Growth Stages Of Carrots

11 Growth Stages Of Carrots: Successful Journey Of Carrot

Every entity on the earth has its growth stages or lifecycle. In this article, we are engaging with the vibrant orange carrot and growth stages of carrots. Here, we are more concerned with the growth of carrots.

We can learn more about the changes in the growth of carrots. For easy understanding, we divide the growth stages of carrots into 11 stages. Let us meet the interesting life cycle of this orange bunny buddy.

Carrot

Before we get into the stages of carrot growth, we have to know about what a carrot is, its importance and other specialities. A carrot is a root vegetable typically orange and also exists in purple, black, red, and white variants. As it is a root vegetable, the most commonly eaten part is taproot, stems and leaves can also be eaten. It is a biennial plant.

The roots of carrots contain large quantities of alpha and beta carotene, lycopene, and anthocyanins which are a good source of vitamins A, K and B6. Black carrots are the richest source containing a high amount of anthocyanin. Carrots are a rich source of beta-carotene, which is the precursor of vitamin A, which supports eye health. So, I know that you are more excited to know about the growth stages of our orange buddy, carrot.

Taxonomy of Carrot

                Domain                Eukaryota
              Kingdom                Plantae
              Phylum                Spermatophyta
              Sub phylum                Angiospermae
              Class                Dicotyledonae
              Order                Apiales
              Family                Apiaceae
              Genus                Daucus
              Species                  Carota
            Binomial name              Daucus carota

Growth stages of carrots

Are you guys thrilled to learn about the amazing stages of carrot growth? Let’s go into detail about the carrot stages of growth with stages of carrot growth pictures.

If you guys start growing carrots on your own, then, to get the most out of your harvest, you have to be familiar with the growth stages of carrots.

1. Plantation Stage

The plantation stage refers to the planting of seeds in the soil. As it is the first stage, several factors have to be taken care of in this stage. Factors such as the quality of soil, spacing, and depth should be considered. As it is a root vegetable and to favour the best root growth, the soil must ensure good drainage and the pH should be between 6 and 7.

To ensure better seed development, the soil should be tilled to a 6-8 inches depth to make the soil loose. The ideal way of planting the seed is at ¼-½  inch deep, and in rows, each seed should be spaced between 2 inches of space. The factor of soil moisture can be taken care of by watering the plants once a week or frequently according to the conditions. Overwatering should be avoided as it leads to root rot and other consequences.

The practice of mulching helps to retain moisture and eliminate the increase in weeds. Fertilisers should be added to the soil before cultivation to ensure a good sign in stages of carrot growth.

growth stages of carrots
Plantation stage.Image Source: Shutter stock

2. Germination Stage

The next carrot stage of growth is the germination stage. Here, the seed absorbs water and thereby starts to break down its stored energy leading to the formation of embryonic root and shoot. The standard duration of this phase is 1-3 weeks and it can vary depending on factors such as the moisture and temperature of the soil. To get a healthy seed germination phase, the soil should be kept with good soil moisture and proper light conditions give good carrot plant growth.

growth stages of carrots
Germination stage. Image Source: The Plant Bible

3. Seedling Stage

After the germination stage, the next stage we are going to discuss is the seedling stage. It may take one to three weeks for the transformation to the seedling stage, also it depend on the variety used and some external factors such as temperature and moisture. 

Also, keep in mind that don’t use over liquid and light, because too much water usage causes the seed to rot and spoil. When they emerge from the soil, we can see two cotyledons, these are the initial leaves which help to give energy to the plant.

As we know light is essential for the strong carrot stages of growth, a sufficient amount of light is needed for successful growth.

growth stages of carrots
Seedling Stage. Image source: Gardening Channel

4. Vegetative stage

Until we discuss the 3 growth stages of carrots, now we are focussing on the most important growth stages of carrot, that is the vegetative stage, because in this stage, the most important part of carrots, tap roots, expand at a rapid rate. They expand and form numerous branches, which help to anchor the plant tightly in the soil and absorb nutrients from the soil. The plant becomes more beautiful by forming new leaves every two to three weeks, which helps in photosynthesis, and the plant gets more energy to survive.

Also, the tubular root, which is the precursor to the mature carrot, elongates and at last develops into its characteristic shape. In the growth stages of a carrot, we must ensure that nutrients are adequately provided because it will have a positive impact on taproot growth. This usually lasts for eight weeks and you must ensure that proper care should be given in this period. 

growth stages of carrots
Vegetative Stage. Image Source: The Plant Bible

5. Root Development Stage

It is the period when we observe that the carrot root starts enlarging and maturing. It usually starts 8-12 weeks after planting, it is the critical stage for producing top-notch mature carrots. We have to ensure that in this stage, the soil has enough depth and softness for proper root growth.

To ensure proper root growth, the factors that need to be considered are:

  • Carefully examine the soil humidity and fertility in the growth stages of a carrot: overwatering or less fertilising results in poor root growth and less productivity.
  • Soil depth and softness need to be considered for effective root growth. It can be done by frequently tilling the soil and incorporating organic matter such as compost or organic manure.
growth stages of carrots
Root Development Stage.Image Source: Positive Bloom

6. Maturation stage

Maturation stages of carrot plant growth are identified by the development of mature foliage and root colouration. Carrots with high quality and maximum nutritional value can be ensured by proper harvesting techniques in this stage. Let’s go into detail about one of the important growth stages of carrots by analyzing its factors.

Maturity signs of carrot

 When planning to harvest the carrot, firstly we have to identify the signs of maturity. The carrots are said to be mature at the growth stages of carrots when:

  • The top of the carrot reaches about 1 inch in diameter.
  • The foliage of carrots begins to wilt and turns yellow or brown.
  • Intense root colouration can be found.
  • The colour of the carrot turns to be a vibrant orange colour.
  • The roots turn out to be firm and can be easily pulled out from the soil
Maturation Stage. Image Source:Epic Gardening

Once we found that the carrots attained maturity, the carrots were ready to harvest by the below-given techniques. The size and density of the crop can select the techniques.

Hand harvesting.

Hand harvesting will become the best choice when smaller gardens or single plants are considered. Use a trowel or garden fork, to carefully remove the soil around the carrot plant. You have to adopt this technique by keeping in mind that either the tap root or vegetative product should not get damaged.

Mechanical harvesting

Mechanical harvesting is done when large-scale harvesting is considered. They use a blade or rotating drum which focuses on the upper portion of the carrot and conveyor belt which helps to lift them from the soil.

Pulling

It is a common technique for harvesting the carrot. The technique is done by grasping the base of the foliage of the carrot and pulling it from the ground. Be cautious to pull gently to avoid any damage to the vegetative part or tap root.

Important tips for  harvesting carrots

  • Don’t harvest in cold or wet weather, it can cause serious damage. Better postpone the time of harvesting.
  • Use clean baskets for harvesting, it will reduce the spread of disease.
  • Reduce the drop height. An increase in drop height will lead to cracks and wounds in carrots and ultimately make an entry point to rot causing fungi and bacteria.
  • The transportation of carrots needs more care. Cover  the carrots with the tarp in hot weather conditions
  • Dehydration occurs in carrots when we keep them under the sun. Avoid the excessive involvement of the sun in the harvesting growth stages of carrots.
Harvesting Stage. Image Source: Harvest To Table

Washing/ Disinfecting

  • After the harvest, wash the carrots to remove the soil particles and reduce the heat
  • Wash the carrots with 0.2% chlorinated water ( 2ml sodium hypochloride/l of water) to prevent bacterial soft rot

Grading/Sorting

  • Discard fibrous carrots and flaccid ones 
  • Grade and sort out the remaining per size and freshness

Storage

Storage of carrots depends on the presence of leaves and the stage of maturity harvest

  • Bunched carrot ( having leaves): Require medium storage (8-12 days), storage quality can be enhanced by contact with crushed ice.
  • Topped carrot( without leaves): it depends on temperature and relative humidity.
Temperature  Relative humidity  Storage life
  20- degree celsius        60 to 70%  2-3 days
  4-degree celsius        80 to 90%  1 to 2 months
  0-degree celsius        90 to 95%    6 months
Post harvest handling stage. Image Source:Wyma Solutions

 9. Dormancy

After the stage of maturity, the carrot enters into a stage of inactivity known as dormancy. In the dormancy growth stages of carrots, they preserve energy for the future by slowing down their metabolic functions. The range period can be from several weeks to months depending on the surrounding conditions and the type of variety used.

growth stages of carrots
Dormancy.Image Source:The Plant Bible

10. Flowering

After they reach their full-grown stage, the flowering stage of carrots commences. Gardeners consider this stage undesirable because the root’s quality and nutritional quality will drop in this stage. They have a long stem with a bunch of white, petite flowers on its apex.

growth stages of carrots
Flowering.Image Source:Garden.eco

11. Production Of Seed

After the flowering stage of carrots, carrots will begin to produce seeds. It is important for the continuation of stages of carrot plant growth. The farmers who wish to save the seeds from the plant allow them to become fully mature and kept for drying. During the seed production growth stages of carrots, they are more focused on the development and maturation of seeds. Their kernels are small and in black colour with a hard case and have a  delicate embryo within it. After that, they can be collected for future purposes.

growth stages of carrots
Production Of Seed.Image Source:Huboldts Secret

Conclusion

Throughout the discussion, we discussed a fascinating journey of the 11 growth stages of carrots, starting from plantation to production of seeds for continuing the cycle. Understanding the requirements of each phase and giving optimal conditions for their growth are necessary for the growth of a nutritious root vegetable.

Guys, if you have a plant to start a small carrot farm in your house, this article will provide a gateway for your success.