~ CARROT Seeds ~
A satisfying vegetable for beginners, carrots are ready to harvest in about 3 to 4 months from sowing.
You sow them outside several times from spring to mid-summer. Later crops can be stored over winter. ( = )
They can also be sown early under cover, or late outside for baby carrots in autumn. ( = )
'Giant Red' Dark Orange Carrot
Despite the name, this is not truly deep red. However, the vigour and flavour of this Italian variety are terrific - large carrots grow quickly, with big, orange pointy roots.
The flesh is sweet without bitterness, while still retaining a good 'carrotty' flavour, and the core is much reduced. Great both cooked and raw. Good both for early crops as it grows quickly, but also for maincrop sowings and storage over winter.
Quick, large table carrot . Young specimen in photo doesn't do it credit - they get MUCH bigger!
Order CtGR - About 400 seed £
'Jaune Obtuse de Doubs' Yellow Carrot
Most people don't realise that orange carrots are a modern invention. Carrots naturally come in a range of colours - white and yellow from Europe, and purple from the Middle East where agriculture originated about 11000 years ago. (The orange ones are actually a recent cross between the groups in the past couple of hundred years. )
Anyways, the point is that yellow is a perfectly sensible colour for a carrot! This old traditional French variety has yellow roots with blunt ("obtuse") tips that are easy to dig up with no risk of snapping, and a good strong (but sweet) carrot taste.
Yellow carrots look great sliced or grated in salads, and they stay yellow when cooked.
Traditional yellow carrot , good flavour.
Order CtJO - about 400 seed £
'Blanche a Collet Vert' White & Green Carrot
This is a traditional variety from Belgium. All carrots were originally white or purple – the orange ones are a quite recent invention. The carrots are white, and the top inch or so is green, so they are bicolour when pulled up – very pretty both cooked and raw.
White, green tops, long and pointy, less attractive to carrot fly.
Order CtBC - about 400 seed £
'Dragon Purple' Carrot
A beautiful purple carrot - just as they would have looked when they were first domesticated in the Middle East thousands of years ago. This variety is fairly sweet and they have a decently strong 'carrot' flavour.
Purple, orange flesh inside.
Order CtDP - about 250 seed (rare seed, so a slightly smaller packet, but this is still a lot of carrots) £
'Touchon' Carrot - SWEET , STORES WELL
This is a quick-gowing heirloom variety of orange carrot from France, dating from the late 1700’s. It is still a favourite with many growers (after 200 years) because it has a fine crisp texture and an excellent sweet flavour.
The roots don’t taper much and are quite blunt-tipped. It is a particularly good one to choose for winter storage as it stays sweet for several months after lifting from the ground. But also a great carrot for use fresh, as it has such a good flavour.
To store carrots, it is pretty easy, just lift in autumn once the weather has cooled, but before heavy frost as this can damage the roots. Trim the foliage and sort out any damaged ones to use straight away. Store the perfect roots in layers in sand, sawdust or dry potting compost making sure they don't touch one another. Stored in a cool but frost free place (eg a garage) they will happily keep through to the following spring.
Good keeper, early & tasty.
Order CtTo - about 400 seed £
D'Eysines Carrot (HUGE FAT CARROTS)
This is a really good productive old French variety, of the "half-long Nantes" type, that makes nice orange roots, more cylindrical than the others we have. It has been grown for many years in the region around Bordeaux.
They are a good orange colour throughout, including the core, with a good flavour and medium-sweet taste. Early in the season they are long and thin much like any other orange carrot, but later they get incredibly fat, with a unique conical shape.
We included it in our carrot trials for the first time in 2003, and in the end because it makes such very fat roots, it gave one of the highest yields of the lot!
Traditional carrot from France. Also known as the Luc Carrot. High yielding with good flavour.
Order CtDE - about 400 seed £
"Manchester Table" Carrot
An Old English variety with good crack resistance, excellent full bodied flavour and strong tall tops.
We first got this great carrot from a private collection back in 2001, and loved it straight away, but it wasnt until 2014 that we managed to bring it back into production on a scale big enough to offer in the catalogue.
This years seed crop was produced and carefully selected both by us in Wales, and by Jen Boncyk on her family smallholding. Its a two-year process: There's a picture below from 2 years ago of Kate laying out all the roots for selection of the correct size, shape and colour (the rejects are in a pile at the front). Then they were replanted and left to go to seed last summer - you can see how big they get when flowering , the bars in the polytunnel are 8ft off the ground.
Really tasty, really rare, there's less than 2 kg of seed on the planet....
Order CtMT - about 400 seed £
Lisse de Meaux (LONG, GOOD FOR STORAGE)
A particularly high-yielding long orange carrot, this is a good late-summer variety.
We like it because as well as tasting good, it is very long-keeping once harvested, getting even sweeter in storage.
Good keeper, maincrop. Back again now after a crop failure in 2012, it was sorely missed by many!
Order CtLM - about 400 seed £
Saving Carrot Seed:
Carrot seed is fairly easy, provided you don't have
any wild carrot ('Queen Anne's Lace') growing nearby.
Here we are selecting and storing Dragon Purple Carrots for seed production.
Carrots flower in their second year, so you need to
dig up your carrots in Autumn.
Lay them all out so you can compare them, and select the best 40 roots:
Make sure you choose ones that are true-to-type: right colour, shape & size. You can even test the taste by slicing off the tip!
If your area has cold winters, store them in sand or
sawdust in a cool but frost-free place, and plant out in spring.
(the ideal is about 5-10 C and 95% humidity)
In particularly mild areas you can replant them straight away where you want them to grow.
You can plant them quite close together, so 40 needn't
take up much space.
(The numbers are really important if you want to get good seed.)
The next summer they will flower (to about 5 foot high!)
MAKE SURE THERE IS NO QUEEN ANNES LACE NEARBY, THEY WILL CROSS!
... and seed is ready in autumn. Just rub the seed
off when it is mostly brown.
You will get huge amounts of seed: if you dry it properly (see our seed-saving pages) it will be good for 2 or 3 years.
There are more detailed home-seed saving guides (printable) over to the left of this page,
in the box titled 'SeedSaving', with sheets on drying and storing your seed too.
And of course, seed-saving is only possible because these are all real, non-hybrid varieties.