The Q&A Archives: Pulling Baby Carrots

Question: I planted sweet, baby carrots, I don't remember the specific type. I don't know when they'll be ready to pull. Currently the tops are approximately 12 inches tall. I didn't separate the seeds when I planted. They are also growing in a large pot a little larger than a 5 gallon jug.
Will I even get decent carrots since the seeds were planted closely together?

Answer: Carrots need room to grow and develop a decent-sized root so if your plants are really close together they won't have room to fully develop. Carrot tops can be quite deceiving! Don't base your harvest predictions on the size of the tops. If it were my container, I'd snip off the tops of the excess carrots so as not to disturb the remaining carrots. Once you snip the tops, you should be able to extract one of the remaining roots, just to judge the average size of the carrots. The object of thinning is to provide ample room between harvestable carrots. I thin mine throughout the season to keep the foliage from touching the foliage of another carrot. This will give each root ample moisture and food without competition from its neighbor. You may only end up with a dozen carrots in your container, but those should be tender and tasty when they're ready to harvest!

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