Can Carrots Survive Frost?

Carrots are a delicious, healthy vegetable that are easy to grow. Carrots can survive frost and grow well in temperatures as low as 20 degrees Fahrenheit. Growing carrots in the cold can actually enhance their taste.

This article will explore all you need to know to successfully grow carrots in cold and frost conditions.

Covering Carrots for Frost

While carrots can survive cool weather and even a light frost, if there’s going to be a hard frost, you should cover your carrots in the garden.

All root vegetables—such as carrots, turnips, and beets—are hardy and can survive cooler weather and light frosts. The colder it gets, and the longer the cold weather persists, the more important it is to cover your carrots so the cold doesn’t kill them or harm their growth.

You can use mulch to cover your carrots before a frost. Simply sprinkle on a layer of straw the night before the frost and then gently rake it off once the frosts have passed the next day.

You can also cover carrots with garden fabric and remove it in the morning.

How Cold is Too Cold for Carrots?

There’s no need to worry about carrots when it’s cold outside until the temperature gets to around 20 degrees Fahrenheit. Carrots are tough vegetables and will survive these cold conditions.

Even if the leaves of the carrots start to look a little damaged the roots will be protected underground and the plant will continue to grow.

Mulching around carrot plants is a great way to regulate the soil temperatures. Sprinkle straw mulch around the plants to protect the soil.

Carrots Can Survive a Spring Frost

Carrots are tough root vegetables with a large part of the plant growing underground. This protects the plant in cold weather and helps them to survive a light spring frost.

It’s only when the temperatures get below 20 degrees or the cold weather remains for a long period of time that you’ll need to make sure the carrots are covered, or at the very least, have a layer of mulch to keep them much warmer.

Carrots Taste Better After a Frost

When frost or cold weather develops, vegetables such as carrots have a defense mechanism that allows the sugar content to increase. This is because the extra sugar stops ice crystals from forming so the plant is safer and more likely to survive.

It is a physiological reaction to the cold weather, and it results in a much tastier and sweeter carrot. This is also a natural response that keeps predators away from the carrot, but it’s a good thing for anyone who wishes to eat the carrots after they’re grown.

Heavy frosts can do damage to the cells of a carrot, but this natural defense mechanism means a much higher sugar content and, therefore, a much sweeter and yummier carrot.

You Can You Leave Carrots in the Ground Through the Winter

Carrots are an interesting vegetable. You can leave them in the ground through the winter, and it won’t hurt them, but you’ll have to make sure you harvest them before the spring arrives.

In the spring, your carrots will start to flower. This, unfortunately, renders them inedible, and they’ll likely have to be thrown out and not eaten. That’s why it’s necessary to either remove the carrots from the ground before winter arrives or remove them before spring.

If you’re going to keep your carrots underground until the spring, it’s best if you cover them first. This is to make sure the carrots don’t get too cold during the winter months.

What Happens to Carrots When the Weather Gets Too Cold?

If carrots get too cold or remain in cold temperatures for too long, they can become too long and too pale. Sometimes, it affects the taste of the carrot, and other times it doesn’t. This mainly depends on how long the weather remains cold and what growing zone you live in.

Keep in mind that in many growing zones, you can keep the carrots underground all winter long. Normally, carrots are harvested in late fall before it gets to be winter time.

If you live in zones 4 and 5, you can prepare your carrots for winter by covering them with some type of mulch. The colder and snowier your winters are, the more important it is to cover your growing carrots and make sure they are not too exposed to these conditions.


Carrots are a hardy vegetable that can survive frost and cold temperatures as long as it doesn’t get too cold for long periods of time. Ideally, they’ll be harvested in late fall or early spring before the first frost arrives. If it gets too cold in the winter, you should cover them.