Long before orange carrots existed (16th century) the purple carrot was the most commonly cultivated, along with yellow rooted ones. Not just the skin that is deeply colored , the midnight purple color goes all the way through to the core. This variety is more rustic, not as refined , as traditional orange or hybrid carrots, but well worth growing. Foliage is tinted purple and roots can be used as a natural coloring, just check out your tongue after you take a bite out of one. Roots are tapered, 6-8” in length and flavor is pure carrot.
Germination: 6-14 days
Germination Temperature: Optimum soil temperatures 60-85 degrees F. The cooler the soil the longer it takes for germination, up to 3 weeks.
Seed Sowing Depth: 1/4” deep
Outside Sowing: Starting 3 weeks before last frost into mid-summer. Sow lightly, thin to 1-3” apart. The larger the carrot variety the more space needed between them. The soil moisture should be maintained regularly until germination, letting soil dry out during this period may result in lower germination.
How much does a packet plant: 10-12 foot row
Harvest: Start when carrots reach finger size for baby carrots or when they turn to a bright orange. Late season carrots hold longer and become sweeter in the cooler weather.
Tips: Using a row cover helps to maintain moisture for germination. Carrots prefer a loose soil, free of rubble. Use the shorter varieties for heavy soils. Keep well weeded and cover any exposed carrot with soil or mulch to prevent greening. An excess of nitrogen in the soil cause to roots to become hairy.