Colourful carrots

There are so many different types of carrot you can grow in your garden, many of them vibrantly coloured heirloom varieties.

'Purple Dragon' variety of carrot.
Photo: Kirsten Bresciani

Carrots come in all kinds of different shapes and sizes as well as an array of colours, such as purple, black, white, yellow and red, as well trusty ol’ orange. The rainbow of variety alone is a good reason to have a crack at growing your own carrots, but the main reason why Paul West likes to grow his own carrots is the flavour. He's written a detailed feature to guide you in your growing efforts (it appears in OG Issue 124) but here's a few ideas to get you started. 

Sowing seed

When you’re ready to plant, give the bed a good soaking so that your seeds go into moist soil. Then, gently press a length of dowel or garden stake horizontally into the soil to create a row that’s about 1cm deep to plant into.  If you’re growing more than one row, space them around 30cm apart to give them plenty of space to grow. 

Carrots hate being transplanted, so give punnets of carrot seedlings a miss and sow your seeds directly. Carrot seeds are tiny and can be a little fiddly to evenly sow, so sprinkle them sparingly along the rows or, mix a packet of seeds with 1–2 cups of clean river sand, making sure the seed is evenly dispersed and sprinkle the sand/seed mix thickly along your rows. 

Planting carrot seeds by Justin Russell

Once the seeds are in the ground, it’s critical to keep the soil moist until the seeds germinate, you can even leave an old plank of wood, a bit of hessian or an old cotton sheet over the rows to prevent them drying out during germination. But make sure you remove the covers as soon as the seed has sprouted. 

Growing it straight

The key to straight carrots is deep, friable soil, which means nice and loose with no stones, pebbles or compaction that will interrupt the steady downward growth of the taproot. These sorts of obstacles can lead to forking and other deformities. Good drainage is also a must. And remember, while we aim for perfectly shaped carrots, those that are bent, twisted and split are still great for eating.

Don't forget, you can get Paul West's full article by purchasing a copy of OG Issue 124!


Paul West is one of our regular contributors and he's written about a number of different topics over the years. Here's a couple of his articles:

Might mini pumpkins

Tomatoes for all occasions

How to get the native bee buzz -- just add bees!


By: Paul West

First published: March 2021

Related topics

Plants & Vegetables, All Gardens, Paul West, carrots, healthy harvest, homegrown, Issue 124 -- March/April 2021, Vegetables