Despite being cool-season crops, carrots grow well within the hot climate of Georgia. Harvests of this root vegetable are available in the state from winter through early summer, and if you grow them at the right time, carrots will develop a sweet flavor that’s hard to find in supermarket offerings.
So, if you’re curious when to plant carrots in Georgia, remember the dates of January 15 to March 30 and August 20 to September 15 as the ideal planting calendar.
Table of Contents
- When to Grow Carrots in Georgia
- Carrot Varieties to Plant in Georgia
- Factors to Consider When Planting Carrots in Georgia
- Caring for, Harvesting, Storing Carrots in Georgia
- Frequently Asked Questions
When to Grow Carrots in Georgia
1. Plant carrots outdoors in spring and fall
When it comes to growing carrots in Georgia, you can opt for spring or fall planting.
- In the spring, sow seeds as early as two to three weeks before the last frost or as soon as the soil is warm and tillable. Carrot seeds will tolerate cold weather and germinate when their surroundings are sufficiently warm, around 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
We recommend direct-sowing your seeds this way rather than planting them indoors and moving them outside later. Transplanting often creates crooked carrots or damages their roots.
- In the fall, you should plant carrots approximately ten weeks before the first frost. These veggies will tolerate temperatures down to 20℉, so you can expose them to a mild frost before harvesting to enjoy sweeter root crops.
Given that Georgia has its final frost in February to April on average and its first frost in October to December, the carrot season here would fall within January to March and July to September.
For a more accurate estimate, look up the frost dates where you live and count backward to determine the best time to grow carrots. We have listed some locations in Georgia below.
2. Planting time according to hardiness zones
Here is another way to estimate the growing time for carrots. Since Georgia has hardiness zones 6 to 9, we’ve used their frost dates to calculate the time for spring and fall planting in Georgia.
|Plant for spring harvest
|Plant for fall harvest
|Zone 6 and 7
|March 30 – April 30
|March 9 – April 9
|September 30 – October 30
|July 22 – August 21
|February 22 – March 30
|February 1 – March 9
|October 30 – November 30
|August 21 – September 21
|January 30 – February 28
|January 9 – February 7
|November 30 – December 30
|September 21 – October 21
3. How late is too late to plant carrots?
Based on the above information, September and October are the latest months you can grow carrots in Georgia. If it’s already November, you’d be better off waiting until early spring for the next planting season.
Carrot Varieties to Plant in Georgia
- Royal Chantenay (60-70 days to mature)
Bolt-resistant and sweet, Royal Chantenay carrots grow well in the hot climate of Georgia. This variety is terrific in roasts and suits canning well.
- Scarlet Nantes (65–75 days to mature)
If you’re into vegetable smoothies and juicing, this variety is worth a try. Scarlet Nantes carrots are easy to freeze, making them a great choice for families who want to stock up on veggies.
- Moonraker (65–70 days to mature)
These carrots are not prone to splitting, so they’re excellent for areas with little rain or gardeners who can’t get their watering schedule right. Moonraker is also a top choice for processing.
- Hercules (65 days to mature)
Hercules carrots are adaptable to clay soil. They’re also very thick and sweet, so you get both flavors and size all in one crop.
- Bolero (75 days to mature)
This variety is a top choice for fall gardening. Sweet and crunchy, Bolero carrots make for delicious snacks that are also resistant to disease.
Factors to Consider When Planting Carrots in Georgia
Those of us who plant vegetables in Georgia will likely need to deal with clay soil, especially those who live inland.
The unfortunate thing is many crops, such as carrots, do not grow well in this soil type due to its lack of aeration and poor drainage. This is the reason it is better to grow carrots in containers in Georgia or in raised beds instead.
If you have no choice but to sow seeds in-ground, combine native soil with a soil conditioner and sand in equal parts before planting. I also recommend choosing short-root varieties like Caracas and Chantenay, which adapt to clay ground well.
2. Pests and disease
There are few pests to worry about when growing carrots in Georgia. The main problems you’ll need to keep an eye on are caterpillars, leafhoppers, and nematodes.
Caterpillars and leafhoppers are controllable with insecticides and soapy water sprays, while nematodes are preventable if you plant carrots in a new plot every year and add compost to the ground.
For example, divide your garden into three sections, one for carrots, one for legumes like peas, and another for tomatoes or potatoes. Move your crops between these three areas every year.
Caring for, Harvesting, Storing Carrots in Georgia
Sow carrots at a depth of ¼ inch and space them two inches apart.
You may also position the seeds closer together and sow more carrots for the best chances of germination, but it’s essential to thin the seedlings down once they’re an inch tall.
As for germination times, expect to wait two or three weeks for sprouting to occur, at which point, caring for carrots is relatively simple.
Water the plants with an inch of moisture per week and feed them a 34-0-0 fertilizer once they’re four inches in height. It is also best to keep the temperature within 55 to 75℉ so that the plants don’t become bitter.
If you’re unsure when your crops are ready for consumption, here are some quick tips:
- See if the tap roots of your carrots are sticking out above-ground. You may pick apart the soil a bit and see whether it covers the part of the carrots right beneath the stem.
- Protruding tap roots indicate a plant ready for harvest. To pull the carrot out, grab it at its base and exert upward pressure. Mature crops will often be 0.5 inch in diameter or bigger.
Note that unless you plan to cook them soon, avoid washing carrots after harvesting if you’re going to keep them in a root cellar for six months.
For a shorter preservation time of up to three weeks, put carrots in an airtight container with water, and remember to cut the green tops off beforehand so that the roots don’t dry out. You should also change the liquid in the container every two days.
Frequently Asked Questions
How hot is too hot for carrots?
Temperatures of 85 degrees and higher are too much for carrots and may halt their development altogether. To combat excessively hot growing conditions, you should water carrots regularly, mulch them with straw, and shield them from the sun with a shade cloth.
What happens if you plant too many carrot seeds together?
If the seeds all sprout and are too close together, they will struggle to acquire enough nutrients and water to grow. The carrots may also develop twisted roots or look too small and deformed.
Where does Georgia rank in carrot production?
As of 2017, commercial carrot production in Georgia accounts for 1,072 acres of the total 96,443 acres of carrots harvested in the US. This puts GA in the top eleven states that grow this crop, behind California, Washington, Florida, Wisconsin, Michigan, Arizona, Texas, Colorado, New York, and Oregon.
We hope this article has provided you with the know-how of when to plant carrots in Georgia, plus how to care for them. As a healthy root vegetable full of vitamin A and fiber, carrots are one of our favorite crops to grow, and there’s no reason they can’t be yours, too.
Here are the standard planting schedules for other vegetables in Georgia you can refer to:
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