Carrot Varieties

Carrot Varieties

Read an introduction to carrot varieties here.

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About Carrot Varieties

Loved by children, quick maturing, and available in a wonderful variety of colours, carrots are often chosen as one of the first crops to grow. With luck, the first attempt will go well and produce a good harvest, as fresh ground may be free from the notorious carrot fly. From year two onwards, carrots can be much harder to grow as a carrot fly attack can spoil a crop, resulting in ugly black wounds on the flesh of the carrots. The remedy is to grow the carrots at height, for example in barrels, troughs, or large pots (carrot flies are low flying) or protected by insect netting.

Homegrown carrots taste different to shop bought carrots. The carrot taste is more intense, and the flesh less watery. With carrots being so cheap in the shops, it is tempting to grow unusual carrot varieties. Carrots come in a variety of different sizes and colours:

  • Rainbow carrots (there is a range of skin colours from purple to white)
  • Colourful flesh carrots (deep purple and red fleshed carrots can have higher nutritional value)
  • Round carrots
  • Early carrots that go in the ground earlier in the year (protect with cloches or a growing tunnel), and mature quickly, but are often smaller than main crop carrots
  • Main crop carrots that take longer to mature than earlies, but usually end up bigger
  • Carrot varieties that claim to offer resistance to carrot fly (I have had mixed results with these)

By selecting early and main crop varieties, it is possible to enjoy homegrown carrots from early summer to late autumn. Carrots keep well too, and if the soil is not too wet, they can be left in the ground through winter until needed. Mark the line of carrots (to remember where they are), and in particularly cold areas, you may like to cover the row with straw to protect from frost damage.