Taking the right approach makes it easy to grow carrots in hot weather. To start, select a heat-tolerant variety, use high-quality soil, and water on a regular schedule. Then, add mulch to keep the soil moist. Plus, use a shade cloth to block the afternoon sun. Carrots will sprout and grow well in temperatures all the way up to 85°F (29°C). After that, they need help staying cool. Otherwise, your carrots will lose their sweetness and even develop a bitter taste. Their edible roots could get deformed and lose their natural color as well.
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Can You Grow Carrots in Hot Weather?
Although they are cool weather crops, carrots can grow in temperatures up to 85°F (29°C). Carrot seeds will typically germinate when temperatures range from 50–85°F (12–29°C). For best results, aim to sprout and grow carrots when temperatures are between 60–70°F (15–21°C).
- Carrots can grow in temperatures all the way up to 85°F (29°C).
- Temperatures between 60–70°F (15–21°C) work best for growing carrots.
- Overly warm temperatures cause the edible carrot root to grow improperly and lose its color.
- Carrots grown in high temperatures lose their sweetness and become bitter.
High temperatures often end up damaging the edible roots of the carrots. They may look deformed and lose their vivid color. Carrots grown in high heat will fail to develop their natural sweetness. In many cases, they’ll even end up tasting bitter.
5 Tips to Grow Carrots in Warm Weather
Growing carrots in temperatures above 85°F (29°C) is not ideal. But you can help them thrive by using these five tips.
- Pick heat-tolerant carrot varieties.
- Create a high-quality soil mix.
- Water your carrots regularly.
- Put mulch over the soil to keep it moist.
- Use shade cloth to block the afternoon sun.
Protecting your carrots from extreme heat will help ensure you get a good harvest. So, it’s well worth the extra time, money, and effort.
Pick Your Variety Carefully
Carefully select your variety when you buy carrot seedlings for a hot growing season. Heat-tolerant varieties, like Romance, can grow in hot weather without as much damage to the roots. Alternatively, select a variety with a short maturity date. The Nantes, for example, matures in just 62 days. By choosing a quick maturing variety, the heat does not have as much time to affect carrot growth.
Grow Carrots in Well-Drained Soil
The right soil density can help protect your carrots from the heat. For the best results, make your own soil mix using equal parts peat moss, sand or perlite, compost, and potting soil. Preserve the soil’s excellent draining characteristics by avoiding packing it down. This combination makes great soil for carrots during hotter days.
Water on a Regular Schedule
Carrots are at the highest risk of heat stress when the soil dries out. So, make sure to keep your carrots on a strict watering schedule and know when it’s time to water. On high-temperature days, check your carrots once in the morning and again at night. Keep the soil moist to about an inch or two down. Do not soak the carrots to the point of making puddles. As the water evaporates, it keeps the soil cool and prevents your carrots from getting too hot.
Add Mulch to Keep the Soil Moist
Mulch can help your soil stay moist as temperatures rise. With heavy mulch covering the ground, intense sunlight cannot dry out the top layer of soil as easily. Straw mulch works best for carrots and other root crops. Barring that, try shredded leaves, paper, or grass clippings. When watering, thoroughly wet the whole layer of mulch over your carrots. This will help it withstand the heat all day long.
Put Shade Cloth Over Your Plants
Shade cloth can help reduce soil temperatures. Carrots prefer to get 6–8 hours of sunlight per day. The best sunlight for these cool-weather crops comes in the morning and early afternoon hours. So, set up the shade cloth, like this one, in the mid-afternoon each day. Then, remove it as the sun goes down in the evening hours.
What Temperature is Too Hot for Carrots?
Anything over 85°F (29°C) is too hot for carrots. As cool weather crops, they prefer cool temperatures in the 60–70°F range (15–21°C). Planting your carrot seeds in the early spring and fall will yield the best results.
- Carrots do not grow well in temperatures above 85°F (29°C).
- The ideal range for growing carrots is 60–70°F (15–21°C).
- Temperatures below 50°F (12°C) are not great for carrots either.
- Carrots will grow fine even as temperatures drop below freezing occasionally.
- Prolonged freezing temperatures will kill your carrots and end the growing season.
Carrots grow best when temperatures stay above 50°F (12°C). But they will keep growing even as temperatures drop below freezing on occasion. The edible roots will grow pale if the freezing temperatures continue for too long. Soon after that, the plants will die, ending the carrot growing season.
Can Carrots Grow in Hot Climates?
Carrots can grow in hot climates if you take the right approach. Start by selecting heat-tolerant carrots and creating a high-quality soil mix. Then, water them on a regular schedule. Add mulch around the carrots to keep the soil from drying out. Use shade cloth in the afternoon hours to protect your carrots from intense sunlight.
- Heat-tolerant carrots work best if daytime temperatures will rise above 85°F (29°C).
- Carrots need a high-quality soil mix with equal parts compost, potting soil, sand, and perlite.
- Plan to water your carrots on a regular schedule to ensure moist soil all day long.
- A thick layer of straw mulch can help the soil retain moisture even on the hottest of days.
- Put up a shade cloth after your carrots get 8 hours of sunlight to protect them from the heat.
Most carrot varieties only thrive in temperatures up to 85°F (29°C). If you do not protect your carrots from high temperatures, they will stop growing properly. The roots might end up deformed and lose all their color. On top of that, your carrots won’t taste as sweet as they should. In the worst case, they might even taste outright bitter.
When you put in the effort to protect your carrots from heat, you’ll be rewarded with a nice harvest. Your fresh carrots will taste sweet and look picture perfect despite the high temperatures.