Where Do Carrot Seeds Come From?– Carrots seeds come from a mature carrot plant. A Carrot matures in 2 years. It will spend most of its resources on root development in the first year. This is essential fr the plants as these roots will feed the seeds in the net season. The carrot plant will dedicate its second year only to ensuring its successful heredity. It requires to reproduce and to reproduce it need some seeds.
Therefore, the final task for a carrot plant is to produce as many healthy seeds as it can. It will drain out all of its resources only to fulfill the requirements of seed development. That’s why if you uproot a carrot plant in the second year of its lifecycle. You will notice that its root has been shrunk to 1/2 or 1/3 of its original size. All of the nutrition that was kept stored in the root is used up for seed development.
Carrots being a biennial plant is only consumable in the first season. Latter it will become fibrous and chewy. It will also lose its sweet taste and turn hard and blunt till the second season.
Check out the previous post: Can Seed Grow in Your Body?
Do Carrots Have Seeds?
Yes, Carrots have seeds. Although you will not find any of those in the roots. We consume the root of a carrots plant. It is not fruit so it can’t have any seed. Rather the plant produces flowers and seeds on the top.
Carrot is a biennial plant. It will develop a strong thick roots structure in the first year. We harvest these roots for consumption.
If you leave those roots in the soil, then they will develop flowers and seeds in the second year. These seeds are again used for new carrot plantations.
A single carrot plant can produce 100 or even 1000s of carrot seeds. Though only 50 to 60 % of those seeds can germinate.
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Can You get Carrot seeds from carrot tops?
Yes, you can use carrot tops to regrow a carrot plant. It will not produce the root instead you can get the seed. This is probably the best part of carrot growing. You can harvest the roots and still, it can give you seeds. Just cut the carrot top and push it down in soft moist soil.
The carrot top will germinate in a couple of weeks. A new shoot will grow along with leaves and flower heads. Many flowers will loom at once in a few days. The beautiful tiny white carrot flowers attract a lot of pollinators, especially honeybees.
These new visitors will help the plant to develop seeds. Enjoy their company until your carrot seeds are ready to harvest.
Also read: Can you Grow Carrots in Containers?
How to Grow Carrot Plants from Carrot tops?
This is a very easy procedure. You will only need a few carrot tops you have to cut them from whole carrots. Once you have the carrot top go get some potting soil. That’s it,
- Most of us usually cut and throw the carrot top in garbage bins. It seems obvious but do you know you can grow them for seeds.
- Collect and save those carrot tops at cool temperatures until you plant them in the soil.
- Use healthy moist and well-drained soil for growing carrots. You can use commercial potting or any soil mi is fine for this purpose.
- Fill a shallow container of 4-inch depth with the soil mix. The carrot tops will not grow deep so you can use shallow or small planters. Big regular-size containers are also just fine. It’s just a matter of convenience, use whatever you can find easily. Only care for a few drainage holes else the plant will rot in soggy soil.
- Place each carrot top over the soil and gently push it down. Keep the crown up for faster shoot development.
- Cover the carrot heads with 1/2-1 inch of light soil and water thoroughly.
- Leave the container in part shade where it can receive 4 to 6 hours f filtered sunlight. You can move them out in direct sunlight once they get established with a good root system.
- Keep the plants healthy and moist for the next 2 months. You can use all-purpose fertilizers once every month just to ensure healthy seed development.
- Your carrot tops will start blooming in 55-80 days of the plantation. Let it bloom and develop seeds.
- Keep the seeds in the plant until they start browning. Early harvest is not useful as an immature seed will never germinate. All of these may take another month to complete so have patience and take care of these plants.
How do you get seeds from carrots?
You have to leave your carrots to mature in the ground for another year. This is the only way t get seeds from carrots. You can use carrot tops but they will not produce seeds of optimum quality.
Check out Why Are My Carrot Seeds Not Germinating?
The plant grown from carrot top will lack resources. The carrot top doesn’t have enough stored nutrients to produce the best quality carrot seeds. More important if you use store-bought carrots to get the carrot tops. Then You can’t confirm its variety and growing requirements. It may possible that the seed you produce is of no use in your local conditions. Therefore, gardeners always prefer leaving fully grown carrots to mature and produce seeds.
In this way, you can assure that the seed gets maximum nutrients from its roots. Also, You can confirm that those seeds are viable in your garden conditions. You can easily regrow these seeds next season without worrying about the results.
Growing carrot seeds in your garden are not only interesting but it can also save you real money. That you may have spent on buying new carrot seeds.
So How to do that?- let’s see!
How to grow carrots for seeds?
There are only two reasons to grow carrots. The first is obvious for consumption and the other is for seeds. Interestingly you can do both of these together in your garden. Just follow along.
- Prepare raised garden beds for carrots. Keep it 8 to 10 inches high and fill it with good quality potting soil.
- Sometimes potting soil can be too expensive then you should prepare a mix for your need. Use regular garden soil and add double compost to it. Mix everything well and again add 30% clean river sand in the soil mixture by mass. Just use a 5-gallon bucket for measurement. Add 2 buckets of compost. 1 bucket soil and 1/2-1 bucket sand and it’s done.
- Make sure the soil mix doesn’t contain any debris or else the roots may deform.
- Sow carrot seeds at 1/4 inch or 1/2 cm depth. Soil should be extra light else the seed may not sprout.
- Maintain at least a 1-inch gap among each carrot seed. Water it properly and let it germinate for 3-4 weeks.
- Carrot will eventually germinate and grow to their optimum size in 100-120 days. The timing may differ from place to place.
- Harvest most of the edible carrots and leave just a few within to mature.
- These leftover carrots will grow and mature to produce seeds. It is better to leave at least a few healthy good quality plants for seed production.
- Keep the soil moist and regularly feed these plants with NPK 10:20:20 once every 20 days until they bloom.
- You should occasionally groom the soil around the roots to improve aeration and moisture retention. Apply mulch if required but avoid contact with exposed carrots.
- These carrots will bloom beautifully while a creamy purple flower in the next year. Till then take care of the plants.
Carrot plant care for Seed production
Carrot plants grown for seeds may require extra care. Their extended lifecycle will revolve around all four seasons throughout the year. So you have to consider whether they can survive the hot sun, chilling cold, wet rainy days, and invasive spring growths.
You should be extra careful with pest control. Aphids, mealybugs, mites, beetles, caterpillars, powdery mildew, and a whole bunch of problems can distract you from your goal. Just try to keep the surrounding garden area clean and dry. Hydration is important but overwatering can cause several problems. So avoid dripping too much water especially during adverse seasons.
Squirrels, moles, rats, rabbits, wild hogs, and Deer can also pose threat to these seeding carrot plants. You can’t take a chance. So either install a proper fence or use active measures to distract these invaders. I know bunnies are cute but they can devour an entire carrot garden in a single night. This can also happen with hogs and deers. So prevention is better than cure. In this case, there will be no cure once the plants are gone-Its gone forever. Your 2 long years of effort in your garden will be lost at once. So be careful.
Finally, never forget to harvest and collect carrot seeds in time. This has happened to me many times. One day you will find the seeds yellowing and decide to harvest in the weekend. When you come back on Saturday or Sunday, all of them are gone. Carrots seeds can quickly dry out and fall to the ground. It can take just 4 days from yellowing to filling off. Birds also like these seeds. So keep a regular check on your carrot plants for their seeds. Collect them before they fall to the ground.