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Good Life Garden -- Crops
Good Life Garden

Carrots

Daucus carota
Year-round; best in spring and early summer

In Our Garden


Yellowstone
Open-pollinated 9-10" yellow carrot with big shoulders, pointed tip, and large tops. Carefully selected for a uniform shape. Nearly as sweet as the traditional orange carrots, this variety has a consistently pleasing, mild flavor. Vigorous and widely adapted.

Scarlet Nantes
This carrot exhibits a uniform Nantes look and flavor and is also one of the best tasting, open-pollinated Nantes type available.

Nantes Coreless
A hardy biennial with a 4-6" root, the Nantes Coreless has cylindrical roots with a small, light orange core and larger tops than other Nantes-type carrots. they are better adapted to warmer climates than most other carrots.

In History

Carrots are believed to have been domesticated around the Mediterranean, Iran and, the Balkans.

Carrots were once popular for their use as fashion accessories for hats and dresses amongst both the Elizabethans and early Stewarts. Carrot tops were even used to replace feathers and were especially a la mode when they changed color in the fall.

Cultivated white during classical times, and yellow in medieval times, carrots did not get their trademark color until they were bred by farmers in the 17th century to honor the royal Dutch House of Orange.

Cultivation

Growing Tips:
To avoid your carrots turning an unattractive green color, pile dirt around the stems to prevent exposing roots to sunlight.

If your soil is ridden with rocks and other heavy matter turning out alien-like carrots, try choosing a shorter variety that will not grow as deep, retaining its traditional shape.

Harvesting Tips:
Carrots should be harvested when they are no more than 1½ inches in diameter for newer varieties. This prevents them from developing an unpleasant woody flavor.

When the time comes to harvest your carrots, keep in mind that if you are dealing with heavier soil it is best to ease them out with the aid of a garden fork to avoid snapping.

Why It's Good for You

Known for their beta-carotene, carrots supply over 300% of the Daily Value (as Vitamin A) per ½ cup steamed. Studies show diets rich in beta-carotene from vegetables like carrots lowers risk for breast, prostate and other cancers.

Did You Know

Plant carrots under lettuce leaves as they keep the sensitive seedlings safe by providing moisture and shade. Harvest out the lettuce when ready and your carrots will fill the space as they grow to full size.

If left to flower, carrots will help attract beneficial insects to your garden.

Carrots are close relatives to both fennel and parsley.

Let's Eat

How to Buy:
Choose carrots that are firm, smooth, and unblemished, avoiding those with discoloration and soft spots. If purchasing carrots with the tops still attached, choose those with crisp bright greens that are neither wilted nor discolored.

How to Store:
Carrots are a versatile vegetable that can be canned, dried or frozen. Store them in the coldest part of the refrigerator removing greens if still attached. Smaller carrots should be used in a few days while larger carrots will keep for a few weeks.

How to Prepare:
When preparing the first small carrots of the season, scrub them well and leave the skins on as they contain much of the carrot’s delicate flavor. They do not carry the bitter taste of mature carrots. When preparing large mature carrots, thoroughly scrub and peel only a thin layer from the carrots before cooking.

Clean and peel freshly picked carrots; julienne carrots and add them to a bowl with diced avocado, sliced endives, finely chopped chives and parsley, a dash of Meyer lemon juice, olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. This is a refreshing lunchtime salad.

 

Pest Management


Here is a list of common pests and diseases that may affect your carrots in California. For more information follow the link provided to the University of California Integrated Pest Management website.
  • Leaf spots
    This is a fungus that affects the carrot leaves. As it leaf spot spreads, leaves yellow and curl…
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  • Damping off and root dieback
    This refers to the collapse of seedlings and young plants. This is not a disease that is dependent on insects, but rather it is the resulting effect of pathogens that occur naturally in the soil…
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  • Beet leafhopper transmitted virescense agent
    Secondary to the presence of the beet leafhopper, this organism causes the malformation and discoloration of plant leaves and flowers…
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  • Bacterial soft rot
    This plant disease is characterized by a mushy, watery, foul-smelling rot and is often triggered once diseases or pests have caused initial damage. Once the bacterial attack has begun, internal structure of a vegetable can be reduced to mush in a matter of 3-5 days…
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  • Carrot rust fly
    Adults lay eggs that eventually cause tunneling in the roots of carrots. The result is a mushy, potentially maggot-toting carrot just waiting to be pulled. There are no visible symptoms above the soil…
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