Carrots belong to root vegetables and require loose soil, so that they don’t encounter any obstacle in their way.
This is why many gardeners prefer to grow carrots in raised bed.
What’s the importance of having loose soil?
Well drained soil that removes excess water, yet retains moisture will save your plant from overwatering and avoid underwatering.
If you ended up here after planting carrots, then probably you’re having some issue with watering cycle.
It is important to know how much water do carrots needs, before planting. This will ensure you won’t have common issues while growing this root vegetable.
Root vegetable like carrot needs 1 inch of water per week, either through irrigation or rainfall. You don’t have to water your plants on a rainy day. Dry soil can result in misshapen carrots.
One inch of water per week is a gardening community answer, but very few people know what 1 inch of water even looks like. How much water can be considered 1 inch? On which basis, is it base on the plant or the whole raising bed.
Also Read: Why Are My Carrots Not Growing?
Watering accurate amount keeps the plant healthy. Else, due to lack of knowledge you may sometimes overwater or underwater them.
An inch of water per week is calculated by equation (length of your garden in inches x width of your garden). In simple words, 1 square foot is 144 cubic inches. A conversion tool like this can help you measure the amount of water your plant need. In this case, for 1 square foot of space we need .62 gallons of water i.e. 2.36 liters.
1 inch of water per week is 2.36 (approximately) liters of water.
Water, Soil, Sunlight & Temperature – Why it is important?
How often or how much water your carrot plant needs is influenced by few factors. Soil, location of the plant (sunlight) and climatic conditions in your region are crucial among them.
- If your garden has hard clay, then prefer growing carrots in a raised bed or container. Carrots need sandier soil that lets excess water drain and at the same time locks required amount of moisture.
- Potting soil or growing medium in your raised bed must be well-drained; else water can accumulate at the base resulting in root rot.
This is a cool-season crop that is grown in spring. Carrot plant does well in full sun for about 8-10 hours of direct sunlight.
If the days turn hot, mulch the carrot plant with hay grass and increase the watering frequency.
Soil temperature must be at-least 40F. For seed germination, 55-65F temperature is preferred.
You must regulate watering frequency depending on climatic conditions in your region. Also, consider soil type and location of the plant.
How Much Water Do Carrots Need?
As mentioned above, a gardening industry started answered would be an inch of water per week. But, there are several factors that need to be considered before watering.
Soil and climatic conditions in your region plays vital role.
This is why inspecting your carrot plant regularly is essential. Else, you may end-up overwatering or underwatering your root vegetable. Without adequate water you can’t expect quality yield.
As a thumb rule, insert your index finger in the soil. If the soil is dry up-to an inch then water generously. Moist soil will stick to your finger and you can feel the moisture.
You don’t have to water if the soil is sticky.
Also Read: How Tall Do Cucumber Plants Grow?
Overwatering: do carrots need a lot of water
If you want to enjoy the delicious flavor of carrot, then you must supply adequate amount of water to this root vegetable.
However, carrots don’t require lots of water. They just need consistent moist soil.
Water your carrot plant when you see top 1 inch of the soil is dry. While watering this root vegetable, make sure at least 4 inches of soil is moist.
Out of curiosity, most new gardeners overwater the plant resulting in root rot.
Overwatering your plant can discolor the foliage to yellow and roots rot. Eventually, the plant will die.
When you see algae on surface of the plant soil, then probably you’re overwatering your carrot plant.
How to Revive: Stop watering your plant and allow it to dry in sunlight for a couple of days. When you see the top 1 inch of the soil is completely dry, water the plant.
Repot the plant if the potting soil isn’t good enough to drain excess water.
Check this out: How Often to Water Cauliflower?
Enthusiastic gardeners won’t underwater their plants. Plants get underwatered only when you’re on an unplanned vacation or when the growing medium (soil) fails to retain the moisture.
Stunted growth, drooping and yellow leaves are common signs of underwatered plant.
How to Revive: Start watering your plant regularly. If you’re following online guides to water your plant, then you must recheck it.
As said, several factors influence watering frequency. Climatic condition is one among them.
For a couple of days, watch your plant to set the watering schedule.
Water the plant when you see the top 1 inch layer of the soil is dry.
Quantity and quality of water will impact the overall growth and shelf-life of the carrot.
Factors like salt, pH and alkaline nature determines the quality of water.
Rain water is ideal as it is free from salts and harmful containments.
Tap water supplied by municipal corporation works fine, because that is filtered by authorities. You can read more on quality of water here.
How Much Water Do Carrot Seedlings Need?
As mentioned above, carrot seedlings too need 1 inch of water per week. i.e. 2-3 liters of water.
But, while watering please ensure that you don’t damage the seedlings.
Use water sprinkler that won’t wash away the top layer of the soil.
How Often to Water Carrot Seeds?
You don’t have to water to germinate carrot seeds. They just need moisture to germinate and below I shared a quick way to fasten the process.
They are various ways to germinate carrot seeds faster.
One among them is to take some potting mix soil in a paper plate and sprinkle carrot seeds. Zip the paper plate in a cover and refrigerate it for 24 hours.
This going to give the seeds the impression that have gone through a cold snap and now the soil has warmed up, so it’s time to germinate.
When the seeds start sprouting, shift them to container or raised bed that has moist soil.
Be gentle while watering newly sprouted carrot seeds.
Watering once using a sprinkle is enough to fasten the germination process of seeds.
Also Read: How Deep Do Potato Roots Grow?
Watering Carrot Plants
You must water deeply enough so that the roots of carrot plant get enough water to keep the plant healthy.
As mentioned earlier, you don’t have to water carrot seeds at once. After a week of planting, use garden hose sprayer to water carrot seedlings.
An inch of water per week will keep the plant soil well moisturized.
You can try drip irrigation to water your vegetable garden.
Drip irrigation or a mist through garden hose sprayer, slow and deep watering will keep the soil moist for longer time.
Important: Water at the base of the plant. Avoid pouring water on the foliage. Any moisture left on the leaves may attract fungus and bacterial infestation.
To avoid this, watering in early morning hours is recommended. Any extra moisture on leaves will be evaporated by afternoon.
As the plant grows, add a thin layer of hay grass as mulch. This is to stop weed growth and lock soil moisture for longer time.
You must replace the mulch after every growing season. Using organic mulch will benefit the plant with essential nutrients.
Carrot Watering Tips
As carrots are root vegetable plant, garden soil must be tilled deep enough so that roots can easily grow.
A well tilled soil will be more effective to drain excess water from the container and avoid overwatering.
You can grow carrots in garden soil or in container.
Prepare raised bed to plant root vegetables like carrot. This will ensure long quality and delicious carrots.
Compact or dense soil won’t be beneficial for growing carrots.
You can plant two crops of carrots one in early spring and other in fall.
- Water the carrot plant twice in a day, if the top one inch of the soil is dry.
- Use garden hose sprayer to water your vegetable crop.
- Water gently and evenly.
- Avoid overwatering, if you notice a green layer of algae on the surface of the soil, then stop watering.
- Also don’t underwater your plant. Water till the soil gets moist by 4 inch deep.
- Only use tap water to irrigate your vegetable crop.
Can Carrots Grow in Tropical Climate?
Carrots are cool loving vegetable plant, so it is difficult them to grow in tropical regions.
Warm climates turn the sweet carrots to bitter.
However, those who’re living in tropics can grow delicious with a simple method.
Plant the carrots when the soil is warm and harvest them when the weather is cool.
In other words, plant them in late summer; you can expect the yield in fall.
You must save your plant from hot days by increasing the watering frequency and covering the base of the carrot plant with mulch. Mulching will slow the evaporation of water into atmosphere.
Carrots grown in cooler climates are more delicious than those grown in hot days.
Check this out: How Much Sunlight Does Asparagus Need?
What temperature can carrots survive?
This is a cool-season crop. Yes, am repeating this again though I mentioned many times above.
It can withstand lighter frost and temperature down up to 18F.
Hot temperature can result in bitter tasting carrots.
Anything above 85F isn’t recommended for carrot plants.
Ideal temperature for growing carrot plant is 60-70F.
Though you’re here just to know about how much water your carrot plant need.
There are several things you must know as a gardener. Soil in which you’re growing your plant and the location of the plant all must be considered before setting the watering frequency.
Carrot plant thrives when you consistently keep the soil moist. For this, water the plant generously. An inch of water per week is required. You can easily inspect it by inserting your index finger into soil and check for dryness.
If 1 inch deep from the surface of the soil is dry, then water using garden hose till 4 inch deep soil is moist.