Plant your carrot seeds carefully so you don’t get them too thick. This requires vigorous thinning which, unfortunately, doesn’t always get done and it severely impacts your harvest to little or no harvest. Plant them about 1/4″ deep in well tilled soil, about half an inch apart. Make sure the rows remain damp but not wet or the tiny germinating seeds may dry up instead of growing. Thin to an inch apart when the seedlings show their first “carrot” leaves; the frilly pretty ones. Don’t get in too much of a hurry to plant in the spring; although carrots will germinate in cold soil, letting it warm up a little makes germination time much faster and they won’t get overwhelmed by weeds. Harvest when finger-sized to eat fresh or let get larger for freezing or canning.
Carrots are biennial, requiring two years to produce seed. Just leave a few carrots in your garden over winter. They will begin growing in the spring and soon will produce pretty white flowers, similar to wild Queen Anne’s Lace. (In fact, carrots can cross with this wildflower so if you have it growing near your garden, cut off the blooms while your carrots are blooming to prevent unappetizing crosses.) The seeds form in umbels and when dry, you may carefully cut the stems and place in a paper bag. Shake the bag and shatter the seed heads. When the seeds are completely dry, store in an airtight container.
CARROTS about 500 seeds per pack
Imperator If you have good loose soil, this is the carrot for you! Imperator was the ancestor of the modern hybrid carrots like you buy in the store. They are long and quite thin. Carrots of over 12” are common so you get a lot of eating per carrot. And they are sweet and crisp too. 68 days.
Kuroda This Japanese carrot has become one of our standbys. Not only is it very flavorful but it handles less than perfect soil and growing conditions just fine. AND it is a large carrot, often weighing a pound or so, yet not getting tough or woody. 67 days or longer for very large, prizewinning carrots.
Scarlet Nantes Carrots don’t get better than this old heirloom favorite. Mature carrots are about seven inches long and finger shaped with a blunt tip. They are very sweet and crisp as well as being uniform and easy to grow. 66 days
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