How Long Do Carrots Take to Grow and Produce Fruit?

grow carrot

Carrots are a staple in many kitchens, and for good reason. They’re tasty, healthy, and versatile. But how long does it take to grow carrots and produce a bountiful crop? That’s what we’re diving into today. 

Most varieties are ready to harvest after 70 to 80 days, but some can take up to 120 days.

Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or just starting out, you’ll want to know the answer to this important question. This article will tell you why you need the information and how to fix your problem.

It is important to understand the growth cycle of carrots and the days to maturity, in order to plan a successful garden. Read on to find out all you need to know about growing carrots.

So, buckle up and get ready to learn the ins and outs of carrot cultivation, including the days to maturity for this popular root vegetable.

How Long Do Carrots Take to Grow and Produce? 

Carrots are ready to eat after 55 to 120 days, but most varieties are ready in 70 to 80 days. The shortest day to maturity is around 36 days for  varieties like Aranka and Mokum.

A baby carrot is just an immature carrot, and I believe you can pick any variety of carrot as early as a baby carrot when it reaches finger size. Some varieties, like those mentioned above, are known to be good as baby carrots.

Some Imperator carrots are late maturing, like the Viper variety, which takes 120 days to reach maturity. Carrots that reach maturity in the fall can be left in the ground until the first frost. The extra time in the ground as temperatures drop makes the carrots sweeter and toughens the skin, so they store better.

This article from the Michigan State University Department of Horticulture says that carrots will mature in 90–120 days. There are two reasons for the long maturing times cited by the paper.

  1. It’s a recommendation for commercial carrot farmers so the time is from planting the seed and not from the time the carrot sprouts.
  2. The Paper was written in 1986. There has been a lot of carrot breeding since then and newer faster maturing hybrid varieties for gardeners and farmers alike to choose from.

How Long Does It Take for Carrots to Sprout?

Carrot seeds will sprout in 1–3 weeks. They will sprout faster in warmer weather and slower in colder weather. Carrot seeds need soil temperatures of at least 50 degrees to germinate.

The longer the seeds sit in the ground, the lower their chances of germination and the greater their chances of replanting.

A soil thermometer is a great tool to have. Put it all the way into the soil around 9 to 11 AM for a good average for the day, or measure a few times throughout the day.

If you live in an area where the ground freezes, be sure to break up the soil in the early spring 8–12 inches down to help warm up the ground and unthaw it.

How to Germinate Carrot Seeds Fast

carrots germination

The fastest way to germinate carrot seeds is on paper towels, which takes about 3 days. Seeds planted in a starter tray will sprout in 4–8 days, and carrot seeds planted directly in the ground will take 1–3 weeks. With starter trays or direct seed planting, the trick to making the carrot seeds germinate faster is to warm up the soil.

Germinate Carrot Seeds In Paper Towels

For this method, wet four pieces of paper towel, two for each side. Wet them under the sink and wring them out, or use a spray bottle. Lay two pieces of towel down, then place the carrot seeds on top, and then place the other two pieces on top of the seeds and press down slightly.

Place the paper towels and carrot seeds in a zip-top bag and seal it tightly. Put the bag in a warm area of 70 to 90 degrees, away from most light. Some seeds require light to germinate, and some do not. By keeping away from most ambient light, we’re mimicking the seed being 1/4 inch under the soil.

Check on the paper towels once a day to make sure they’re still moist. The warmer the area the bag is in, the faster it’ll dry out! To add moisture, use a spray bottle or sprinkle water onto the paper towels. The seeds will sprout in 2–3 days.

Sprout Carrot Seeds In a Starter Tray

Carrot seeds will sprout in 4–8 days in a starter tray. A warmer area (around 80 degrees) or using a heating pad under the tray will make the seeds sprout faster. This seed starter tray kit includes a tray, dome, heating pad, and T-5 light. 

The purpose of the dome and the heating pad is to increase germination rates. The T-5 light will produce a healthy-looking tray of seedlings about a foot tall.

A dome over the tray increases humidity, which helps keep the growing medium moist and increases germination rates. A humidity level of 95% is recommended for germination by UMass Extension. After the carrot have seeds sprout, the dome is taken off. Seedlings like a humidity level around 70%. 

This article from PennState Extension talks more about the different environments for seed germination and seedling growth.

Carrot roots are sensitive and dislike being transplanted, so use starter pots that can be planted directly into the ground. Cow pots are a great option. They’re environmentally friendly and add nutrients to the soil. They’re made by a third-generation dairy farmer and were on the show “Dirty Jobs” with Mike Rowe.

To water a starter plant, gently do so from the bottom. Fill a flat tray with 1/4 inch of water, and place the starter pots or tray inside the flat tray. Now just check on the starter pots every 15 to 20 minutes by feeling the top of the soil. Once the top of the soil is moist, the water has worked its way up through the starter pots, and you can empty the water left in the tray. Lifting a tray up and feeling how heavy it is is a good way to know the water level.

Germination Of Direct Sow Carrot Planting

Direct sowing carrot seeds in the ground should only be done when the soil temperature averages 50 degrees or more. You can warm the soil temperature in a few ways.

  1. Use a clear plastic garden cover. A clear cover can raise soil temperatures by 5-10 degrees while a black plastic cover will raise soil temperatures by 3-5 degrees. The reason farmers use black covers for their crops is it doesn’t allow sun in so no weeds can grow in between plants.
  2. Break up soil in the early spring so it can unthaw. Looser soil will warm up faster than compacted soil and it will prevent any frozen spots from staying in the garden.
  3. I haven’t seen any studies done on this but I try and use sun warmed water to water with.

How Long Do Carrots Take to Grow From Seeds?

Carrots take anywhere from 60 to 120 days to grow from seed. If you plan on harvesting baby carrots, immature carrots the size of a finger, you can harvest them as quickly as 42 days after directly sowing the carrot seed.

Most varieties of carrots take 70–80 days to grow after they sprout, and carrot seeds take an average of 12 days to sprout. So most varieties of carrots take about 87 days to grow from seed.

Are Carrots Hard to Grow?

Growing carrots can be a simple and straightforward process, but it’s important to be mindful of the right planting time. To make sure your crop grows well, you need to know the best conditions for carrots to grow in. 

As mentioned earlier, carrots are a cool-weather crop and grow best at temperatures between 55 and 70 degrees. So, it’s important to think about the average high and low temperatures in your area each month, as well as how long it takes for the carrot variety you’re growing to reach maturity.

If you live in an area with hot summers, it’s best to start your carrots in the spring and allow them to mature and finish growing in the cooler months. On the other hand, if you live in an area with mild summers, you can start your carrots later in the season, but be sure to keep an eye on the temperature and water regularly to prevent the soil from drying out.

Carrots are not a hard crop to grow, but they do have some specific needs that must be met for them to grow well. For example, they need soil that drains well and has a lot of organic matter in it. They also need consistent moisture and enough sunlight. 

Also, they need to be put in the right places and thinned out often so they can grow and develop properly.

How to Extend the Carrot Growing Season?

Carrots are biennial plants, which means that they grow a rosette of leaves during their first year and then produce carrots flowers and seeds in their second year. In order to produce the best carrots, it’s important to start with healthy plants that are well-adapted to your growing conditions. This will help ensure that your carrots are sweet, crunchy, and free from disease or pest problems.

Carrots are a popular root vegetable that can be grown in a variety of climates and conditions. However, their growing season can sometimes be limited, particularly in regions with harsh winters. 

If you are a gardener looking to extend the growing season for your carrots, there are several techniques you can try.

  • Using season-extension techniques like row covers, cold frames, and high tunnels is one of the best ways to make the carrot growing season last longer. These structures can protect your carrot plants from frost and other harsh weather conditions, allowing you to grow your crops for longer periods of time. You can also use plastic mulch to warm the soil and keep the water in, which will help the growing season last even longer.
  • Choosing the right kind of carrots is also important if you want to grow them for a longer time. Some types of carrots can grow better in colder climates because they can handle the cold better. These varieties will be better able to grow for longer and will produce more in these conditions. Some popular cold-tolerant carrot varieties include “Napoli,” ‘Early Nantes’ and ‘Autumn King.”
  • Soil preparation is also crucial to extending the growing season for carrots. The soil should be well-drained and rich in organic matter, allowing the carrots to grow for longer periods of time. You should also be mindful of the soil temperature, which should be kept between 50 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit for the best results.
  • Finally, proper irrigation is essential for extending the carrot growing season. To grow and do well, carrots need consistent moisture, so it’s important to water your crops often. In regions with harsh climates, you may need to water more frequently to keep the soil consistently moist.

How Many Times Can You Harvest Carrots?

Carrots are a common root vegetable that can be picked more than once during the growing season. The exact number of harvests will depend on a number of things, such as the type of carrot, how it grows, and how the gardener takes care of it. Understanding how to harvest carrots and how many times you can harvest them is important for maximizing the yield of your carrot crop.

Depending on the type of carrot, the first harvest is usually ready 70–80 days after planting. Carrots can be harvested anytime after this, but the optimal time for harvest is when the roots are fully developed and the tops of the carrots are about the size of a pencil. 

If carrots are picked at this time, they will be at their best in terms of quality and taste. The first harvest is usually the biggest, and the rest of the crops will be smaller as the season goes on.

The length of time between harvests will depend on the type of carrot, how it grows, and how the gardener takes care of it. Most of the time, gardeners can pick carrots every two to three weeks during the growing season. As the growing season goes on and the weather starts to get cooler, there will be fewer harvests. 

Gardeners can make the harvest season last longer by planting carrots at different times and using techniques like row covers and cold frames to extend the growing season.


It is important to note that overharvesting can reduce the yield of the crop and affect the quality of the carrots. When harvesting, gardeners should be aware of how much of the plant they are taking, and they should leave enough of the plant in place so that it can keep making new growth. 

It is important to note that overharvesting can reduce the yield of the crop and affect the quality of the carrots. When harvesting, gardeners should be aware of how much of the plant they are taking, and they should leave enough of the plant in place so that it can keep making new growth. 

With the right carrots care and management, a well-kept carrot crop can produce multiple harvests throughout the growing season, giving the gardener and their family a lot of fresh, healthy carrots.


In conclusion, growing carrots is a fun and rewarding activity that can give you a fresh supply of this popular root vegetable that is also good for you. The time it takes for carrots to grow and produce varies depending on factors such as climate, soil conditions, and the variety of carrot you’re growing. 

On average, it takes about 70–80 days for carrots to reach maturity and be ready for harvest. However, with proper care and attention, you can grow healthy and productive carrot plants that will provide you with a bountiful crop in a shorter amount of time. 

Whether you’re growing carrots in your backyard garden or on a larger scale, knowing the days to maturity is an important part of the cultivation process. So, now that you have this information, you’re one step closer to growing a successful and fruitful carrot crop.

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