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Purple, orange and yellow carrots await you

Grow Rainbow Carrots

You can enjoy a rainbow of colors in your meals if you grow carrots. What? You mean they’re not just orange? Let us explore.

They may take awhile to grow, but carrots can be one of the most satisfying crops to harvest. That’s mainly because you never know what you’re really getting until you pull them out from the earth. But what if you discovered this when you did:

Purple, orange and yellow carrots await you
Purple, orange and yellow carrots await you

Funky shapes and colors are part of growing carrots at home. The varieties account for color. Above you can see (left to right) Cosmic Purple, Scarlet Nantes, and Yellowstone carrots. The shape is another story.

When planting carrots, we are supposed to thin out seedlings that are too close together. If you don’t, they tend to mingle, like the “mother and child” carrots on the right. Compacted and clay soil, as well as root nematodes can also cause misshaped root crops.

Nutrients also account for shape. Too little phosphorus or potassium and you get stunted growth. That said, carrots are fun no matter what shape they turn out. They’re a root, after all, and roots are obviously adaptable to their surroundings. Carrots are a survivalist crop!

Choose interesting heirloom and open pollinated varieties to grow. Our favorites, in addition to the above mentioned varieties are:

Tonda di Parigi – round and orange

Little Finger – 3-inch deep orange carrots

Atomic Red – red orange, long and pointy

Family portrait - (left to right) Uncle Nantes, Mother, child and papa Yellowstone, and the sexy couple with their dog.
Family portrait – (left to right) Uncle Nantes, Mother, child and papa Yellowstone, and the sexy couple with their dog.

Have fun growing a rainbow of of carrots in your garden this spring!

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Chris Ingram

    Christy, I thought that I’d follow up … the Purple Cosmic carrots did great when I didn’t use the pods. Next time I’ll plant many more directly in the ground.

  2. Chris Ingram

    Here in Southern California, I have some of these seeds. I planted too early and only got 3 sprouts that survived. When is the best time to plant these, and is using those “peat pods” a good way to get a better yield from seeds?!

    1. Christy

      I admit, I’m not a big fan of peat pods. They tend to dry out quickly and leave people with disappointing results. I prefer to use 4″ pots with seed starting mix that has plenty of vermiculite to keep soil moist longer.

      I grow my carrots in the fall. They sprout and grow with ease in cooler weather. You can also plant them in early spring, but once it gets hot, they tend not to do well. Try again this October, and seeding them directly in the soil if you can (carrots don’t transplant well). I think you’ll have better results.

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