Harvesting Carrots - watch their tops
Harvesting carrots is simple, and knowing when they're ready to harvest is just as easy. All you have to do is watch their tops - the tops of the roots that is.
Carrots generally have way more up top than what's beneath the surface, so you might get fooled into thinking that it's time to harvest them, just because their greens up top are 2 feet high. If you've been vegetable gardening with root crops, then you know that looks up top can be deceiving.
The way you can tell that carrots are ready is to watch for the root forming at the ground level. Almost all carrots show themselves before they're ready to be harvested.
Look for a nice wide root protruding a bit above the soil level, and that's when you know that the carrot is ready to be pulled.
If you planted your carrots at the same time, you can always pull out a "test carrot" to check on the development of the rest. Be sure to pull one that appears to be representative of the bunch, otherwise you might get a "pre-me" and think your whole crop is behind the power curve.
It's not uncommon for some carrots to be small for their age, so your "test carrot" should be representative of the bunch.
When harvesting carrots, there are two approaches you can take - pulling and digging. Usually carrots can be pulled out by their green tops. If you wiggle the carrot around a bit while it comes out, you can knock off soil that might otherwise cling to the root.
If you dig out your carrots, be careful to use a fork and just loosen the soil surrounding the carrots, then pull them out by the green tops. A digging fork, like a potato fork, should be a perfect tool for loosening the soil to retrieve your carrots.
A digging fork will fit between rows and wiggling it back and forth should be sufficient to loosen the roots that you're after without disturbing the other plants that will remain in the ground for a later harvest.
Done with Harvesting Carrots, take me back to Harvesting Vegetables