Carrots divide into early or main crop varieties – early varieties mature in around 12 weeks, and main crops in 16 weeks.
Choose main crops if you want to store your carrots. Having prepared your soil in the late winter by forking over, rake in a little fertiliser around 7 days before sowing your carrot seeds. Choose a sunny day free from rain as your sowing day, and create a shallow drill – 2 to 3 cm deep – and sow the seeds thinly along the line. Cover over the seeds with soil; if there is still a possibility of frost, use protective fleece or a cloche. Water in. Germination usually takes around 2 weeks. When the seedlings have sprouted and have developed leaves, thin these out to leave 4 to 5 cm gaps between plants – the size of the roots depends on the size of the gap.
Always keep your carrots well watered as dry conditions will produce woodier, coarse roots. Other than this the plants should develop on their own with little further attention.