5 Steps to Carrot Planting Success
- Choose a spot in full sun and prepare your soil with organic matter like sheep pellets and compost. Carrots like a loose free-draining soil.
- Seeds should be sown directly in situ, as carrots don't like being transplanted. Always use fresh seed.
- Add a layer of vegetable mix to sow into. Carrot seeds can be sown in spring, summer and autumn in New Zealand.
- Feed carrots with vegetable food.
- Water carrots regularly and deeply, particularly in dry periods.
Follow our full guide below to a bumper crop of homegrown carrots.
The taste of sweet, freshly harvested carrots is so vastly superior to anything you will find in a plastic bag at the supermarket, you’ll probably never buy them from a store again after you grow your own.
Carrots are easy to grow once you understand what they do and don’t like. Carrots loathe being transplanted. As seedlings carrots roots are particularly fragile and will not tolerate disturbance, which is why you must always sow seeds in situ to prevent root disturbance. One exception to the rule is the ‘Roly Poly’ variety which can be transplanted.
Carrots get their bright orange colour from beta-carotene, which converts to vitamin A once eaten. They are also rich in antioxidants and fibre, making them healthy as well as tasty!
Refer to our Planting Calendar for when to plant and harvest in your region.
Sow in batches in spring, summer and early autumn. Always use fresh seed.
Like building a house a good foundation is the key to success in your garden. The better the soil, the better your plants will grow. Carrots prefer a spot in full sun and free-draining, well dug soil free from any hard material so the roots can easily penetrate into the ground.
If you are starting with an existing garden bed dig in organic matter like Tui Sheep Pellets and Tui Compost to your soil. Then you can add a layer of Tui Vegetable Mix. If planting in pots and containers, fill with Tui Vegetable Mix.
If sowing in rows, make sure each row is 40-50cm apart.
Sowing in garden beds
- Add a layer of Tui Seed Raising Mix to the sowing area.
- Make shallow furrows in the mix, and water well.
- Sow the seed as directed on the packet.
- Lightly cover with Tui Seed Raising Mix.
- Press soil gently.
- Water lightly and regularly.
Sowing in pots and containers
Carrots can be grown in pots and containers as long as the soil depth is at least 30cm. Don't sow too much seed as the carrots need enough room for their roots to develop.
- Fill your container with Tui Vegetable Mix.
- Sprinkle carrot seeds.
- Add a thin layer of Tui Vegetable Mix over the top.
- Water in.
Feed your plants and they will feed you. Plants use nutrients from the soil as they grow, so replenishing the nutrients ensures your plants grow to their full potential.
Select a fertiliser specially blended for your crop like Tui Vegetable Food. Feed carrots planted in pots and containers with Tui NovaTec® Premium fertiliser. Well-watered, well-nourished carrots will have a better chance of keeping insect pests and diseases at bay.
While your carrots are growing regularly apply a dose of Tui Organic Seaweed Plant Tonic to give them a welcome boost.
Water carrots regularly and deeply, particularly during dry periods.
Thin out rows of carrots to enable good-sized, even roots to develop. This will help stop the carrots becoming crowded (meaning straighter carrots) and susceptible to disease and rot. After thinning, space long, thin varieties out 2-3cm. For bigger main crop varieties space out 5cm.