For many gardeners, one of the most exciting aspects of planning seasonal vegetable garden crops is the process of selecting new and interesting varieties of seed. When thumbing through seed catalogs, pages filled with unique and colorful cultivars can be quite enticing. While this is the case for many vegetables, it is especially true when growers begin the process of selecting which carrots to grow in the upcoming season, as there are many. Let’s learn more about the different types of carrots.
Becoming Familiar with Different Carrots to Grow
Carrots of both the hybrid and heirloom variety come in a wide array of shapes, sizes, colors, and tastes. Though diversity among carrot varieties is an asset, many of these are seldom offered in chain grocery stores. With so many options, finding kinds of carrots that are suited to the specific needs of growers is a task worth accomplishing.
By learning more about each type of carrot, home growers can make better-informed decisions regarding which types will grow well in their own gardens.
Types of Carrots
Nantes – Nantes carrots are most commonly known for their long, cylindrical shape and blunt ends. Growing well in a wide range of conditions, robust Nantes types grow well in areas where it may be difficult for different carrots to grow. This includes gardens with heavier soils containing more clay. Due to this fact, Nantes carrots are often a popular choice with home gardeners.
Types of Nantes carrot varieties include:
- Scarlet Nantes
- White Satin
Imperator – Imperator carrots are a very common choice for commercial carrot farmers due to their high sugar content. These carrots tend to grow much longer than many other types.
Carrot cultivars included within this type include:
- Atomic Red
- Cosmic Red
- Autumn King
Chantenay – Much like Nantes carrot plant types, Chantenay carrots do well when grown in less than ideal soils. For the best results, make certain to harvest these robust roots early. This will ensure consistently sweet and tender carrots.
Chantenay carrot varieties include:
- Red Cored Chantenay
- Royal Chantenay
Danvers – This adaptable root vegetable has little core and is nicely tapered in shape and size with a deep orange color and rich flavor. Danver carrots are popular for their ease of care and typically perform better than many others in their ability to form nice roots even in heavy, shallow soils.
Danvers 126 and Danvers Half-Long are most commonly planted.
Miniature carrots – This type of carrot generally includes roots that are harvested before growing too large. While some may grow only to small sizes, others within this category may also grow to form round radish-like roots. These “baby” carrots are great alternatives for home gardeners, as they can easily be planted in containers.
Miniature and round carrot varieties include:
- Paris Market
- Little Finger
- Short ‘n’ Sweet