Carrot seeds are very small. Check out my video on 3 WAYS TO PLANT CARROTS. My favourite method is mixed seeds and soil in a protein shaker. You then shake these seeds along a trench in your garden bed which is about 1cm deep. Cover with soil.
This method helps to evenly space the carrot seeds and prevents them from blowing away.
Carrots can be sown all year round. However, in cool climates, they are unlikely to germinate, or won't grow very much between June and August. They are frost tolerant, even the seedlings, so you can sow these now or in September.
Three ways to plant carrots
The result of the "sow tape" experiment was great. Good germination and well spaced. It is considerably more expensive than normal seeds. Personally I think my shaker method is the best: cheap and little thinning required.
Seeds vs Seedlings
Root vegetables always do better being planted from seed than seedlings so seeds all the way.
They grow well in containers but best to choose short varieties like Little Finger, Paris Market or Baby Amsterdam. These varieties are available from Happy Valley Seeds
Make sure your pot has coconut coir in the soil mix in order to retain moisture as pots are prone to drying out.
This is the practice of sowing a few seeds every few weeks in order to have a continuous crop. Carrots are a great example of a crop that does well being succession planted.
For example, say you intend to plant three rows of carrots, I would recommend you plant one in September, one in October and one in December. Then you will have carrots ripening every few weeks instead of 100 at once.
Carrots grow well near annual flowers like marigolds, or intercropped with leeks (plant from September) as these crops both discourage carrot fly. Carrots can also be attacked by aphids. These pests are attracted to yellow so try a yellow marigold variety or a sunflower nearby. Yellow also attracts ladybirds who feed on aphids but don't forget to leave our some water for your thirsty ladybirds.
Otherwise carrots grow well with lettuce, radishes, tomatoes and peas.
Carrots are not very hungry crops and can grow easily. However, all root crops need to have a great quantity of phosphorus in the soil than nitrogen otherwise you will have small roots and leafy greens.
Have you listened to my PODCAST - GROWING VEGETABLES DOWN UNDER? I have an episode on the basics of fertilising and it explains how to achieve this balance.
Carrots can be eaten at any size. However you generally want to wait until the carrot is about 1 inch in diameter. To determine this, scrap the soil away from around the top of the carrot and measure the top. Alternatively, carrots can also pop out of the a little when ready but you don't need to wait for this to happen.