Winter Garden Fail – Overwintering Carrots

My harvest basket returned home empty tonight.

I had high hopes as I went to the garden to see if I could harvest some of the carrots that I had overwintered in the garden.  These carrots were not very sweet-tasting last fall so I decided to leave them in ground and cover them with a foot of straw.  I was hoping that the cold would sweeten them up and we could have carrots from the garden in the spring.

As you can see in the picture below, the carrots did not fare well over the winter.  I’m not sure if it was the constant change in temperature that we had this winter or something else, but the carrots turned to mush.  Stinky mush!

Since we’re not completely dependent on the garden for our food we’ll be okay without the carrots, but I’d like to try again next year and successfully keep carrots in the garden over the winter.

Have you overwintered carrots in your garden before? Any tips? 


9 thoughts on “Winter Garden Fail – Overwintering Carrots

  1. Such a disappointment for you! I hope you get some good tips as I’d love to know how to do this as well. I know some people make root cellars and others dig them up and store them in damp sand, but as you say you wanted to sweeten them up…. what about the variety, maybe there are some that are better for over-wintering?

  2. I’m really surprised this didn’t work. I overwintered carrots a year ago in almost exactly the same manner (raised bed, lots of straw) and they were perfect come spring. I had meant to do it again last year but we had poor germination and didn’t have as many carrots so ended up eating them all before winter. Definitely try this again as it can work.

    • There is hope! I’m happy to hear this has worked for you before Marguerite, especially since we’re in the same geographic area. I have a feeling it might have been the wonky weather we had all winter – so much freeze and thaw that the poor carrots didn’t have a chance.

  3. Sorry to hear about your carrots. I have yet to experience success with carrots in our raised beds. Do not give up! keep trying (and let me know your secret;)

  4. Sorry to hear this Marcelle, but it was definitely worth a try, and I’m happy to hear you’ll try again next year! I don’t have any experience, but am interested to read on and see what people are saying!

  5. I accidentally overwintered a handful of carrots. I thought I had gotten them all and what-do-you-know I went out today to turn my soil for the spring and there they were pert and happy as you please. I’ve never done that before, as this is only my third year gardening. I actually came here attempting to find out if overwintered carrots were alright to eat. And here I see that some people do it on purpose! I ha covered my garden with LOADS of leaves last winter, I guess it protected them sufficiently.

    • What a nice surprise! How cold does the winter get where you live? Maybe next year I’ll try leaves instead of straw and see what happens. I’m always up for experimenting. Thanks for commenting!

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