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    Our gourmet carrot varieties can be ...

    Check out all our carrot varieties: Danvers Half Long

    Carrots May Be The First Vegetable You Ever Ate

    Carrots May Be The First Vegetable You Ever Ate

    Crunchy, sweet, yet kind of bitter at the same time, carrots are an enduring favorite vegetable among a large swath of the population: the average annual per capita consumption of fresh carrots in the U.S. over the past decade or so is 8.8 pounds. That’s a lot of carrots! And, we’re also guessing they might be one of the first vegetables—and, indeed, maybe even the first “solid” food—you were ever fed as a baby.

    Interesting Facts About Carrot Plants

    Carrots—Daucus carota subsp. sativus—are an annual vegetable and member of the Apiaceae or Umbelliferae family, which also includes parsnips. Less predictably, the family also includes parsley, dill, and fennel, to name a few.
    Carrots are a domesticated form of the wild carrot, Daucus carota, which originated in Europe and southwestern Asia about 5,000 years ago, also known as bishop’s lace or Queen Anne’s lace.
    We normally think of carrots being orange, but they can also be yellow, red, purple, and white. Baby carrots, by the way, are not a separate mini, variety of carrot. Rather, they are milled, sculpted versions of immature, misshapen or undersized carrots that otherwise would have been discarded due to their appearance.
    Many people are not aware that cooked carrots are more nutritious than raw carrots because the cooking process releases additional nutrients, such as beta carotene.
    And even though that famously-elusive cartoon character, Bugs Bunny, seemed to love carrots, the actor who played his voice, Mel Blanc, reported abhorred them.

    Guide to Growing Carrots From Seed

    DIFFICULTY

    Easy

    SUN

    Ideally full sun (minimum of 6 hours) but carrots can tolerate some shade.

    WATER

    Keep carrots consistently moist. If they happen to dry out, don’t drench them with water to make up for it as that will cause their roots to split. As always, take care not to over-water when the seeds are first planted. Similar to most plants, early morning watering is best.

    SOIL

    Loose soil is preferable though this variety can tolerate heavier soil than most. Enrich with mature compost before planting. Soil temperatures should be at least 50 degrees F.

    AIR

    60°F to 65°F

    TIMING

    Direct sow 3 to 5 weeks before the anticipated last spring frost. Plant again every 2-3 weeks after that for continuous harvest. In zone 8 and warmer, plant in fall or winter.

    PLANTING

    Direct sow seeds outdoors 3-4” apart in rows. Space rows at least 12” apart.

    GERMINATION

    14-21 days. Ideal germination temperature: 55-75° F; will not germinate above 95° F.

    TIME TO HARVEST

    70 days

    FEEDING

    Add organic fertilizer sparingly to the soil 30 days after germination. Choose a formulation with more potassium and phosphate than nitrogen, such as 0-10-10 or 5-15-15.

    MULCH

    Add mulch as seedlings develop to retain moisture and discourage weeds.

    PESTS & DISEASES

    While carrots are resistant to insect pests and diseases, they are favorites of deer, rabbits, woodchucks and gophers and must be protected.

    SPECIAL CONSIDERATIONS

    Weed regularly to eliminate any competition for water or nutrients.

    COMPANION PLANTS

    Beans, Radish, Lettuce, Tomatoes, Onions, Peas. Don’t plant with Anise, Dill or Parsley.

    CONTAINER-FRIENDLY?

    Yes, at least 12” deep. A bigger container is better.

    Harvesting Carrots

    Harvesting CarrotsCarrots’ flavor improves as they grow. You can harvest them as soon as they’re big enough to eat, or you can wait until they all mature for a single harvest. Harvesting will be easier if you soak their garden bed with water before pulling them up. In northern climates, be sure to harvest them before the ground freezes. Otherwise, you could leave them in the ground all winter, harvesting them when the ground thaws as long as you cover them with at least a foot of mulch. Cutting the greens off after harvest will ensure they keep longer. Refrigerate in a plastic bag.

    Growing Carrots—Highlights

    • Carrots are a popular root vegetable that are easy to grow.
    • They’re relatively slow-growing but the seeds can be sown outside early in spring as they can tolerate cool temperatures.
    • Direct sow these seeds in the outdoor garden; carrots do not like to be transplanted.
    • The seed variety we sell—Danvers Half Long—is a popular heirloom seed originating in 1871. It is a reliable producer yielding large, firm, tasty orange carrots.
    • It will grow best in loose, well-worked soil, though the roots of this “blocky” variety can push through heavier soils than many other carrot varieties.
    • Like many vegetables you can grow in your garden, carrots are low in calories and high in fiber. They’re a great source of vitamins and beta carotene which promotes good eyesight as well as a healthy immune system. They are 88% water which makes them hydrating as well.

    Here at Bentley Seeds, we want to set you up for success. Our growing guides are designed to give you all the information you'll need to start growing carrots from seed, in an easy-to-digest format.

    We also encourage you to print out a copy as a handy reference in your garden.

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