Row by Row Episode 218: The Right Carrots For Your Soil Type
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Row by Row Episode 218: The Right Carrots For Your Soil Type

Row by Row Episode 218: The Right Carrots For Your Soil Type

Carrots come in all shapes and sizes. From the small Chantenay type to the long, straight Imperator type carrot; will they grow in your garden? We’re reviewing what types of carrots work best in what specific types of soils, and how to be successful growing carrots this season! GET DIRTY! So, are you growing the right carrots for your soil type?

Tips For Growing Carrots: The Right Carrots For Your Soil Type

You need a sunny spot, with plenty of organic matter, free of weeds, clumps, debris, and rocks. Your soil should have good drainage. Fine tilth is the desired consistency.

  1. 2 weeks prior to planting: Add complete organic fertilizer
  2.  work soil every couple of days
  3. begin watering to condition the soil.

Water before you mark off your rows.  Plant ¼ inch deep.  Very Shallow, cover with soil and water gently.

Keep soil moist until seeds germinate (usually 10-20 days) Moist throughout the germination process.  Carrots take longer than most crops to germinate. Thin out in Stages, weed regularly, and water minimally after germination. Planting them thicker will help weed suppression, but will need to thin out later. Since they take longer to germinate, weeds can quickly take over outpacing the sprouts.  Must stay on top of weeds.

Shapes and Types of Carrots

  • Nantes: Blunt, great for storage, uniform and fits well into jars, almost perfectly cylindrical and smooth, great for juicing and fresh eating. Need loose, well-draining garden soil.
  • Danvers: Bugs bunny type, broad shoulders fairly sharp taper, classic medium length.
  • Chantenay: Short stubby, great for hard or clay soils, short, conical roots that can power through clay and rocky soils.
  • Imperator: long slender, can pack a lot of these in small space, long roots up to 10 inches (baby carrots found in stores) Need loose deep soil.

Hard, Clay Soils, Muck Soil

Part 1

Scarlet Nantes Carrot is a widely-adapted variety that works great in many soil types. Great for full-size or baby carrot production. Crisp texture and sweet flavor. Broad shoulders and blunt ends. It has a cylindrical shape with very little tapering from top to bottom. This variety is well-adapted and performs nicely in a wide variety of soil types, including harder, clay soils. Envy Carrot is a hybrid variety that produces 10-12″, bright-orange carrots that grow well even in clay or muck soils. Kuroda Carrot is an heirloom, chantenay-type carrot known for its exceptional sweetness and ability to be grown in hard or rocky soils.

Purple Elite Carrot is a hybrid, imperator-type carrot that produces tapered, 7-9″ carrots. Carrots have a distinct coloration with a purple exterior and a bright yellow core Chantenay Royal Carrot is an heirloom, open-pollinated variety that works great in heavy or clay soils. produces uniform carrots that are thick and chunky. Orange Blaze is a high-yield carrot that is adaptable across multiple soil conditions, muck, mineral, and deep peat. Easy to harvest, average length 9-10″ with a very smooth skin texture and bright orange color.

Part 2

The Oxheart Carrot is an open-pollinated heirloom variety that hails originally from France. The stout roots have a distinct heart shape and feature a bright orange flesh and have a mild crisp texture despite their hefty size. These massive carrots have been known to weigh as much as one pound each and measure between 5-6”. This is a great variety for gardeners with heavy soils or clay soils that might usually present struggles for carrot growers.

Malbec Carrot is a hybrid variety. It produces smooth, uniform 10″ long roots. A great texture with strong tops that have good tolerance to blight and bolting. A beautiful medium red in color, the small core allows consistent, rich internal color for multiple ends uses, including marketing as whole roots, sliced, or mini carrots. Danvers 126 Carrot is an open-pollinated variety with broad shoulders and a sharp taper. Performs well in all soil types. Strong tops for easy harvesting.

Check out our Carrot Growing Guide for more tips and tricks!

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