Carrots grow best in climatic conditions of between 15 and 20°C .
Prolonged hot weather can injure young plants, retarding growth and causing undesirable strong flavour and coarseness in the roots. Cooler temperatures make the roots longer, more slender, and paler in color.
Deep sandy loam soils which are easy to work are best, allowing the carrot roots to develop and form well.
Carrot seeds are planted just under the surface in rows about 30-50cm apart. Closer spacing makes harvesting difficult and prevents air movement through the leaf canopy. Planting occurs during March to September for the spring crop in Pukekohe. Planting for the main crop production on Ohakune and South Island locations takes place from September to December.
Throughout the growing season, carrot rows are kept weed free and a disease and pest monitoring control programme is maintained to ensure maximum quality and growth.
Fresh-market carrot harvesting takes place during the months of October to January in Pukekohe and late January to October in main crop locations. In main crop locations, carrots are left in the ground as the cool temperatures halt deterioration.
Carrots are mechanically harvested by undercutting the roots and elevating them out of the soil by grasping the leaves. The carrots are transferred to storage containers for delivery to packhouse facilities where they are cleaned, washed, graded and packed ready for immediate delivery to your supermarket.
Carrots are handled as carefully as possible during the harvesting, washing and packing process to avoid damaging the roots.