Overwintering Carrots

(moved from Hay vs Straw)

Before real cold weather sets in I put a generous pile of mulch on mature carrots that are still in the ground. Most years they make it through till spring, though sometimes if we have a cold winter without a good depth of snow the tops may freeze. They’re still good. Occasionally I lose the whole batch - it just depends on the winter. But it’s well worth the chance - it’s great to have fresh carrots at that time of year when everything stored is feeling old and creaky. They don’t last a real long time in the spring because they want to grow but it extends our season quite a bit. I also dig down once or twice in the winter to replenish my bucket of roots stored in the rootcellar. We eat a lot of carrots. Sue

The deep mulch usually keeps the ground from freezing, plus the snow insulates. The top mulch will often be frozen though and I just peel it back to dig the carrots (have to dig the snow off first). The ground isn’t frozen. It’s a real treat to dig in the dirt in the middle of winter! Sometimes the top few inches of dirt is frozen (and thus the top inch or so of the carrots) but the rest of the root is good. Those occasional years when the ground freezes deep then so do the carrots, but they can take a surprisingly amount of cold. This year with 2-3 ft of snow I’m not worried about frozen ground. Sue

As it turns out I won’t be digging any carrots mid winter because I can’t find them! I didn’t figure on 3 ft of snow. Guess I should have used taller stakes. Sue


I had my best crop of carrots ever this autumn, so decided to leave about 50 in the ground to overwinter. I went out yesterday and found them all mushy. They were only mulched with autumn leaves and they were not in a very sunny spot.

I had that happen with ginger. I’m in a warmer zone, and we do get snow, but I figured the stalks would be a marker for me. They withered and blew away. :thinking: Next time a stake goes in. :blush:

This also happened to ginger that I left in too long and didn’t protect from rain several years ago. Here I need to mulch and tarp and grow in a rodent protected area - not so much for ginger, but def for carrots - which I grow in pots. I just use utility wire to make small hoops and clothes pin a leave bag or other plastic to guide off the rain. Moisture freezing and thawing at the surface may be the culprit.


Bummer about your carrots. I pile a lot of mulch on my winter roots, more than on anything else. Hard to say how much, depends on what I have, but maybe a foot. Then as I dig some up I toss that mulch on top of the rest. Snow helps a lot. Thankfully we have sandy-loam soil, drains easily, so I don’t have the moisture problem Anne has. Sue

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I have a row of carrots planted late summer ,in my high tunnel , unheated,
No mulch. Iam shure it froze hard in there.
Possibly single digits , don’t know the soil temp…?
Came through the winter in perfect condition.
No damage whatsoever .


My neighbour puts whole square bales on top of a single row, then covers it with a tarp for easy access. She keeps these carrots till Jan, any later and they turn to mush. But remember, we get -30C in Jan. so those in warmer zones might be able to keep them longer.

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