recommend me a carrot?

patandchickens

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I have failed enough at carrot growing in long-past years that I just gave up trying, but now my 5 year old has it in his head that we HAVE to grow carrots :p

What would your recommendations be for a fairly bombproof reliable variety, not too strong-tasting, for fresh eating not storage, for soil that is good 'n' deep and well-amended-well-cultivated but still rather on the clayey side?

(Or, are there any varieties you would DISrecommend, so I should steer clear of them?)

I seem to remember there being a good post from Steve (digitS') on the subject, but I'll be darned if I can find it :p

Thanks in advance,

Pat, composing seed orders
 

Ridgerunner

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You are in a different area and season obviously, but I have had the best luck with Danvers. I planted a variety specifically recommended for heavy clay soil (Red Cored Chantenay) and was a bit disappointed. They were OK but were pretty short and very wide at the top, pretty much as advertised if the truth were known. I like the Danvers flavor better. I can't imagine you not amending the soil sufficiently so that you NEED a carrot for heavy clay soil. Danvers are a pretty common seed available at the gardening stores, probably for a reason.
 

vfem

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I was suggested some of the stumpy short growing varieties for tough, rocky and clay soil. Some reason those longer carrots are so stringy and don't get fat enough. Now there are short 2-3" fat carrot versions you should look into.
 

bid

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I grow Danvers and Nantes half longs fairly successfully. The voles apparently loved the Danvers I was letting overwinter as they wiped out the whole bed sometime in December. :rant
 

digitS'

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Uh, oh. Maybe I was just lamenting the tragically high number of forked and split carrots I harvest (or, compost) each year :/. Or, how much trouble I've had getting carrot seed to germinate . . .

I once planted equal length rows of nantes, imperator, danver, and chantenay and had the nantes strongly outproduce the other 3.

It has been repeatedly suggested to me by a good gardener that I would have less trouble with forking if I grew the chantenay. But, I've stayed fairly tight with the nantes for quite a few years and the long carrot I grow, Sugarsnax, is actually an imperator/nantes cross.

I figure that the sooner I can get them out of the ground, the better. (That may fit well with the thinking of your 5 year-old, Pat ;).) To that end, I grow Nelson Nantes and it is quick and generally does fairly well. Additionally, it comes "pelleted" and that saves me some frustration with the germination issues.

Steve
 

patandchickens

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digitS' said:
Uh, oh. Maybe I was just lamenting the tragically high number of forked and split carrots I harvest (or, compost) each year :/. Or, how much trouble I've had getting carrot seed to germinate . . .
LOL, you have know idea how much better that makes me feel about my own (albeit greater) past failures, actually :)

I once planted equal length rows of nantes, imperator, danver, and chantenay and had the nantes strongly outproduce the other 3. It has been repeatedly suggested to me by a good gardener that I would have less trouble with forking if I grew the chantenay. But, I've stayed fairly tight with the nantes for quite a few years and the long carrot I grow, Sugarsnax, is actually an imperator/nantes cross.
Ah, that sounds like it was probably the gist of the post of yours I was remembering. Thanks!

Still pondering all opinions,

Pat
 

Ridgerunner

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I kinda like Digits approach, other than the split and forked carrots. Did you perhaps transplant your carrots, by the way? I read somewhere that transplanting them or disturbing the roots while pulling weeds will cause deformed carrots. Don't know how much truth there is in that.

Could you possibly give your 5 year old a small section of the garden and a few different varieties of carrot seeds and let him grow his own? He could tell you which he likes better. I'm sure you would not have to help him "much". Just a thought. On the other hand, you might want to assure his early gardening attempts are likely to be successes to foster his interest. Your son. Your call.

Oh, to help you feel better, I have also had carrot failures. Fairly recently, by the way. We got very few very small carrots out of my fall crop. I blame it on an earlier than normal severe freeze and a much less sunny than normal fall, none of which are my fault, of course. :duc

Have a nice day.
 

trion

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Our carrots were great last year - up until it was a fight with an unknown critter who bit off the tops, left the tops with greens on the ground, ate the top of the carrot in the ground and left what it could not easily eat.
I bought a rainbow mix from Fedco. See photo to the left. The colors were cool. What we found was that the redder the carrot the sweeter it was. The whiter carrots were not so sweet and some on the bitter side. This year I forget what I ordered but skipped the rainbow and went for a deep red carrot. (I am already working on a wire mesh top for the carrot raised bed)
 

jojo54

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I've always had better luck with the Chantenay but up til now have grown them in Sask. in clay soil. I had tried others but didn't like the taste as much. I found the Chantenay to be sweet and kept all winter in our coldroom.

I planted Chantenay here (in BC) last year and the carrots got huge. I planted a second crop of them in July and got great results.

They are favorite by far.
 

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