Frequently Asked Questions About Carrot Seeds
Where do carrot seeds come from?
When you buy carrots from the grocery store, you may notice that some come with their green tops still attached. When carrot seeds are planted, green stalks will bolt; these turn into the leafy green tops and eventually, if left alone, will soon sprout white flowers with seeds on their ends. This is where carrot seeds come from! Since carrots are biennials, you will grow carrots for consumption in the first year, and then in the second year, "umbels'' are produced, which are the white flowers. In general, we recommend buying seeds instead of trying to produce your own every two years.
How to plant carrot seeds?
For the best results, start by generously watering the area in which you plan to plant your carrot seeds. Sow seeds directly and shallowly. Water thoroughly and continue to water the area consistently until the seeds germinate. Try to keep the topsoil moist. You can try using a row cover to help prevent evaporation.
Carrot seeds will grow down into the soil, and the shape of the roots/carrots depends on the soil composition. Carrots are still edible if they are misshapen, which happens when a carrot encounters something in its growing space, like a rock for example. If you want perfect, uniform, straight carrots, work your soil and ensure it has a fine, smooth composition. Sow multiple seeds per spot and thin as the carrots germinate. You want to ensure carrot seeds have plenty of room to grow.
How long does it take for carrot seeds to germinate?
Carrot seeds have a long germination period of between two to three weeks. Carrot seeds do better in cool temperatures, so it is recommended to plant carrot seeds in early spring and fall. The colder temperatures will also make the carrots sweeter.
Once the carrot seeds germinate, start to create little mounds around the stalks. Carrots will grow up out of the soil, so building the soil up will prevent any green shoulders.
When are carrots ready to harvest?
Harvest carrots when they are a bright orange and at your preferred size. In general, the brighter the color, the better the flavor. Once harvested, store carrots at a cold temperature.
How long do carrot seeds last?
When properly stored, carrot seeds can last up to three years. The best way to store carrot seeds is to first ensure any leftover seeds are dry. Keep seeds in an airtight container, out of sunlight and humidity. This should keep your carrot seeds in good condition and ready for use each year.