row of freshly pulled carrots
Blog,  Peaceful Garden

How to Harvest and Store Carrots

Freshly harvested carrots can last for at least six months in your refrigerator

It’s super easy to harvest and store carrots. Carrots from your garden are sweeter and have more flavor than any store bought carrots ever dreamed of having! I really don’t understand that but it’s not just the grower being proud of her crop staying that. I’ve shared my carrots with others who have no interest in gardening and they can’t believe how sweet my homegrown carrots are. 

Next fall, I’ll teach you how to plant carrots.

There is definitely a method and the right time of year to sow carrot seeds here in central Florida. Please don’t try planting them in the Spring! This is one crop that must be planted in the Fall and grown throughout the Winter.

Sow carrot seeds in early October, harvest in the Spring.

When you sow carrots in the Fall, they take all winter and well into Spring to mature. In fact, your Spring garden can be planted all around the bed of carrots while you wait for the carrots to finish! Late March to early April is a good time to harvest them, but it’s such a thrill to pull them for a few weeks prior to that, for fresh eating or for dinner that day. Children LOVE pulling carrots out of the ground. Now, if you can just get them to learn to love eating them too!two raised beds of mature carrots

Carrots need a raised bed.

Your carrots are growing in a raised bed or long “hill”. This ensures that they have plenty of room to grow straight down and not make crazy legs going in all directions if they hit hard ground. The raised bed also makes it super easy to harvest.

A good quality pitchfork is a garden must-have.

A good pitchfork can very well last a lifetime. Buy a good one. It’s worth it. It is a workhorse for many garden chores. To harvest carrots, run the tines next to the carrots and gently lift the soil with the carrots up and at a slight angle. What a thrill to see all those carrots! Gently pull the carrots out of the dirt and lay them on their side. Repeat that simple step until your row is finished.

Remove the green tops

This is so easy. No tools needed. Grasp the carrot in one hand and use the other hand to grasp the tops about one inch from the carrot. Then, twist the tops and snap off. Leave the tops right there in the path or laying on what’s left of the raised bed. You can turn them under and plant a Spring veggie right over the top of them.

Don’t make these mistakes!

  1. Scrubbing the carrots
  2. Storing them while wet
  3. Leaving them out to dry for too long

Instead, do this:

  1. Spread carrots onto a hard surface located in the shade (very important!)
  2. Spray with a hose nozzle set on a medium spray strength to loosen most of the soil
  3. Leave them in the shade to dry
  4. As soon as they are dry, store them (no damp carrots allowed!)

How to store carrots

Carrots definitely need to be stored in a refrigerator if you live in the deep south. The container you choose is very important if you need them to last a long time. There are plastic containers designed especially for fresh vegetables. I have an old Tupperware container that works amazingly well after all these years, so I can’t recommend the new ones on the market because I haven’t tried them. Do you have any recommendations?

I CAN HIGHLY recommend this for storing ANY vegetable or fruit.

Debbie Meyer bags. Seriously. They WORK! The bags can be rinsed, dried, and reused more times than the package says, making the purchase a good investment. The package doesn’t include a way to close up the bag, so you will need to have clips for plastic bags. I am not an affiliate of Amazon (yet), but you can order bags there or at Bed, Bath, and Beyond. The company also has boxes, but I haven’t tried them. 

Finally, store them in the refrigerator! It’s really that easy!

Do you need recipes for carrots?

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Enjoy your carrots and let me know how much you are enjoying the difference in taste and quality of homegrown carrots!

Debbie

row of freshly pulled carrots

 

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