When to Plant Carrots in Virginia for a Successful Harvest

Written by

William Golder


Dorian Goodwin

when to plant carrots in virginia

Diving into the world of carrot cultivation in Virginia is an exciting venture. But timing is everything when it comes to planting carrots.

Carrots can be planted in Virginia starting in March for spring planting and July for fall planting. Whether aiming for a spring harvest or considering a fall bounty, understanding when to plant carrots in Virginia is crucial. The regional location matters a lot, too. This guide provides the best planting times for Virginia regions and additional tips for a bountiful yield.

Best Time to Plant Carrots in Virginia


Check the table below for the Virginia planting calendar.

Sr. No. City/Region name Hardiness Zone Suggest Spring Planting times Suggested Fall Planting times
1. Virginia Beach Zone 8 March 7 August 1 to August 20
2. Chesapeake Zone 7 March 13 July 1 to July 15
Zone 8 March 7 August 1 to August 20
3. Norfolk Zone 7 March 13 July 1 to July 15
4. Richmond Zone 8 March 7 August 1 to August 20
5. Newport News Zone 7 March 13 July 1 to July 15
Zone 8 March 7 August 1 to August 20
6. Alexandria Zone 7 March 13 July 1 to July 15
7. Hampton Zone 8 March 7 August 1 to August 20
8. Roanoke Zone 6 April 1 Late july to August
Zone 7 March 13 July 1 to July 15
9. Portsmouth Zone 8 March 7 August 1 to August 20
10. Suffolk Zone 7 March 13 July 1 to July 15
Zone 8 March 7 August 1 to August 20

Whether you want to plant fall carrots or plan for fall harvest (most carrot types mature in 60 to 80 days), the above table will help you determine the ideal planting time for your region.

For those in countries with multiple hardiness zones, here’s a quick guide to finding your hardiness zone.

Step 1: Visit the official USDA website here. 

Step 2: Enter your area zip code and click the search option.

Alternatively, you can use the interactive map on the website to determine your hardiness zone.

You can also check the map below for easier understanding.


What Factors Do Suggested Planting Times Depend on?

Now, let’s explore why suggested carrot planting times vary based on two key factors:

1. Last frost date


To maximize your carrot crop, it’s advisable to plant carrot seeds at least two weeks before the last frost and a maximum of 3 weeks before the last frost date. Since hardiness zones are determined according to minimum temperature, the area falling under a zone will likely experience frost at the same time.

Usually, carrot seeds take up to 3 weeks to germinate, and not all carrot seeds in the vicinity germinate simultaneously. Therefore, planting them 2 weeks in advance ensures that even if the last frost occurs on time, there will be no impact on the seeds because they wouldn’t have germinated till then.

Even though the above-suggested planting times have considered the last frost date, the table below highlights the average last frost dates for selected Virginia cities/regions: 

Sr. No. City/Region name Average last frost date  
1. Virginia Beach April 3  
2. Chesapeake March 30  
3. Norfolk March 30  
4. Richmond April 2  
5. Newport News March 30  
6. Alexandria March 30  
7. Hampton March 30  
8. Roanoke April 9  
9. Portsmouth March 30  
10. Suffolk April 1  

Disclaimer: Keep in mind that these are the average last frost dates and can vary from year to year. It’s best to check local weather reports for more precise information.

2. Temperature


Carrots grow best when the temperature is between 40°F and 80°F. The Ideal Germination temperature required is 55°F to 65°F. The mean temperature in Virginia was 49 F in March, exceeding the threshold of 40°F.

Also, the last frost date nearby (covered in the table above) makes March and in April a reasonable period for carrot planting.

Steps for Planting Carrots


Apart from the proper planting time, the right planting procedure is equally important. Follow these steps:

  1. Step 1: Till the soil to a depth of 10 inches, loosen it, and remove stones and debris.
  2. Step 2: Plant carrot seeds at a depth of 0.25 inches with a 3-inch gap between seeds. Ensure rows are 1 foot apart.
  3. Step 3: Distribute the seeds evenly to allow enough room for the plant to grow.

When to Start Planting Carrot Seeds Indoors?

Even though it is advisable to plant seeds directly outdoors if you want to grow carrots indoors first, do it at least 5 to 10 days before the outdoor planting date (covered above).

After that, gradually start exposing carrot plants to 1 hour of sunlight daily and increase this by 1 hour each day till they are exposed to 8 hours of sunlight. Consequently, you can transplant them or keep them outdoors entirely to expose them to the growing season climate.

Tips for Successful Carrot Cultivation in Virginia

The section below of this vegetable planting guide will highlight some additional tips for a successful carrot harvest in Virginia:

1. Choose the right type

Planting the right type of carrot in Virginia can make it easy to get a good yield. The types you should stick to are:


  1. Gold king
  2. Danvers
  3. Imperator

2. Smoothen the bed before planting

Prepare the soil by removing rocks and ensuring it’s free from roots or weeds that may hinder carrot growth. Cultivating carrots without smoothening the soil can hamper the growth of the carrot plant.

The presence of stones will deteriorate the shape of carrots and stunt their growth, affecting the yield of the entire crop. Apart from rocks, ensure that the roots of other plants or weeds do not affect the carrot plants either.

3. Ensure consistent moisture


Keep the soil consistently moist after planting as the moisture content in the first 10 days matters a lot. Soil should be kept moist consistently for this period. So, water the soil twice a day.

In the initial few days, soil can be covered with burlap to retain moisture and avoid evaporation. Remove the burlap once the sprouts appear.

If the seeds do not get moisture in the initial days, they won’t germinate.

4. Thin the crop

As highlighted above, even the roots of other plants can interfere with the growth of the carrot plant. It means if carrot plants are left as they were planted, most won’t grow.

To prevent overcrowding and ensure proper growth, thinning of the crop can help you.

Follow the procedure below for thinning carrots:

  • Step 1: Pull out carrots (using scissors), which touch the adjacent plant 2 weeks after the germination.
  • Step 2: Repeat this procedure after another 2 weeks to ensure a 2 to 3 inches gap between each plant.


Now, you have a clear understanding of when to plant carrots in Virginia. Use the provided table to determine the ideal planting time.

By consulting the planting calendar and considering last frost dates and temperature thresholds, you can ensure your carrots thrive. Remember to choose the right carrot type, prepare the soil diligently, maintain proper moisture levels, and thin the crop when necessary. 

Happy planting!

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