One of the most popular vegetables, the versatile carrot can be grown in containers and even window boxes, making them perfect for small spaces.
Find out all you know about growing carrots in our carrot Grow Guide.
Carrots are usually eaten raw or boiled, or added to carrot cakes or muffins, but they are also delicious roasted.
You can even eat the feathery greens as a cost-effective addition to a salad, or even as carrot-top pesto.
Find out more about carrots in our Fact File.
Did you know?
Most cultivated carrots were purple up until the 17th century, when Dutch growers took the mutant yellow and white strains and crossed them with wild varieties, cultivating the orange root veg we know today. There are still different colours – maroon, white and yellow – among the huge range of varieties available.
There's truth in the adage that carrots help you see better – they do contain a pigment called beta-carotene which, when digested, converts to vitamin A, known to improve eye health. They are also a good source of fibre, vitamin K, potassium and cancer-preventing antioxidants and can help reduce cholesterol levels, thus boosting heart health.
Carrots can be harvested from May to December or 10-16 weeks after sowing, depending on the variety. Pull them as soon as they are large enough to use. They taste best when freshly picked.
How to grow
Sow carrots in light, free-draining soil, where they are to mature. Never transplant the seedlings. They can be grown in containers (use a short-rooted variety like 'Parmex' or 'Paris Market Atlas'). The main threat is carrot fly, so grow in a new spot each year and put a low mesh fence around the plants. Carrots are pretty drought resistant and don't need much watering, unless you spot wilted foliage.
- 'Adelaide' – an early carrot. Sow in February or March under a cloche
- 'Flyaway' – resistant to carrot fly
- 'Nanco' – good for late sowings
This special edition Year Planner 2023 contains advice for every month of the year, with tips for delicious harvests, plus, a sowing calendar is included for the best results all year round. Only £7.99.