When to harvest carrots is a choice that can be determined by the carrot’s maturity days or signs the vegetables are ‘ripe.’ If 60 to 80 days have passed since sowing your carrot seeds, they could be grown and ready for harvesting.

When To Harvest Carrots

Another way to know your carrots are ready is by checking the size of the shoulders. Continue reading to learn when to harvest these vegetables.

When Is the Best Time To Harvest Carrots?

The best time to harvest carrots is after 80 days have passed from when you planted the seedling. On the other hand, you can also harvest when you see signs such as the size of the shoulders and the coloring of the root tips that show your carrots are ripe.

How long can you leave carrots in the ground? It is a common question among many gardeners who are afraid of losing their yields from overstaying underground, of course not more than a few weeks, because they will rot.

In fact, you can dig carrots out at any stage, depending on what you want to use them for. For example, young, slender baby carrots are good and ready 40 days after planting. If the carrots stay in the soil for longer, they become full-sized, which is a preference for some people. If you want to be on time for your carrot harvest, use simple methods to know they are ready.

When to harvest these rooted vegetables would also depend on when you planted them, especially if you are worried and wish to know the ideal time, when to harvest carrots zone 7. If you plant carrots in spring or summer, you should harvest them before the temperatures become too high; carrots do better in low temperatures.

– Harvesting in the Morning

If you want to eat fresh carrots, the best time to harvest them is in the morning. During this time, the plant is less stressed because there is no heat. Therefore, it will be sweeter than those harvested during the day when the sun is hot.

Also, harvesting carrots in the morning is ideal if you want to store them long-term, especially if you have asked yourself the question “what is the best time of day to harvest carrots?” When the vegetables have not been hit by the sun, they have higher moisture content, so they won’t desiccate when you keep them.

Harvesting Carrots in the Morning

You can make pulling the carrots out of the soil easier by watering the ground to make it looser. The harvesting process also becomes more fun and less dusty. Adding compost will also help to loosen soils like clay, making harvesting easier.

You can gather carrots during spring and fall, in the morning times of these two seasons. If you gather in the fall, ensure you dig the vegetables out of the ground before the soil freezes. Fall carrots are sweet due to exposure to light frost.

What Are Determiners for Carrot Growth?

The determiners for carrot growth and harvest are fall or spring seasons, and also the time for their growth period and how it has passed. In addition, you should also note the time after the germination process and then check for signs of maturity.

– Fall or Spring Season

You can try to harvest your zone 7 carrots in the fall. This is after one or two frosts, which enables the vegetable to store energy and sugars. The sugars make carrots taste better than those grown in hot regions.

Note that smaller carrots taste better than big ones, so you should not wait for the maximum maturity season. However, the small harvested carrots don’t last long when stored than mature ones.

– Time The Growth Period

Most carrot varieties are ready for harvest 60 to almost 80 days after planting. If in doubt, check the seed packet for carrot gardening tips and when the crop will be ready. Some varieties, like Napoli and Mokum, ripen at 55 days, even though other long-maturing types can take more than 80 days.

Time The Growth Period

When referring to the maturity date, note that some carrots have a small size even at maturity. Therefore, the size should not stop you from picking the carrots. Some have a shorter growing season, meaning they will be ready within 30 to 40 days. All in all, check the seedling pack to know the maturity period.

– After Germination

To know if your carrots are growing, you should check for their germination process one to three weeks after planting. However, you can accelerate their growth by watering the soil daily when it’s dry. If three weeks pass and there are no signs of growth, there could be a problem.

Of course, you should be checking the process if you are wondering “how do I know if my carrots are growing,” and the given would be once the seeds germinate, the carrot enters the seedling phase. It produces the first leaves, which are smooth but become rough as the plant matures. The roots continue growing as tap roots.

You will later notice more leaves and an increase in height in growing carrots. The roots continue to thicken, and the leaves grow longer and bigger. The carrot plant also gets small stems. Later, the shoulders emerge from the ground as a sign of maturity.

– Check The Signs of Maturity

Another way to know the right time for harvesting carrots is by checking their appearance. Most signs of carrot maturity show at the shoulders or crown, which are the top parts of the rooted vegetable, the ones that will be seen from the soil. Ensure you check every few days when you suspect your crops will be ready.

Look for the shoulders’ size, the carrot’s first part after the green stem. These parts are usually visible from the soil when the carrot matures, where the stems would be vividly seen from. They widen and become thicker during maturity, depending on the variety, and just by simple observation, you will see and examine it.

However, you can also pick carrots when the shoulders are slimmer; for instance, the baby carrots are edible and don’t have a weird taste. If you grow carrots until they are thick, you can use them in salads or eat them when fresh. If your focus is on storing carrots for longer, pick them when they are thick and mature.

What Happens If You Don’t Harvest Carrots?

If you don’t harvest carrots, nothing will happen to them in the ground. Carrot growing is one of the most effortless choices in gardening, and this is due to their little requirements. The vegetables will grow and bloom flowers, and even become too bitter.

What Happens If You Don t Harvest Carrots

The vegetables are also safe underground during winter because they will not be harmed. Freezing temperatures barely affect carrots because gardeners store carrots in cold areas, like in a root cellar. However, do not wait until the ground freezes to harvest because pulling the carrots out of the soil will be hard.

When you leave them in the vegetable garden for too long, the tops will start flowering. It causes the vegetable to harden and become inedible, and this is because the crop is biennial, and the flowering ones will start to produce some seeds.

Many gardeners worry about their mature crops because they yield rot and freeze when exposed to frost. However, carrot growers are more relaxed because the vegetable is rarely impacted by ice and does not rot quickly if not harvested on time. As a result, keeping note of the time harvested is a wise choice because you will clearly see them grow either way.


– When To Harvest the Container Carrots?

Harvest the carrots that are in containers about two to three months to grow so that you can harvest them around that time. You can check the seed packet of your container-grown vegetable to know when they mature and estimate the perfect time to harvest.

Another way to know it’s time to harvest is by pulling a carrot to check the size of the root. If one is big enough, the others are more likely ready for harvesting. Also, note that you can gather carrots in stages. It allows the other carrots in the garden to continue growing.

– When Is It Too Early to Collect Carrots?

Most gardeners prefer baby carrots because they are softer and taste better. They will harvest the vegetable before its actual maturity time. Therefore, it is never too early to collect carrots unless the terpenoids are still strong, but inedible any longer.


Most gardeners don’t know when to gather carrots because they grow underground. This makes it hard to tell when the crop is ready for harvest. You can also check the shoulders to know if the roots are ready for harvesting, and to summarize the article, remember these:

  • You don’t have to wait until carrots are wholly mature to harvest them; you can wait 60 to 80 days and then harvest them.
  • You can harvest baby carrots for your salad and cooking if you pick them up earlier, but they are not ideal for storing.
  • Nothing will happen to your carrots if you leave them in the soil for a long time, they will bloom.
  • Morning is the best time to take carrots from the garden because the temperatures are cool, and the plant is less stressed.

If you suspect your carrots are ready for harvesting, pull one from the ground to check the roots. You can also harvest these vegetables as early as you want.

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