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root vegetables

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
How can you tell if root vegetables are ready to be harvested? I've planted a packet worth of carrots, and just realized that I have know way of knowing when they're ready to pick!! (I have carrot tops of about 3 inches long at this point)
post #2 of 5
Welcome to the ChefTalk Cafe lsg.


Do you know which variety/cultivar of carrot you planted?

You should be able to find all the info you need at this site which is pretty comprehensive:

Growing Vegetables

What else are you growing in your garden?
post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
Thanks! I've been lurking for 6 months, and just now had something to say. By the way, it's L SG not I SG. Lisa, actually.

My garden, which is my first, is 8' by 16', and inlcudes 10 tomato plants of different varieties, basil, strawberry bushes (not vines), english peas, and the carrots (the bibb lettuce died). I have no idea what variety of carrot they are, I just grabbed the seed packet at Home Depot as alast minute addition.
post #4 of 5
Welcome lsg -
Do you remember when you planted your carrots? They usually take about 70 days to harvest, for a Nantes type carrot, which are pretty common at the HD seed center:D
I find with mine that when they're ready you will see the tops of the carrots peeking out of the soil. Take your finger and scratch around the edge of the sprout- you'll be able to gage how big the diameter of the carrot is. Pull 1 out and see -( if you've got a whole row planted you can afford one) some I eat really small and leave the rest to grow bigger...
Good luck and enjoy the process...

Monkey :)
"Life is a banquet - and most poor suckers are starving to death" - Auntie Mame
"Life is a banquet - and most poor suckers are starving to death" - Auntie Mame
post #5 of 5

Your garden sounds wonderful!

Begin to harvest carrots as "baby" size, thinning the row as you harvest. Once you begin picking, you can harvest as needed.

Carrots should be ready for harvest 70-80 days after planting. Pull them when the roots are 1-1 1/2 inches in diameter. Loosen the soil around the carrot with a spade to avoid breaking the carrot while pulling. To prevent roots from wilting after harvest, remove carrot tops and place them in the compost pile.

After the plants have died off, the carrots do not need to be harvested right away. They can remain in the soil for weeks or more. In the old days before refrigeration, carrots would be kept in the soil and covered with a thick layer of leaves. Then they would be dug up for consumption well into the winter months.

Or wash carrots and store in the bottom of the refrigerator. Place them in a plastic bag for increased humidity. Carrots will keep several weeks with high humidity and a temperature near 32 degrees.

You may also be interested in browsing the Vegetable Forum, one of many forums at GardenWeb.
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