Clewis.ak2011
Newly Registered
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Aug 04, 2015 10:01 pm

Leaving carrots in the ground

I live in Juneau, Alaska...wondering if I can leave my carrots in the ground for Sept and Oct while I'm away? Should I cut the tops off so they will stop growing? Will they get too big if I leave them?
I'm not worried that they will freeze, just get too big. Same question for beets :D thanks!

User avatar
jal_ut
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 7480
Joined: Mon Jan 19, 2009 3:20 am
Location: Northern Utah Zone 5

Re: Leaving carrots in the ground

I believe you are OK to leave them in the ground. I would not worry about the tops. You will want to get them out before a hard freeze though that may freeze them.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

Clewis.ak2011
Newly Registered
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Aug 04, 2015 10:01 pm

Re: Leaving carrots in the ground

Thanks for your response!
More specifically about the tops...if you cut the tops off, will the carrots stop growing?
Our carrots tend to get huge and woody if left too long.

Peter1142
Green Thumb
Posts: 313
Joined: Sun Apr 13, 2014 1:23 pm
Location: SE NY ZONE 6B

Re: Leaving carrots in the ground

Carrots regrow tops if cut off.
Zone 6b SE NY
My blog Peter's Vegetable Garden

User avatar
jal_ut
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 7480
Joined: Mon Jan 19, 2009 3:20 am
Location: Northern Utah Zone 5

Re: Leaving carrots in the ground

Well, carrots do tend to get huge. I have not found them to go woody. Might be the variety? May I suggest you try several varieties next season? You may find something that goes well with your garden conditions?

Here with my heavy clay type soil, the short types do better. I have no luck with the long carrots.
Royal Chantenay is my best variety.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

User avatar
applestar
Mod
Posts: 28163
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Re: Leaving carrots in the ground

Why aren't you worried that they might freeze? Wouldn't you have frost by Oct if not Sept and ground freezing a month or so after that?

I think if you cut off the tops and force the carrots to regrow their tops, they will take what they need from the roots, deteriorating their quality.

Carrots are said to get sweeter after first couple of frosts because like most plants, they will convert stored starch in the roots into sugar as natural anti-freeze. In Japan where regional gourmet branding is the popular agri-marketing practice, they sell post frost carrots harvested in northern, snowbound prefectures as "Snow Carrots" -- a gourmet seasonal item only available for limited time in limited volume.

Are you going to miss the harvesting window? Would it be better to harvest and store in root cellar or something? Or maybe force the carrots to go dormant by heavy mulching and preventing the tops from re-growing.

...I can only speculate because here, if left too long, carrots are riddled with tunnels by wireworms as well as carrot fly maggots. I usually let those overwinter and bloom next year. Sometimes, burrowing animals -- chipmunks, field mice, etc.-- find them and they don't come back. :evil:
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

Return to “Vegetable Gardening Forum”