How To Tell When Carrots Are Ready To Harvest? The Answer Revealed!

For a newbie gardener that cares for carrots, determining when to harvest is a tricky task 

How to tell when carrots are ready to harvest may be a bit challenging, but there are tips and tricks that you can do in order to get great results. I used to worry about how to go about it, but over the years, I have found a way to do it and these are the things I want to share with you

In this article, I will help you find the answer to the intriguing question of how to tell when carrots are ready to harvest. Additionally, I will let you in on a few important care tips and other in-depth knowledge about carrots

How To Tell When Carrots Are Ready To Harvest?

How To Tell When Carrots Are Ready To Harvest?

Although like any other root crop, carrots also has its varieties. For most of these, harvesting time comes at around the 50th until the 60th day. On the other hand, the remaining few of these varieties can be harvested around the 75th until the 100th day from the appearance of seedlings

There are three main types of carrots which include the Nantes carrots which are typically cylindrical in shape, the Chantenay that can be described as broad and stout, and the Imperator which are usually long and tapered. All these types usually mature and can be harvested at around the 55th to 60th day, but with a few exceptions

One example is the Merida which is a Nantes carrot that matures around the 240th day from planting. Another exemption is the Autumn King which is an Imperator carrot that usually reaches the 70th-day mark before it can be harvested. This goes the same with the Red-Cored Chantenay which can be harvested on the 70th day

However, doing this is more like estimating when your carrots are ready to be harvested. Although this may apply to most varieties of carrots, there are also other techniques that you can opt for in order to pinpoint the time to harvest your carrots

Ways To Tell When Carrots Are Ready To Harvest

In all the years I have invested in growing carrots, I have learned several tips and techniques to determine when my carrots are ready to be harvested. You can also learn and study these ways so you can apply it in your own plants

How To Tell When Carrots Are Ready To Harvest?
  • Take note and track the planting date - Since most of the carrot varieties can be harvested around the 50th day, this is usually indicated on the seed packet that it came with. This is the reason why it is best to take note of when you planted the seeds, in order for you to keep track and monitor how many days have passed since its planting. You can indicate the planting date on your calendar or leave a mark or a sign on your carrot plot like what I used to do with mine
  • Check the diameter - Another helpful way to determine if your carrots are ready to be harvested is by checking the diameter. A young or baby carrot typically has a diameter of around ½ inch. As it grows the diameter changes and usually reaches the diameter of around ¾ inch to 1 inch upon its maturity. Nonetheless, it is a general rule of thumb to not allow your carrots to reach a diameter size of beyond 1 ½ inch
  • Check the length - This next method may be another trial and error way of knowing if your carrots are ready to be picked but you can also learn and use it to see if it is something that can be useful to you. The typical length of a matured carrot is about 7 to 8 inches long. The first time I tried this method, I pulled one carrot to serve as a test subject. When I noticed that the test subject falls right into the category of being 7 to 8 inches in length, then I was able to determine that my carrots are ready to be harvested
  • Additional indicators that you can use - Aside from the first three techniques that I have mentioned, there are additional indicators that can help identify when your carrots are ready. One is the tenderness of the carrot. A ripe carrot has a tender and firm texture that shows it is ready to be harvested. In addition to that, the color of the carrot can also be used as an indicator. The most common variety of carrots have a bright orange color when it is ripe. However, you must also consider those other varieties that may have a different color other than orange

How To Harvest Carrots

When it comes to harvesting your carrots, you also need to learn the proper way of doing it to make sure that you do not damage it in the process. Here are the steps of how to carefully harvest your carrot

How To Tell When Carrots Are Ready To Harvest?

1. You must ensure that your soil is loose enough before pulling or harvesting your carrots. You can do this by watering the soil to make it soft enough

2. Next, use a garden fork to further loosen the soil around the plant. Make sure to do it carefully so as not to damage your carrot

3. Again, using the garden fork with the curved surface facing the carrot, gently insert it to the ground about eight inches deep. This should be deep enough to ensure the average length of the carrot is covered

4. Carefully pull the garden fork towards you and away from the carrot. Keep in mind to do this as gently as possible

5. This will loosen the carrot from deep down the ground it is planted. Grasp the foliage that it close to the base

6. Slowly and gently pull the carrot. Make sure to not break it in the process

7. Once you have harvested your carrots, you can clean and properly store carrots in your refrigerator, otherwise, freshly picked carrots are perfect for a bowl of salad

(Tip: There will be times when the soil will not be soft enough or the carrot will not easily bulge from where it is planted, be patient and keep digging around it until it is loose and can be pulled easily without breaking)

To see how this is done, watch this video


In summary, as a general rule which also applies in most of the varieties of carrots, they will reach maturity around the 50th until the 60th day from planting. This is the best time that you can harvest your carrots 

In order to keep track of this, you can plot the date of planting or leave a mark and sign on your carrot plot of the date that you have planted the specific batch. Overall, this is a fairly easy task to do since monitoring your plants in a huge part of caring and maintenance

Was this article able to answer the question of how to tell when carrots are ready to harvest? Were you able to pick up some useful information about how to take care of them? Do you have other ideas that might be related to this topic? Feel free to let me know your thoughts and opinions by leaving your comment below

Dan Harris

Hi. I'm Dan Harris. My wife and I started gardening 5 years ago. Neither one of us had any gardening background but we loved the idea of growing our own organic food. Over the years, our garden has almost doubled in size and I’ve learned a lot from my season’s successes and failures. I’ve been excited to share my own beginning knowledge and special skills with all garden lovers.

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