This is a blog post on growing and harvesting purple carrots at home. I love growing purple carrots as it gives a nice distinctive vivid purple when it is fully mature. The purple colour also makes nice food colouring. this shown in the example of carrot cheesecake. So it makes a great unusual colour of carrot to grow it also has its culinary uses. To grow it is almost the same as any carrots. I buy the purple carrot seeds online from eBay and Premier seeds direct.
Growing and harvesting purple carrots.
I normally sow the seeds on a propagator but if there isn’t one just sow them covered over the radiator. Sowing under the propagator just simply provides a constant temperature for seed germination. If the seeds are viable it will germinate fairly quickly for about 5 days. But do give a bit longer up to 10 days. Sow the seeds from early spring (March) till late September. The carrots will grow in the winter if the risk of high but at a much slower rate. Try to spread the seeds as thinly as possible when sowing. As when the seedlings are young they are very hard to thin out. Some articles I read sow the seeds in toilet roll holder as it is hallowed and organic. This just makes life easier when the carrot seedling matured to directly transfer them to the growing place. I have in the past used loo roll holders but found that it causes mould to form around them after prolong sowing. I now just recycle plastic grow pots.
Once the seedling are started to grow their actual leaves transfer them outside onto the growing place. It is possible to grow carrots in pots as well. The young purple carrot seedlings can withstand some early morning spring chill. So growing outside it is not much an issue unless it’s frosty. Grow the carrots in well-drained manure compost in a sunny spot. Try to give them as much space as possible (at least 5cm apart) otherwise, the carrots just wouldn’t form.
Probelms in growing purple carrots
Protect the seedling from aphids. One of the problems in growing is the carrots don’t form nicely (tuning fork shape carrot) make sure to grow carrots in loose well-drained soil. Also, make sure the tops of the carrots are covered to prevent tops from growing into a different on the top.
When the leaves of the carrot tops starts to mature and you can see the thickening of carrot top it is ready to harvest. From seed to harvest it take in between 2-3 months.