If you’re thinking about when to plant carrots in Colorado, know that the Centennial State’s cool climate makes it easier for gardeners to crow this crunchy veggie. Although carrots grow well in Colorado, you still need to know a thing or two about how you can get the most of your harvest.
When Can You Start Planting in Colorado?
There are two things you need to consider before starting a garden in Colorado: the climate and the type of vegetables to plant. To know the best time to start planting, you need to know your area’s plant hardiness zone.
Colorado has different microclimates and nine types of growing zones. This means that some plants may grow well in some areas and while some don’t. Despite the different zones, Colorado generally has a shorter growing season compared to other warmer and low altitude states.
Colorado is approximately 6,800 feet above sea level and every 1,000 feet higher, the temperature drops 3.5 degrees. Those living at lower elevations enjoy a warmer climate and longer growing seasons. This means that they’ll be able to plant a wide variety of vegetables.
With that said, it’s important to know your area’s Plant Hardiness Zone. Your garden will be more successful if you plant vegetables, herbs, etc. that grow well in your zone.
Take note of the frost dates
Most vegetables, including carrots, cannot thrive if there’s still frost in the soil. Gardeners and aspiring gardeners should know the first and last frost dates in their area. Simply put, take note of the date when frost stops showing up in spring, as well as the date when it reappears in the fall.
As mentioned, the dates vary depending on where you live. However, the last frost date in Colorado generally falls between May 15th and 30th. On the other hand, the first frost date is around September 15th, but in elevated areas, it can arrive early August.
If you have a spring garden, you can plant cold-season vegetables a few weeks or days before the last frost date. However, you should only plant warm-season crops once you’re sure that frost has passed.
There are several online sources for finding the frost dates in your area. It’s important to take note of those times and read the seed packets before planting your seeds.
What is the Best Month to Plant Carrots?
Carrots are classified as a cool-weather crop. This means that you can sow the seed when the soil temperature is at 50 degrees F, usually in the early spring. Keep in mind that this varies depending on where you live. For carrots, seed germination usually happens at 55 to 75 degrees F.
It’s best to use a soil thermometer to ensure that the soil’s temperature is accurate. Soil thermometers are inexpensive and you can purchase one from your local garden store. By using this tool every year, you’ll eventually know when to plant carrots in Colorado.
How Early Can You Plant Carrots?
If you’re planning to harvest carrots during summer, it’s best to sow the seeds from three to five weeks before the last frost date in the spring. You can plant new seeds every three weeks until late spring to ensure a plentiful harvest.
You can sow the seeds during mid to late summer or around 10 weeks before the first fall frost if you want to harvest carrots during fall. If you’re under Zone 3, it’s best to start seeds indoors in mid-June and harvest mid-September. If you’re under Zone 4, the best time to start seeds indoors is mid-April to harvest at the end of June; or start seeds by mid-July and harvest by the end of September.
If your area falls under Zone 5, you can start seed indoors during the first week of April and harvest on the last week of June; or start seed in the first week of August and harvest by mid-October. On the other hand, if you’re planting carrots in Zone 6, you may start seed indoors within the first week of April and harvest on the last week of June; or start seed indoors the first week of August and harvest by the last week of October. Lastly, if you’re in Zone 7, you may start seed indoors within the first few weeks of March and harvest mid-June; or start seed indoors on the first week of August and harvest last week of October.
Why Should You Grow Carrots in a Greenhouse?
Growing carrots in a greenhouse can extend your growing season; prevent pests and critters from eating your plants, and protect them from harsh weather.
Extend the growing season
Colorado weather and late frosts can shorten the growing season by weeks or even months. To extend the growing season, you can start planting seeds indoors and/or you can plant them in a greenhouse. You can create a microclimate inside your greenhouse, so regardless of the weather outside, your plants can continue to grow.
Prevent pests and critters
Critters and insects pose a threat to your carrots. They can munch on them and destroy your hard work. Deer, rabbits, woodchucks, and gophers are some of the four-legged animals that love to eat carrots. ON the other hand, insects like carrot rust flies and parsley worms can also damage your carrots.
Protect your plants from harsh weather
By keeping them inside a greenhouse, your plants are safe from heavy rains, excessive heat, and cold weather.
Now that you know when to plant carrots in Colorado, the next step is to look for a greenhouse. Even though greenhouses require a significant investment, the benefits of having one outweigh the price. Get in touch with Krostrade now to purchase high-quality, yet affordable greenhouses for any type of property.