Before I go into the main discussion, let me briefly show you how to harvest your carrots + carrot seeds: before harvesting the carrots, make sure the soil around the carrot roots is loosened with spade. Loosening the soil helps prevent breaking the greens off from the carrot roots. Then, pull the carrot roots and place in a container or clean place.
On the other hand, carrot seeds can be harvested the following year. To harvest your carrot seeds, remove and dry the mature umbels. Then, place the umbels in a bowl and then rub the umbels between your fingers to help loosen the carrot seeds from the flower heads. Read on for detailed step by step instructions on how to harvest carrots and carrot seeds.
Information about carrots
Unlike most veggies, beans, corn, tomatoes, squash, and lettuce, which are annual crops and by annual, it means that their life cycle, growing from seed to producing seed, in one growing season.
Carrot is a biennial plant, and they require two growing seasons to complete their life cycle.
This simply means that to have seeds which you will need for the next harvest, you will have to give up some crops to preserve the seeds.
However, harvesting seeds for the next planting season is usually profitable as you get to harvest the same species of carrot, not the hybrids.
HOW TO KNOW WHEN TO HARVEST YOUR CARROT SEEDS
The best kind of soil to grow your carrot is in a loose sandy soil.
Using the right soil makes other factors such as planting, watering, and harvesting much easier.
Carrots bloom and produce seeds over a longer period of time.
If you are not sure what carrot seeds look like, pay close attention to the tips of the flower stems.
As the umbels are fertilized, the base of each floret begins to swell.
Naturally, the outer seeds of the plant begin to mature a little earlier than the seeds closest to the center.
You may want to consider harvesting the seeds when the seed head begins to turn brown and dry.
Another way to know that your carrot is ripe for harvesting is when your carrots begin to thrust out of the ground and you begin to see their heads.
If you want bigger carrots or you want your carrots to grow longer you may want to leave it to continue growing.
HOW TO HARVEST CARROT SEEDS
To harvest the carrot seeds, you will be required to trim off the seed head and set them aside until they fully dry out.
After you have trimmed the individual seed heads, it can now harvest the seeds by rubbing the seeds heads between your hands.
Keep harvested seeds in an area with good ventilation.
It should be kept away from rain and allowed to dry for at least two weeks.
HOW TO STORE YOUR HARVESTED CARROT SEED
The suitable place to keep the seeds is in a small paper bag, where they’re protected from the environmental factors that might cause damage to the seeds.
A glass jar or plastic container can also be used as storage if that is the only available thing. However, be careful not to allow your seed heads to be locked in containers with too much moisture.
If using plastic or glass containers, it’s best to leave them uncovered and store them in a dry, safe place until the seed heads are done drying out.
Can you get carrot seeds from carrot tops?
Yes, you can get seeds from carrot tops. This occurs when you leave your carrots up to a flowering stage. The carrots will flower the following year and produce seeds.
When should carrots be harvested from seeds?
Carrots can be harvested from 70-80 days after planting. However, some varieties of carrots will mature earlier or later than the time stated here.
Do carrots reseed themselves?
Carrot is one of the plants that self-sow themselves if left in the ground. Carrots are biennials like beets, which reseed the following year in the garden.
Related: How To Harvest Onions And Garlic
Do carrots come every year?
Carrot plant is not an annual crop, which grows every year. Carrots are biennial crops. They take two growing seasons or years to produce flowers and seeds.
How do you know carrots are ready to harvest?
You will get to Know when your carrots are ready if the top of the carrots are about 0.75 to 1 inch in diameter. The carrot top will also begin to pop out of the soil. Another good sign that indicates carrots are ready for harvest is a vibrant color.
What happens if you don’t harvest carrots?
If you don’t harvest your carrots and leave them till the following year, the carrots will use the nutrients in them to produce flowers and seeds. Then, they eventually die in fall.
Should I let my carrots flower?
It depends on what you want to do with your carrots. If you are growing the carrots for consumption, you can harvest the carrots before they begin to flower. However, if you want to save the carrot seeds for planting in the future, you can leave the carrots to flower and produce seeds.
To improve the quality of your crop yield, it is advisable to harvest only seeds that have the best traits and tendency to germinate.
Take note of seeds that bloom earlier than the others. Harvest these you use during your next planting season.
Be on the lookout for those with the best appearance you can do these by observing the root color or quality at harvest time, store and replant.
1. “Yield and quality responses of carrots (Daucus carota L.) to water deficits” retrieved from here
2. “Advances in research on the carrot, an important root vegetable in the Apiaceae family” retrieved from here