When to Harvest Carrots
How to tell when your carrots are ready to be harvested?
Carrots are such a mysterious vegetable to grow. Because of their long germination rate, that can have you doubting if they will ever start growing. When they eventually begin growing, you never really know what’s happening under the surface. The leafy greens on the top only really tell you if the carrot is alive or not (big leaves don’t mean big carrots).
So how do you know when to pull your carrots from the ground? Check the shoulders! As your carrots start to grow big and round, you will see some orange peeking out of the soil at the base of the leaves (where they all join together). This part of the root that starts popping out above the soil surface is known as the shoulders of the carrot.
Gently scrape the soil off the shoulders until you can see the whole carrot top. If the top is still tiny, you can cover the shoulders and leave the young roots to grow a bit longer. Remember that the younger carrots are much sweeter and juicier than more mature carrots. You can harvest the carrots once the shoulders have reached the size you are looking for.
Did you know that carrots are one of the few more nutritious vegetables once cooked? The cell walls of carrots are so strong that our stomachs hardly process any of the nutrients when we eat raw carrots. Steaming, boiling, and juicing are all ways to break down the cell walls and release the trapped nutrients.