So if you are just getting started out, this check list is for you!
Welcome to my post on carrots! My rabbit loves carrots, my kids love carrots, my dog loves carrots and I friggan love carrots. So what did we want to try out this year?
COLORS: there's more than orange!
Yes and a bountiful array at that.. Besides the bright orange we all know and adore, carrots have hues in the reds, purples, yellows, off-white and bi-color families.
VARIETIES: seed packs, there are many.. here are a few!
‘Kaleidoscope Mix’ – Or 'Rainbow Mix' This seed pack is a beautiful mix of carrots and will result in a harvest of every color there is to offer. The mix includes ‘Atomic Red', ‘Bambino’, ‘Cosmic Purple’, ‘Lunar White’ and ‘Solar Yellow’. As you harvest your carrots during the summer it will be as colorful as a rainbow.
Rainbow Mix carrot seed packs (qty:2) $2.85
‘Atomic Red’ – Just like its name, atomic red is a deep reddish hue inside and out. Believed to be one of the best and sweetest carrots that there is. This brilliant red carrot is high in lycopene. Studies have shown lycopene to help prevent many forms of cancer. This variety is highly rated by gardeners who have previously grown it.
400 seed atomic red carrot pack $6.95
‘Solar Yellow’ – Vibrant like the sun, solar yellow has a nice bright flesh inside and out that is sweet and crisp. Its bright vibrancy is highly sought after in any chef's table around the globe.
100 seed solar yellow carrot pack $1.76
‘Black Nebula’ – Even though it says black, we are really talking about a dark purple hue that is naturally occurring in carrots called anthocyanins. These black beauties grow very well in southern American rocky soil gardens. Heirloom types like this shouldn't be left to extinction.
150 seed black nebula carrot pack $7.99
‘Purple Haze’ – An All-American Seed winner and first purple Imperator-shaped carrot to be introduced. The quintessential bi-colored purple carrot! My favorite!! With an orange interior and purple exterior, these puppies look the prettiest when cut on the diagonal! Show stoppers and extremely yummy to boot.
500 seed purple haze carrot pack $6.45
‘Snow White’ – Off-White varieties were very common during the middle ages up until the 19th century when they started to become more and more scarce. Off-white carrots are becoming popular again amongst foodies and small growers alike. This variety is a creamy, white carrot with a delicious, mild flavor that doesn't look as appetizing as the other colors but yeilds a softer replication of the orange carrots flavor. It's lovely, cut into diagonals and mixed in with other varieties on a salad.
200 seed Snow White carrot pack $6.45
'Orange Bolero'- 75 day turn around, resistant to Alternaria Blight and Powdery Mildew! This is a high-yielding Nantes-type carrot that stays sweet even in storage. 6-7” with a 1 ½” crown and cylindrical shape. An all over good orange carrot staple!
500 seed bolero carrot pack $6.45
Grab this heirloom value-pack of seeds for your 'just in case sh*t happens' with over 30 types of seeds to get a garden going! These are from a non-gmo provider and costs roughly $43 for the pack!
15,000 Heirloom seeds variety garden pack - $43
SHAPES: there's different shapes?
Yes and they include Danvers, Nantes, Imperator, Chantenay and Golden Ball or (Mini) shaped.
'Danvers '– They are somewhat long, skinny, tapered to a point and typically are orange in color. They are more suitable for poor soil and their name comes from where they hail in Danvers, Massachusetts.
Danvers seeds available $6.99
'Nantes' – This type is cylindrical, has little foliage and near red colored flesh that is sweet and nice crunch. Their name is taken from the Atlantic coast of France where the area is ideal for growing this type of carrot. This category can also be referred to as Scarlet Nantes, Early Coreless or Nante Superior. There is estimated to be over 40 different varieties of carrots that fall into this category. A very quick growing carrot and matures fast. Preferred varieties include: ‘Napoli’, ‘Napa’, ‘Touchon’ or ‘White Satin.’
Nantes seeds available $4.95
'Imperator' – This category is what most commercial farmers produce. The imperator is commonly found in grocery stores across the country. They are very similar looking to Danvers, but thicker in width and often a higher sugar content than the other categories. Often used for juicing and found in the bulk aisle of the produce section, these beauties are often bought by the pound. The foliage is vigorous and fast growing. Think giant variety of the carrot here. Varieties include: ‘Japanese Imperial Long’, ‘Cosmic Red’ or ‘Sugarsnax 54.'
Imperator seeds available $5.99
'Chantenay' – Before Nantes were developed this stubby category was the best to plant in heavy or rocky soil due to its size. Chantenay only reach 6 to 7 inches long making them very short and stout. These are a great choice for those gardening in containers or soil described above. However, it is important to harvest at the length mentioned because they do become not so tasty if harvested too late in the season. Varieties include: ‘Red-Cored Chantenay’, ‘Hercules’ or ‘Carson Hybrid.'
Chantenay seeds available $3.25
'Golden Ball or Mini' – Shaped like radishes or mini beets, they work extremely well for those gardening in containers due to their short taproot and small needed growing area. The mini carrots only reach about 3 to 4 inches long are typically served whole with the tops attached. Usually seen in French cooking, these radish-shaped varieties are typically cross-sectioned to see the awesome circular pattern inside. Varieties include: ‘Babette’, ‘Romeo’ or ‘Paris Market.'
'Parisian' carrot seeds available $9.99
SEEDS: which brands to buy?
There are so many non-gmo companies or Organic companies available but here is a short list of the top 6 from 2020.
6 Terrific Seed Companies from 2020
(1) Park Seed
(2) Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds
(3) Hudson Valley Seeds
(4) Pinetree Garden Seeds
(5) Johnny's Selected Seeds
(6) Renee's Garden