I’ve found I get get far better quality carrots and parsnips by sowing them in a mixture of compost and sand rather than my heavy clay soil. They’re in half barrels raised above the ground which is supposed to deter the carrot root fly, although I’ve not found it so. I think they fly as high as they want to!
By leaving them to grow on a bit I can take out thinnings at a reasonable size to cook. Being small they’re really tender and sweet, even raw. So they are excellent for salads as well.
You’d pay a fortune for these baby carrots in a restaurant!
The carrots left in the barrels just grow on to larger sizes that are suitable for storing.
Check out How to Grow Your Own Carrots