How Far Apart to Plant Carrots

When planting carrots, it’s important to ensure they have plenty of room to grow. Their long roots and overall bulk mean that these vegetables need space to grow properly. When carrots are cramped together, they can’t achieve their full growth potential and may end up stunted or deformed. Keep reading to find out how to avoid crowding your carrots.


Spacing Your Seeds

The first time you need to consider space for your carrot plants is when planting the seeds. Once your carrot patch is tilled and groomed and ready to be planted, you’ll want to put those tiny little seeds in at just the right distance from one another.

While there are guidelines printed on the seed packs, the fact is that at the starting point, you don’t need to worry too much about spacing. Many gardeners just sprinkle their seeds over the damp soil and then spread a bit more dirt over them.

Because you’ll be thinning shortly after full germination, this method works just as well as carefully planting each tiny seed half an inch from every other seed.

Thinning Your Carrots for Proper Growth

Once your carrot seeds have germinated and are about four inches tall, you’ll thin them. Around four weeks later, you’ll need to thin again.

  • Thinning eliminates plants that may be weak or not thriving.
  • The first thinning will let you remove plants that are too close together.
  • This thinning should result in plants that are around an inch apart.
  • The second thinning lets you make sure your plants are far enough apart to grow well


  • During this thinning, you will likely pull up baby carrots that are small, tasty, and edible.
  • When you’re done with thinning number two, your plants should be about and inch and a half to two inches apart.

Why Carrots Need Space

Carrots need a great deal of space to grow. In addition to the obvious need for depth, carrots also need room for their “shoulders” to develop. If two plants are too close together, they can often become deformed or end up under-sized.

It’s easy enough to plant and thin your carrots so they have plenty of room, and the small amount of work involved is more than worth it when you end up with big, beautiful carrots.