Find a carrot variety that's right for your garden; not all carrots form elongated roots. Blunt-tipped Nantes types are the easiest for most backyard gardeners to grow. Imperators are the long, straight, tapered types usually sold in stores. Chantneys are short and stubby, and shaped like cones. You can also find mini varieties and radish-type carrots for growing in containers or heavy or rocky soils.
'Yellowstone' carrots are non-GMO, which means they are open-pollinated, not genetically engineered. They're sunflower-yellow in color, with a sweet, mild flavor and a crisp bite. 'Yellowstone' is an Imperator-type carrot.
These red-purple carrots have yellow-orange interiors. They're sweet, with a hint of spice. 'Dragon' seeds are typically slow to germinate, but the experts at Seed Savers Exchange recommend growing them under spun row polyester covers to help.
Grow ‘Yellowbunch’ for carrots you can roast, juice or make into soups. These slender roots are very uniform and grow 8 to 9 inches long. The plants have good resistance to Alternaria blight, a leaf disease.
Packed with nutrients, carrot tops bring an earthy, carrot-y flavor to dishes. The stems tend to be tough, so stick with the ferny leaves. If those are tough to your palate, blanch them before using. Try carrot tops tossed in salads, cooked in stock, pureed into pesto or mixed with cilantro and pepper into chimichurri.
Whether you grow traditional orange carrots, or raise a rainbow of purple, red, white and red varieties, these crunchy, colorful veggies are fun to raise and good for you. Carrots need deep, loose soil, and when they aren’t happy in the garden, their roots become stunted, twisted or forked.
Round Parisian market style carrots are the perfect size for pots. Roots are ready to harvest when they reach 1 inch across. Tops grow to 6 inches. Take care to avoid drought stress, which causes the round roots to elongate.
Crunchy, juicy ‘White Satin’ carrots have a sweet but slightly spicy taste. This Nantes-type carrot holds up well in storage. Serve them uncooked, alongside purple and orange carrots, to add color to the table.
Develoepd by Bejo, a Dutch seed company, 'YaYa' (F1) is an early Nantes-type carrot with smooth, blunt roots. The tops have good disease resistance and hold up well if you’re taking your carrots to market. The roots have a sweet, tender flavor.
Sweet-tasting and tapered, ‘Deep Purple’ carrots grow to 7 or 8 inches long. They’re dark purple inside and out, although the color fades when the carrots are cooked. Try quickly stir-frying them to preserve the color.
Some seed sellers say that white carrots were grown as far back as the Middle Ages. Today, the cream-colored roots of ‘Lunar White’ offer cooks and gardeners a mild flavor and small cores. While carrots with colorful pigments are thought to offer more health benefits, this variety is a good source of dietary fiber.
'Solar Yellow’ carrots have their roots, so to speak, in the Middle East. Some sources date them to the 900s, while others say they appeared in the 14th century. They’re a bit sweeter than most orange carrots, and hold their buttery color when cooked.
This heirloom carrot from Seed Savers Exchange, 'Scarlet Nantes', is a bright, orange-red. The nearless coreless roots are sweet-tasting and grow to about 7 inches long. Try this variety for baby carrots, or freeze or juice the roots.