Carrots are a great and fairly easy-to-grow vegetable. When grown under the proper conditions, carrots really don’t take much effort. But there are, of course, certain problems or questions that gardeners can run into when growing carrot plants.
One common issue is that the roots (a.k.a. the part you eat) aren’t growing very thick and turn very thin instead. Sometimes these roots may split as well. In this case, there is a good chance that you need to plant your carrots farther apart, or remember to thin them out after the seeds germinate so they won’t be too crowded. Leave at least 2 inches between plants for best results. This gives the roots plenty of room to grow large.
Another concern is carrots that turn out short. This is probably due to planting in rocky soil, or in a garden bed that isn’t deep enough for the roots. Before planting, make sure soil is loose and free of rocks. Remember that each type of carrot has its own space requirements—some grow long, others short. Be sure you have enough depth to your soil for the kind of carrot you are growing. If you don’t have a lot of space, look for shorter varieties to grow instead of long ones.
You may be unsure of when to harvest carrots, since they grow underground and you can’t really see how developed they are until you pull them up. But you can get a good idea of how large they are before actually harvesting. At the base of the greens, brush some soil aside until you can feel the root. You can then get an idea of how thick the carrot is without disturbing it. You can then pull it up or replace the soil and let it keep growing. Carrots taste good at just about any time in their growing cycle, so it’s really a matter of how large you prefer them to be.