The Q&A Archives: When Are Carrots Ripe?

Question: At the risk of sounding really horticulturally challenged, how can you tell if the carrots are ripe? We planted Burpee "short and sweet" in late Feb. and the seed packet said they would ripen in 57 days. The folliage is lush and between 4-6" high, however when I dug one up today all there was was a skinny white root trailing from it. Please advise.

Answer: You've discovered how deceptive carrot tops can be! Carrots sometimes stick their shoulders out of the ground as they grow, and you can judge the diameter of the carrot by looking at it. The days to maturity usually depends upon the weather; if the soil is cold, the carrots won't grow. When it warms up, they'll begin to grow, as long as you provide water on a regular basis. Your carrots aren't quite ready to harvest yet - give them another 3-4 weeks and then check again.

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