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Coaxing Up Carrots
Carrots, like parsley, dill and other umbelliferae, can be difficult to germinate when direct-sown outdoors. To speed things up, be sure you keep the seedbed continually moist until the sprouts emerge.

Direct-sow Carrot seed 1 to 2 weeks before the last frost date, when the soil has warmed up to 50°F. Prior to sowing, cultivate the bed deeply and thoroughly to promote baby root growth. Do not sow Carrots in freshly manured soil because they will fork (grow into odd mutant shapes). Keep the soil moist until they germinate.
Thin seedlings 1″ to 2″ apart so each can grow with space and nutrition. Later, thin as desired by variety or preferred mature size. Tomatoes love Carrots nearby: they appear to boost Tomato yields. The Carrot has come a long way since its wild days of old when its leaves and seeds were more popular than its woody, almost inedible taproot. Today, sweet, crisp-tender Carrots come in all sizes, shapes and colors. Along with Celery and Onions, Carrots comprise the aromatic French mirepoix, the flavor base of stocks, soups, stews and sauces. Rich in B-carotene, Vitamin A, antioxidants and minerals, starch-free Carrots have high sugar content, which explains their roasted caramelized goodness. We adore them steamed, braised and spiced, roasted, pureed into luscious soups and sweet-savory flans, shredded raw in salads, juiced, or mashed with potatoes. Needless to say, we love Carrots in Patricia Wells’ Almond Cake with Carrots and Lemon Thyme Sorbet, and in our own Spiced Carrot Cake with Creamy Mascarpone Frosting.

Average seed life: 3 years

#1600 Adelaide Baby Carrots: 65-70 days
Plant more than you think you’ll need since this outstanding, tender-crisp mini-carrot is sure to be snapped up quickly, especially by children. Adelaide is a miniature Nantes-type, with straight sides, shaped like a baby finger. A new, improved variety from our favorite Dutch seedsmen, she is bred to reliably produce coreless, succulently sweet baby carrots. Harvest no larger than 3" - the smaller the better. This bright orange baby carrot is the type often served by gourmet chefs with the little greens still attached. Adelaide is easy to grow and just lovely for a child’s garden. (F1.)

Packet of 1400 Seeds / $3.75

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#1615 Thumbelina Baby Ball Carrots: 60-70 days
These adorable little orbs are known in Europe as Parisian Market carrots. Always a hit with the younger set, they are equally popular with the world’s top chefs. We love to scrub them up (no need for peeling) and munch them raw, but they’re at their very sweetest when braised or roasted. Thumbelina is the perfect carrot for container gardens and heavy or stony soils. Plant lots and harvest when just 1” to 2” in diameter. (OP.)

Packet of 1400 Seeds / $3.35

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#1620 Royal Chantenay Carrots: 60-70 days
A carrot you can count on! This variety has wide, strong shoulders up to 2". Royal Chantenay is a reliable, stocky variety featuring a tapered root in the characteristic V shape. The greens are strong enough to withstand a good yank, making harvesting a breeze. This is a practical, all-around variety which thrives in heavier soils and will not bolt. It is a bright, deep orange, excellent for canning and freezing, stores well and makes a dynamite glass of fresh carrot juice! Harvest at just under 7" in length for the sweetest flavor. Royal Chantenay is one of the best for storing in a cellar or at cool temperatures so that you and your family can enjoy a healthy dose of homegrown beta carotene daily. When roasting chicken or turkey, make a “rack” out of Bolero or Royal Chantenay carrots and celery stalks upon which to place the roast. They will add flavor to pan drippings and help prevent the roast from sticking to the pan or burning. (OP.)

Packet of 1400 Seeds / $3.10

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#1625 Danvers Half Long Carrots: 65-75 days
This oldie-but-goodie, developed in Danvers, MA in 1871, is one of the most widely adaptable of all~it even grows well in clay soil. The 6″ to 8″ long tapered roots are deep orange with smooth, semi-blunt ends and strong lush tops for easy harvesting. Crisp and sweet when raw, it is also an excellent keeper for wintertime soups and stews. (OP.)

Packet of 1400 Seeds / $3.10

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#1635 Yaya Carrots: 60 days
A real find from our Dutch growers, it is a bunching Nantes-style variety with incomparable sweetness and a rich essence-of -carrot taste. A perfect replacement for Bolero, this bright orange beauty has elegantly shaped, slender, 6" roots that are both uniform and smooth. It is disease-resistant, a strong grower and it stores well in a cool dry spot for up to three to four months, like most good varieties. (F1.)

Packet of 600 Seeds / $3.75

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#1640 Purple Dragon Carrots: 60-70 days
Be the first on your block to bring psychedelic slaw to block parties. Purple Dragon was named for its deep purple exterior, although the interior is a fiery dark orange with a bright yellow core. It has a most uncommon spicy flavor and is crisply-tender. Try this variety if you have children (or adults) who are finicky about regular carrots. This fun, strong, open-pollinated variety grows quite quickly - harvest at smaller sizes for the best flavor. Grate into long, thin ribbons for a spectacular carrot salad. (OP.)

Packet of 600 Seeds / $3.75

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#1645 Purple Sun Carrots: 80 days
This carrot wowed us when we first saw it almost 10 years ago. We are happy we can finally share it with you. Purple Sun is deep wine red inside and out, with the same color intensity as a beet. The smooth, 12” roots are crispy and sweet right out of the garden. They make the most gorgeous, antioxidant-rich carrot juice you’ll ever sip. (F1.)

Packet of 600 Seeds / $3.95

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#1655 Atomic Red Carrots: 65 days
Open-pollinated Atomic Red gets its striking pigmentation from lycopene, a critical, disease-preventing precursor to beta carotene. Raw, this imperator-style carrot is a unique, watermelon-red-purple color. Once steamed, cooked in soups and stews or roasted, Atomic Red’s color darkens and its flavor deepens into a full, yummy carrot taste. Harvest at a slim, 8” to 9” in length. (OP.)

Packet of 800 Seeds / $3.45

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#1660 Yellowstone Carrots: 75 days
The Dutch seed company from whom we import this unusual yellow Flakkee-type once joked that Yellowstone grows so well, you could grow it in the middle of the road. We won't go that far, as harvesting could be dangerous; however, this is an extremely productive, adaptable carrot easily grown in many soil types. The yellow roots have a fine taste and strong, feathery tops. Pick Yellowstone smaller than its mature size of 10". These carrots are superior when harvested small! Pair Yellowstone, Snow White and Royal Chantenay together for Carrot and Ginger Soup. Heat olive oil and sauté minced garlic, ginger root and shallots in a soup pot. Add peeled and thinly sliced carrots, thin ribbons of sage, just a smidgen of crushed red pepper flakes, a drizzle of savory thyme honey and chicken stock. Bring to a boil and simmer, covered, for about 30 minutes. In small batches, puree the soup in a blender and return to the cleaned soup pot. Add heavy cream, some butter and salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm with buttery, ginger-garlic-honey croutons. (OP.)

Packet of 1400 Seeds / $3.65

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#1670 Snow White Carrots: 75 days
We are proud to introduce Snow White carrots to you. From the special breeder of the famed Purple Dragon carrot, Snow White is sure to become your new favorite. It has pure white roots, pale green shoulders and a mild, delicate flavor paired with a crisp-crunchy texture unlike that of any other carrot. An open-pollinated variety, it is quite vigorous and should be harvested no more than 8" long to prevent them from becoming woody. Although Snow White is an exceptional cooking carrot, it should also be eaten straight out of the garden in order to savor its unique flavor. (OP.)

Packet of 600 Seeds / $3.75

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#1680 Inverness Carrots: 75 days
This Imperator-type beauty has slender shoulders, tapering to a point at about 8” long. Widely grown, this popular variety is deep orange with a uniform shape and a terrific, sweet flavor. It is a proven performer with high yields that tolerates closer spacing, thereby requiring less thinning. (F1.)

Packet of 600 Seeds / $3.55

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#1685 Kuroda Carrots: 75-80 days
New! Originally developed in Asia in the 1950s, Kuroda is widely adaptable, suitable for growth almost everywhere. A refined Chantenay strain, this stubby, thick-shouldered favorite yields smooth, uniform tapered roots best harvested 5” long and 2” in diameter. Thriving in even the poorest of soils, this light to deep orange Asian Carrot is ideal for summer sowing with prolonged harvest through autumn, and winter in more temperate zones. It’s an awesome juicer. (OP.)

Packet of 1200 Seeds / $3.25

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#1690 Red Samurai Carrots: 75 days
An esteemed Japanese treasure-of-a-carrot, Red Samurai is watermelon-red with a unique, 11” long, slim-tapered shape and sweet, pinkish-rose flesh. We love the fact that its special color holds up to cooking when its bold sweet flavor is even more notable. (OP.)

Packet of 1200 Seeds / $3.75

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#1695 The Rainbow Carrot Mixture: 60-75 days
For a festive, colorful harvest, plant our designer mixture of Atomic Red, Purple Dragon, Red Samurai, Royal Chantenay, Snow White and Yellowstone Carrots. Who said you can’t have it all? They really are all different colors: terrific for kaleidoscopic salads and crudite platters, and kids love them too! (OP.)

Packet of 1400 Seeds / $3.55

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