Growing Carrots During the Winter

Last Updated on April 16, 2024 by Real Men Sow

There is often not much to do in the early spring. Unless, of course, you grow carrots during the winter in colder climates. As gardeners in warmer climates, we can leave them in the ground until spring and harvest fresh winter carrots from our garden.


Planning your summer garden is best done in the early spring. Carrots during the winter require a place that is covered in snow. The best natural insulation is snow.

Also, you want to be able to access the area in winter so that you can harvest last fall’s carrots and then cover them with snow or early spring. They also need to be in a sunny area to thrive.


Winter carrots should be planted 12 weeks before the first frost date. They can’t be harvested at this time, but they must be fully mature by then. If you are a short-season grower, it is best to plant them in the normal spring planting period. 

If you have a longer growing season than 12 weeks, it is best to start them in the fall. Winter will not allow this vegetable to grow, but they will stay fresh.

Carrots Winter Cover 

After you have picked all your carrots, you can cover them with straw or leaves in late fall. Mulching with leaves may be sufficient if you live in zone 5 or 5, and there is a lot of snow. You will need more protection the colder you live.

Our garden is zone 3-4. It is extremely protected and rarely drops below -40 degrees. Bags filled with straw and leaves plus a tarp are all you need. The tarp protects the vegetable from moisture.

You will need to cover more if you are in an open area. Local farmer covered his winter carrots in straw bales. He does however work with his tractor.


Winter carrots can still be harvested throughout the winter. This will be your January harvest experience. They can be grown in two years. Carrots grow roots in their first year and then produce seeds in the second. 

Second-year carrots are not suitable for consumption. When the snow has melted, you will want to get out in your garden and harvest the last carrots that are still dormant. You will be able to harvest sweet, crunchy carrots straight from the garden before any other plants can.

Real Men Sow
Real Men Sow

Hello, I’m Pete and I’m currently based in the west of Scotland, in a small place called Rosneath, where I’m exploring my garden adventures. I personally started gardening around 6 years ago and initially, I started out by growing my favorite fruits and berries, such as strawberries, Raspberries & Gooseberries. Since then I’ve added a lot of vegetables and working closely with my neighbor, it’s been a lot of fun.