The Land Rover Owners Wife

Carrot tops for seed

10 Comments

This particular post is an account of my attempt to grow carrots for seed. Last year (2013) I obtained some Giant Red Carrot seed from The Real Seed Catalogue, initially to grow for food but with the long term aim of being able to save my own seed for use in future years.

Carrots flower in their second year and so the method for seed saving detailed on the Real Seed website was to leave two or three carrots in the bed, as these would die back over winter, then grow back this spring, would eventually flower, producing seed which could then be collected.

7th February 2014

Carrot, Giant Red for seed

As it turned out I didn’t really get many carrots up and so was reluctant to leave a couple in the beds but a friend of mine told me that during food preparation of my freshly harvested carrots, when I topped them I should leave about an inch of carrot still attached to the foliage and then immediately replant these. So I did, and sure enough the carrots died right back over the winter, to the point that I thought they had failed.

8th April 2014

Carrot, Giant Red for seed

Then early this year I realised that there appeared to be some carrot growth where I had planted the tops and over the last few months I have watched these little plants slowly but steadily put on growth and so it is now a waiting game which will, with a little luck, result in home grown carrot seed for next years crops ….. fingers crossed.

23rd April 2014

Carrot, Giant Red for seed

11th May 2014

It’s amazing the speed at which plants can grow given a good mix of sunshine, warm temperatures and rain.

Carrot, Giant Red for seed

18th May 2014

The flower heads are starting to form:

Carrot, Giant Red for seed

23 May 2014

Carrot, Giant Red for seed

6th June 2014

Carrot, Giant Red for seed

18th June 2014

Carrot, Giant Red for seed

I have had a long wait for the flowers to finish flowering and the seed to form and start to dry out but the seed heads have now been harvested and more information on the seed collection can be found here.

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10 thoughts on “Carrot tops for seed

  1. That’s genius! I love it.

  2. If you do this several years in a row, they will self sow and become your carrot patch, like onions

  3. I wonder if I could do that with carrot tops from the veg box. Although our garden is all about builders’ rubble so even tatties don’t grow well. We’d get some interestingly shaped carrots!

    • Hi Alison,

      You have nothing to lose by giving it a try but I guess it will depend on how long the carrots have been out of the ground.

      What about sowing carrots into a deep container, until your soil improves?

      • Heh. I think the only way we could improve our soil is by replacing it, and that’s not an option. I suppose we could try carrots in a barrel. Hmmm. Easy kids’ project.

  4. Outstanding, this is great information.

  5. Reblogged this on Insectamonarca's Blog and commented:
    I have never had any success in growing carrots. I am trying again with little round carrots. This year I used sand and tossed the seed in the mix before planting in a row and tapping it down.

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