Daucus carota var. sativus
Common Name: carrot
Type: Annual
Family: Apiaceae
Native Range: Afghanistan
Zone: 2 to 11
Height: 0.25 to 3.00 feet
Spread: 0.25 to 3.00 feet
Bloom Time: June to July
Bloom Description: White
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Vegetable
Flower: Showy

Culture

Best grown in a loose, fertile, well-drained soil that is free of rocks or heavy clumps of clay that may distort root development. Best in full sun, but tolerates some light shade. Avoid unamended clay soils. Raised beds may be used. Seed may be sown about two-three weeks prior to last spring frost date. Sow seeds with a very thin layer of covering material (compost or peat). Keep soils surface moist to prevent crusting. Germination typically takes up to 14 days in 60 degree temperature soils. Provide consistent moisture. When seedlings rise to 1-2" tall, thin them to 1 1/2-3" apart. Harvest in 2-3 months. Leave carrots in the soil until needed (fresh pulled carrots usually have the best taste).

Noteworthy Characteristics

Cultivated carrots are popular vegetables which feature edible tapered taproots that are typically orange. Cultivated carrots were reportedly first developed in Afghanistan from wild carrot (Daucus carota var. carota) which is the weedy Queen Anne's lace that is native to Europe and Asia but has naturalized over time in North American fields, disturbed ground and along roadsides. Carrots typically grow from 3" to 36" tall depending on variety (cultivars cover a wide range of plants ranging from baby carrots to much larger versions) with finely divided foliage. Carrots are biennial and do not produce flowers the first year, but clusters (umbels) of tiny white flowers will appear the second year if plants have not been removed from the garden.

Genus name comes from a Latin name.

Specific epithet from Greek means carrot.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems. Carrot rust fly maggot and wireworm are potential insect problems. Aster yellows (inner foliage yellows and stunts with stunted taproot) is a potential disease problem (spread by leafhoppers).

Garden Uses

Vegetable for vegetable gardens.