Alphabetical Plant Listing

Daucus carota subsp. sativus (Carrot)

Carrot


Crunchy, tasty, and packed with vitamins, Carrots (Daucus carota subsp. sativus) are cool-season vegetables used in countless dishes worldwide. Grown for their nutritious, fleshy, straight, conical to cylindrical orange roots, Carrots can be eaten raw, whole, chopped, grated, or added to salads. They are frequently served boiled, fried, steamed, and cooked in soups and stews. Grated carrots are also used in carrot cakes and carrot puddings.

  • Carrots belong to the Apiaceae family, which includes celery, chervil, coriander, cumin, dill, fennel, parsley, and parsnip.
  • The cultivated Carrot is a subspecies of the wild Carrot (Daucus carota), also known as 'Queen Anne's lace,' which is native to temperate parts of Europe and southwest Asia.
  • Carrots grow well in cool climates and are hardy enough to be undisturbed by light frosts.
  • Carrots are biennial vegetables grown as annuals for their crisp, sweet, edible taproot.
  • The greens are edible but are rarely eaten by humans.
  • In spring and summer, the plant grows a rosette of leaves, while building up the stout taproot, which stores substantial amounts of sugar.
  • Umbels of tiny, white flowers set into a lacy, flat-topped rosette appear the second year if plants have not been removed from the garden.
  • These umbels are star performers for attracting beneficial insects such as hoverflies, lacewings, ladybugs, parasitic wasps, and tachinid flies.
  • The flower nectar attracts bumble bees, honey bees, various birds, and the swallowtail butterfly.
  • Carrots are available in a range of colors, including yellow, white, orange, red, and purple. Orange carrots get their bright color from beta-carotene, an antioxidant converted into vitamin A.
  • Apples and carrots should be stored a distance from each other to prevent the carrots from taking on a bitter flavor.
  • Carrots take up little space in the garden and can be grown in raised beds and containers.

Carrot Health Benefits

  • While Carrots make a flavorful addition to many dishes, they can also provide some health benefits.
  • Carrots also have a high nutritional value. A Carrot contains 86-95% water and 10% carbohydrates (starch and sugar).
  • Carrots are a great source of essential vitamins (A, K, C), minerals (calcium, potassium, iron), and fiber.
  • They are rich in beta-carotene and good for the eyes, protecting them from the sun and lowering cataracts and other eye problems risks.
  • The vitamin C in Carrots will boost your immune system.
  • Carrots have calcium and vitamin K that can strengthen your bones.
  • Carrots are rich in antioxidants that fight free radicals and can lower cancer risk.
  • Potassium aids in the workings of our heart, muscles, and nervous system.
  • Fiber is important for digestive health and can help prevent heart disease by reducing cholesterol and blood sugar levels.
  • The level of nutrients provided by Carrots varies with their types.
  • Lutein (antioxidant) is predominantly found in yellow and orange Carrots and is important for your eyes.
  • Lycopene (antioxidant) is found in red and purple Carrots and may decrease your risk of cancer and heart disease.
  • Anthocyanins (antioxidants) are found in dark-colored Carrots.
  • Try to include different varieties of Carrots in your diet to maximize the nutritional benefits.
  • Carrots are generally considered safe to eat. However, they may cause reactions in people allergic to pollen. Overeating carotene can also cause your skin to become somewhat yellow or orange, but this is harmless.

Growing Carrots

  • Carrots grow to 3-36 in. tall and wide (7-90 cm).
  • Carrots perform best in full sun in deeply worked, fertile, slightly acidic (pH 5.8 to 6.8), moist, well-drained soils.
  • Make sure your soil is free of rocks or heavy clumps of clay, or you may end up with stunted or forked roots.
  • Cultivars with short roots will tolerate shallow or poor soil better than long, thin cultivars.
  • Before planting, add a generous amount of compost or well-rotted manure.
  • Depending on the variety, Carrots take 60-80 days to harvest from sowing. From repeated sowings, you can enjoy fresh carrots from spring to fall.
  • Carrots grow best when temperatures are between 60-70°F (15-21°C). They grow poorly above 75°F (24°C) but will tolerate temperatures as low as 45°F (7°C).
  • Keep soil evenly moist but not saturated.
  • Plant Carrots 2-3 weeks before the last frost has passed, when the soil temperature is at least 40ºF (4°C).
  • For a fall harvest, sow seeds about 10 weeks before your first fall frost.
  • Sow 1/4 inch deep (0.5 cm) and 2-3 inches apart (5-7 cm) in rows 12 inches apart (30 cm).
  • Make sure to thin the Carrots as they grow. When seedlings are 1 inch tall (2.5 cm) with 3 to 4 true leaves, thin them so that they are 3 to 4 inches apart (7-10 cm).
  • Crowded carrots will grow irregularly or become stunted without the necessary thinning.
  • Mulch to retain moisture, cool the soil, and control weeds.
  • Fertilize 5 to 6 weeks after sowing with a low-nitrogen fertilizer.
  • Harvest when your Carrots are large enough to use. Freshly pulled carrots usually have the best taste.
  • Lift the roots carefully using a fork if your soil is heavy.
  • Leave a few Carrots in the garden over winter. In the spring, they will produce flowers that will attract beneficial hoverflies and wasps to the garden.
  • Carrots are susceptible to various pests. Keep an eye out for aphids, slugs, snails, wireworms, Carrot rust flies, root-knot nematodes, flea beetles, and leafhoppers.
  • Carrots are susceptible to various diseases, including leaf blight, powdery mildew, and aster yellows.
  • To prevent issues with diseases and pests, do not plant Carrots where Carrots or parsley have grown for 3 years.
  • Propagate by chitting tubers (allowing them to start sprouting shoots): stand the tubers 'rose-end' up (the end with the most eyes) in a cool, light place. After two to three weeks, the shoots will begin to sprout. Plant out after the danger of frost has passed.

Carrot Companion Planting

  • Excellent companion plants for Carrots are beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, calendula, caraway, cauliflower, cilantrochives, chamomileflax, leeks, lettuce, nasturtium, onions, parsley, peas, peppers, radishes, rosemary, sage, tansy, and tomatoes.
  • One drawback with tomatoes and Carrots: tomato plants can stunt the growth of your Carrots, but the carrots will still be of good flavor.
  • Chives enhance the growth and flavor of Carrots while deterring aphids, mites, and flies.
  • Flax is a good companion to Carrots, improving both growth and flavor.
  • Rosemary, sage, and onions repel Carrot flies.
  • Parsley helps to repel Carrot flies with its masking aroma.
  • Leeks are thought to repel many flying pests (including Carrot rust fly).
  • The nitrogen-fixing bacteria of peas and beans benefit Carrots.
  • Do not plant Carrots near dill and parsnips.
  • Dill can reduce the yield of Carrots.

Buy Daucus carota subsp. sativus (Carrot)

Requirements

Hardiness 2 – 11
Climate Zones 1, 1A, 1B, 2, 2A, 2B, 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, A1, A2, A3, H1, H2
Plant Type Annuals
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Height 3" – 3' (7cm – 90cm)
Spread 3" – 3' (7cm – 90cm)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Garden Uses Beds and Borders, Patio and Containers
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage

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While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.


Requirements

Hardiness 2 – 11
Climate Zones 1, 1A, 1B, 2, 2A, 2B, 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, A1, A2, A3, H1, H2
Plant Type Annuals
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Height 3" – 3' (7cm – 90cm)
Spread 3" – 3' (7cm – 90cm)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Garden Uses Beds and Borders, Patio and Containers
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage

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