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Video: The Carrot Push-Pull Harvest Technique

The Carrot Push-Pull Harvest Technique

Do you have trouble harvesting carrots?  Maybe you have tough clay soil, or perhaps your soil is compacted? Or what if your soil is neither of those, but may still be difficult to get those carrots out of the ground without breaking off the leafy growth or the bottom of the growing tip?

I’ve had that happen to me many times and I have fairly loamy soil. As the season unfolds, rains and wind tend to firm up the soil, making it difficult to release the carrots from the ground.  

I would try to pull by holding onto the green stems, but the stems would break off. Then I tried to pull from the top of the carrot, but would just end up getting my hands sore, tired and dirty, as I struggled with each carrot top.  I even used a spade and a fork, but that didn’t work as well either.

Then after much fussing, pulling and frustration, I discovered an easier technique.

When a carrot grows in the soil, it develops a tight, airtight seal within the ground.  The longer it grows in the soil, the more tiny roots it develops along the length of the main root. Those tiny roots keep the carrot firmly planted in the soil, in a sort of suction cup environment. This “suction cup” situation is why a carrot is often difficult to pull from the soil. If you only have a few to pull, it isn’t as tiring. But imagine pulling a long row of carrots? That is exhausting work!

My Push-Pull technique is easy and quick and requires little effort. Once you try it, you won’t pull a carrot again the way you used to.

In this video, I show you how to harvest carrots using the “Push-Pull” technique.  I explain what it is and show you how I do it.  Since I started using this approach, I actually really enjoy harvesting carrots!

I hope this video makes your carrot harvesting experience an easy and fun one!

Happy Gardening!

1 Comment


    Great! Have a bed of carrots I’m thinning out now it’s the ‘Fall’ here in Australia. I’ve been snapping off greenery, sticking forks in, and generally cursing. Can’t wait to try this!


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Julia Dimakos

Hi, I'm Julia from Mono, Ontario, Canada. I began my gardening adventure after having children. Since then, my interest grew into a passion. I love growing vegetables, herbs, flowers, fruit and medicinal herbs. I'm here to show you that growing your own food is not difficult and in fact can be simple.