed to harvest. Variables include seed germination time, seed soil temperature, growing environments, cultivar, hybrid, size requirements, and soil health. Carrot crop management is another factor.

Table of Contents

The 5 Major Carrot Cultivars

As seen below, each carrot cultivar has unique growing requirements and provides a different answer to our question: “How long do carrots take to grow from seed.”

Carrot TypeLength (Inches)Top Diameter (inches)Seed SpacingRow SpacingDays to Maturity
Chantenay4 – 72 – 2.51/2″, thin to 1-2″12″65 – 75
Imperator7 – 81.51″, thin to 2-3″18”70
Danvers72 – 2.51/2″, thin to 1-2″12”75
Nantes6 – 71.51/2″, thin to 1-2″12″32 – 75
Oxheart2 – 323 – 5″12 – 18″90

The difference in days to maturity is due to hundreds of hybrids, each with unique development profiles.

Cool Season Plants

At what temperature does it frost? Because the air is colder above the ground than below, frost can form when the nighttime temperature drops, even above 32°F (0°C).

When this happens, your carrot crop may suffer damage, even if it is still 36°F (~2°C) outside. The influence of wind, tarmacs, structures, and trees are a few factors that influence frost formation.

Ideally, you want to plant your tiny carrot seeds into their raised beds about 90-days before the first frost. I’ve created a guide for cities in each state below.

Carrot Seeding Date Guide

US CityFrost-Free SeasonCarrot-Seeding Date
Montgomery, ALMar 12 – Nov 11Jul-24 – Aug-03
Anchorage, AKMay 07 – Sep 24Jun-06 – Jun-16
Little Rock, ARMar 19 – Nov 12Jul-25 – Aug-04
Los Angeles, CAJan 14 – Dec 30Sep-11 – Sep-21
Denver, COMay 09 – Oct 04Jun-16 – Jun-26
Bridgeport, CTApr 08 – Nov 03Jul-16 – Jul-26
Wilmington, DEApr 10 – Oct 30Jul-12 – Jul-22
Jacksonville, FLFeb 12 – Dec 04Aug-16 – Aug-26
Atlanta, GAMar 20 – Nov 14Jul-27 – Aug-06
Boise, IDMay 05 – Oct 11Jun-23 – Jul-03
Chicago, ILApr 18 – Oct 25Jul-07 – Jul-17
Indianapolis, INApr 19 – Oct 20Jul-02 – Jul-12
Des Moines, IAApr 21 – Oct 14Jun-26 – Jul-06
Wichita, KSApr 11 – Oct 25Jul-07 – Jul-17
Louisville, KYApr 06 – Oct 31Jul-13 – Jul-23
New Orleans, LAJan 18 – Dec 27Sep-08 – Sep-18
Portland, MEMay 05 – Oct 05Jun-17 – Jun-27
Baltimore, MDApr 11 – Oct 28Jul-10 – Jul-20
Detroit, MIApr 23 – Oct 24Jul-06 – Jul-16
Minneapolis, MNMay 03 – Oct 04Jun-16 – Jun-26
Jackson, MSMar 01 – Nov 19Aug-01 – Aug-11
Kansas City, MOApr 07 – Oct 31Jul-13 – Jul-23
Billings, MTMay 06 – Oct 03Jun-15 – Jun-25
Omaha, NEApr 04 – Oct 20Jul-02 – Jul-12
Las Vegas, NVFeb 15 – Nov 29Aug-11 – Aug-21
Manchester, NHApr 22 – Oct 15Jun-27 – Jul-07
Newark, NJApr 04 – Nov 06Jul-19 – Jul-29
Albuquerque, NMApr 16 – Oct 28Jul-10 – Jul-20
New York City, NYApr 08 – Nov 11Jul-24 – Aug-03
Charlotte, NCMar 24 – Nov 12Jul-25 – Aug-04
Fargo, NDMay 12 – Sep 27Jun-09 – Jun-19
Columbus, OHApr 23 – Oct 20Jul-02 – Jul-12
Oklahoma City, OKApr 01 – Nov 04Jul-17 – Jul-27
Portland, ORFeb 19 – Nov 30Aug-12 – Aug-22
Philadelphia, PAApr 02 – Nov 15Jul-28 – Aug-07
Providence, RIApr 14 – Oct 24Jul-06 – Jul-16
Charleston, SCFeb 15 – Dec 18Aug-30 – Sep-09
Sioux Falls, SDApr 30 – Oct 09Jun-21 – Jul-01
Nashville, TNApr 02 – Oct 31Jul-13 – Jul-23
Houston, TXFeb 09 – Dec 13Aug-25 – Sep-04
Salt Lake City, UTApr 23 – Oct 18Jun-30 – Jul-10
Burlington, VTMay 08 – Oct 04Jun-16 – Jun-26
Virginia Beach, VAMar 20 – Nov 20Aug-02 – Aug-12
Seattle, WAMar 22 – Nov 12Jul-25 – Aug-04
Charleston, WVApr 21 – Oct 22Jul-04 – Jul-14
Milwaukee, WIApr 26 – Oct 19Jul-01 – Jul-11
Cheyenne, WYMay 15 – Sep 28Jun-10 – Jun-20

The dates above are based on the average frost dates in each city over the past ten years. How long do carrots take to grow from seed? I’ve taken an average of 80 to 90 days.

Because our global weather patterns are changing, the dates above are based on the first frost date minus 90 to 100 days.

Growing Carrots

Picture of carrots growing in nutrient-rich soil with lush green tops. Learn how to grow carrots for a healthy and delicious harvest with our comprehensive guide.

Carrots are grown from seed in situ and should be started by creating a healthy growing environment. Though some carrot varieties can handle inhospitable soils, I always think that a carrot that is tough enough to break hard soils may be a bit tough on the chew.

There are several ways to prepare a bed for carrot planting. Remember that you will need about three 10-foot rows filled with carrots (spaced two inches apart) to grow enough to feed a family of four.

Carrot Bed Preparation

Remember that you need a bed that hasn’t seen a plant from the Apiaceae family for at least three years. The Apiaceae family includes carrots, celery, fennel, parsnips, and several herbs.

Start bed preparations early in spring before you are ready to start seeding.

In early spring, cover the bed with about four to five inches of compost in preparation for your carrot seed planting on the advised dates above (or 90 days from your known first frost date).

Before you plant your carrot seeds, cover the compost with about an inch of soil. You don’t need to dig it in; the microorganism in compost have done that for you.

Carrot Seeding

The seeds should be planted a quarter inch deep and about half an inch apart in the soil, which is optimally 77°F (25°C).

They are tiny, so you might need to thin them as they emerge, leaving a gap of two to three inches between plants.

Seeds take about 21 days to emerge, so including some radish seeds, which are rapid emergers, will help you see where you planted the carrots.

Carrot Care

Keep your planting moist until the seeds sprout. Water regularly throughout the growing season.

The Apiaceae family has ferny foliage, which helps to weed efforts. Cut the weeds off rather than pulling them to avoid crop damage. Weed after rain and water after weeding to help your carrots thrive.

Apiaceae are not heavy feeders, and the compost added earlier in the season will make ample nutrition available.

Watch out for armyworms, carrot worms, and leafhoppers  -leafhoppers also spread aster yellows, which affect carrots and celery.

In Closing

We have answered the “How long is a piece of string” question. How long do carrots take to grow from seed? About 70 days – give or take, depending on the mentioned factors.

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