When to Harvest Carrots – 4 Tips to Know!

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Knowing when to harvest carrots can help to ensure your carrot crop gives you enough food for the whole family. Sometimes looks can be deceiving. If you want to know when to pull carrots, check out these tips!

The first time you grow them, knowing when to pick carrots might not come naturally. And that’s okay! You might be amused by the size or shape of the carrots you grow. It’s all good.

I’ll share my best tips for figuring out when to harvest carrots, and invite you to share tips as well, or ask any questions in the comments below!

Let’s get started!

When to Harvest Carrots - Hand holding fresh-picked carrots - Photo by Markus Spiske from Pexels
When to Harvest Carrots – Hand holding fresh-picked carrots – Photo by Markus Spiske from Pexels

When are carrots ready to harvest?

Knowing when carrots are ready to harvest may take a little practice. You can try some best practices so you know when to pull carrots. For example, take note of the diameter of the carrot top. Carrots should be between 1 and 1/5 inches thick when picked. Also, note whether it is sticking out of the ground or not. Most times, carrots stick out of the ground when they are ready to pick.

How long does it take to grow and harvest carrots?

Most carrot varieties take between 70 and 100 days until harvest. Some may grow quicker and some may take longer. Check your seed packet or purchase information to confirm the expected maturity timing for your carrot harvest.

Can you pick carrots in the winter?

Some gardeners say carrots will sweeten in the winter. As long as you’ve planted them and they’ve done the majority of their growing by the time the ground freezes, you should be able to harvest carrots in the winter.

What happens if you forget to pick carrots for too long?

If you don’t pick carrots when they are ready, don’t worry. You may still be able to pick them a bit late. Or, if you’ve left them over the winter, they will soon produce flowers and seeds that you can later collect and save to grow again.

Knowing When to Harvest Carrots – Tips

Try these tips to help you know when to harvest carrots from your garden.

  • Raised out of the Soil – Carrots that are ready for harvest will generally push themselves up and out of the soil a bit. This isn’t true 100% of the time, but it’s a good indicator in many cases.
  • Reasonable Size Diameter – The carrots to pick will likely be between an inch and an inch and a half in thickness (diameter), give or take. Your mileage may vary.
  • Rich, Vibrant Color – Don’t be surprised if you notice some carrots are brighter or deeper in color. Consider those for picking if they meet the other criteria.
  • Proper Timing – For carrots planted from seed, expect the time to harvest carrots to be similar to the seed packet information. Many types of carrots may need between 70 and 80 days to mature to full size.
Different Carrot Sizes Lined up on a Wooden Background - When to Pick Carrots - Photo by Markus Spiske from Pexels
Different Carrot Sizes Lined up on a Wooden Background – When to Pick Carrots – Photo by Markus Spiske from Pexels

Timing to Harvest Carrots

Now that you know when to pull carrots, you can pick them from the ground confidently.

Or better yet, put your kids on carrot patrol!

It would be fun for little ones in the garden to find and pick a veggie that is a common favorite.

If you still aren’t sure about when to harvest carrots, you can make yourself a reminder on your calendar or planner. Check the carrots at that point to see if they are full grown.

You can either harvest some or wait and make a note on a new expected date of when to pick carrots.

We found some of our carrots truly had a mind of their own! They looked great to pick, but once we pulled them, we saw the carrots grew crazy and looked like they had legs!

Our first homegrown carrots with legs!
Warning: NSFW 🤣 Our first homegrown carrots with legs! Why do carrots grow crazy like this?!

Do you have any tips to share on knowing when to pick carrots? Feel free to share tips or ask questions about the timing for picking carrots in our comments below!

We always love hearing from you!

Happy Gardening!

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