Growing your own vegetables at home backyard garden is one of the best ways to save money besides enjoying a rich delicious vegetables that can’t find in the market. Additionally, the gardening tasks that are involved in maintaining the garden are quite simple and straightforward.
Read on to learn how to grow carrots from scraps and seeds while I’m answering some of your frequently asked questions about growing carrots.
Can you grow carrots from a carrot top?
Yes, you can grow carrots from carrot tops. But, you can’t regrow carrot roots without the tops. The leaves or stalks should be present before the carrot can sprout. Normally, when people eat carrots, they live tops as leftovers. And these are the parts of carrots we refer to as scraps.
How to grow carrots from scraps
To grow carrots from scraps the right way, you need to keep the following steps checked:
1. Collect the carrots scraps: collect good scraps from your leftovers that their leaves are still fresh. Do not use those carrots tops whose leaves started to rot. If you plant these types of carrots tops, they may not sprout or regrow.
2. Cut the carrot tops: if you want to use carrot tops to regrow another carrot plant, make sure you leave a bit of carrot root flesh on the carrot stalk. When you cut off the carrot tops from the main carrot roots, you need to also trim the leaves from the stalks.
3. Add small water to a container: find a shallow container and add a small of water to it. The size of the container depends on how many carrots tops you want to regrow. If you are growing too many carrot tops, you need to find and use a container with a larger size.
4. Place the carrot tops in water: when you are done with preparing the carrot tops, place them in the container. Do not submerge the carrot tops in the water. Just immerse the carrot flesh that is left to the carrot stalk(s).
5. Place the container in a warm and shady area: after you finish placing the carrot tops in the container, set the container in partial shade that receives 6 hours of direct sunlight daily. Also, make sure that the place is well-ventilated.
6. Change the water timely: you need to change the water in the container from time to time. When the water change from normal to cloudy brown, replace it with clean and clear water.
7. Transplant the carrot plants: after 5-10 days, you can begin to notice new growth of shoots, leaves, and roots. Leave them to grow for about 2 weeks before you transplant them to the garden soil or container. After about 2 weeks or more, the leaves, roots, and shoots must have sprouted and grown well. At this time, you can transplant them.
If you are transplanting to the container, use a good container and a soil mix that is specifically made for growing vegetables like carrots. And if you are transplanting them to a garden spot, choose an area in the partial sun that had quality soil. ( Tip: learn more on how to choose a good garden spot here.)
When you find the right spot in your backyard, prepare and arrange the garden into beds (Tip: learn how to prepare a garden spot from scratch here.) Dig small holes according to the number of carrot tops you sprouted. Place the sprouted carrot tops in each hole. Make sure you only plant the roots in the ground while the shoots and leaves should face up. Water the garden soil and carrot plants immediately after transplanting.
8. Take care of your garden: watch your carrot garden by giving the carrots absolute care. Water regularly to keep the garden soil moist. But, avoid over-watering or flooding your carrot garden as this can damage your carrot plant and attract pests and diseases. So, just water enough to keep the soil moist. Mix in compost and other slow-release fertilizer (sub as 10-10-10) to the garden. Watch for pests and diseases, and control them.
Tip: learn more on how to to take care of your garden here
How long does it take for carrots to grow from scraps?
Under normal conditions, an average carrot can take up to 70 to 80 days to mature after planting. However, some varieties of carrots can grow and mature faster or slower than other varieties of carrots.
How many carrots does a carrot plant produce?
Under normal conditions, a carrot plant that is grown from carrot scraps cannot produce carrots but if allowed, the carrot plant can produce flowers and seeds which can later be grown into carrots that can produce carrots.
Now, you have seen how to grow carrots from scraps, let us now look at how to grow carrots from seeds. But, before then, let me explain a few important questions about growing carrots from seeds.
Where is the seed in a carrot?
Carrot seeds are produced in the flower head. The carrot plant can produce more than 1000 flowers. The flowers are of two types: the outer and core flowers. The outer flowers mature earlier than the core flowers but the inner flowers contain the most fertile pollen. Each of the flowers has 5 sepals, 2 carpels, and 5 stamens.
Related: learn how to store your carrots step by step
Additionally, each carpel contains two ovules. Despite, having both the male and female sex organs on the same carrot plant. The carrot plant is not considered a self-pollinator. This is because both the pollen and ova do not mature at the same time. The ova has to be fertilized by a different carrot plant. The seeds of carrots are very tiny and are enclosed within a protective tissue known as mericarp.
How do you get seeds from carrot tops?
Collecting carrot seeds is not simple. The process requires you to dedicate your time and energy. This is because carrot seeds are very tiny and light. And so if you want to collect carrot seeds, you need to employ different harvesting techniques.
To get the carrots seeds, pick like 15-20 healthy, mature, and dry flower umbels from the carrot tops using a pruner. Place the umbels in clean and brown paper bags. The seeds need proper air. So, do not place the flower umbels too close together. Leave space to allow proper ventilation.
You need to place these brown paper bags in a dry and well-ventilated area in order for the umbels to dry. When the flower umbels become brittle and dried, transfer them into a tray. Use your hand to rub each flower umbel between your fingers to remove the carrot seeds.
Then, after rubbing, you will be left with spiky carrots and chaff. Remove the big chaff with your hands from spiky seeds. You need to still rub the spiky seeds to separate the spikes from the seeds. Then, you will be left with spiky chaff and carrot seeds. The spiky chaff can be easily removed or separated from the seeds with animal fur.
How to grow carrots from seeds
Here is a step by step guide on how to grow carrots from seeds
1. Choose the type of carrot variety: the first step is to choose a quality carrot variety that you will grow. Choose seeds that are well adapted to your climatic conditions. Moreover, select and buy varieties of carrots that are either open-pollinated or heirloom seeds.
There are many good carrot varieties that are heirlooms, open-pollinated, and organic which you can find from your local growers or certified seed companies. Some of the good carrot varieties include little fingers, solar yellow, Denvers, Nantes, and thumberline.
If you are still wondering about choosing and buying quality carrot varieties, refer yourself to this article and this one. You will get everything you need to know about choosing and buying seeds in the articles.
2. Choose a good spot for your carrots: the ideal soil for growing carrots is loose sandy soil that is fertile, ventilated, and well-drained. The carrots thrive well in partial shade. So, do not locate your carrot garden in full sun.
3. Choose the right time for planting carrots: carrot loves cold weather. Start your seeds indoors in late summer and transplant them to the garden during spring. If you are planning to harvest in the summer. Sow the carrot seeds in the garden 3-5 weeks before your last frost.
And if you are planning to harvest your carrots in fall, sow your carrots in mid to late summer. Do this about 10 weeks before your first fall frost.
4. Prepare the garden soil: after you have located the right place you want to grow your carrot seeds, you need to prepare the garden and make it ready for planting your carrot seeds.
To prepare the garden, till down the 12-inch layer of the garden soil to loosen the soil. Use your hands or garden rake to remove large rocks, stones, and clumps, and other off plants.
Instead of adding compost and fertilizer that contains a high amount of nitrogen, add in coffee grounds or any compost with low nitrogen content. Arrange and section the garden into a raised beds.
5. Plant your carrot seeds: to plant your carrot seeds, direct sow the seeds in the garden soil. Direct sowing is best because carrot roots do not want to be disturbed. However, some carrots growers prefer to start them indoors and then transfer them to the garden. This method requires expertise. Sow seeds 0.25 inches deep in the ground. Leave 2-3 inches of space between holes and 1-foot space between rows.
6. Water the garden: immediately after planting, gently water the garden to keep the garden soil moist. But, avoid over-watering as this may cause the carrot seeds to rot.
7. Mulch the garden: add mulch to the garden soil to help keep moisture, reduce effects of direct sunlight, and speed up the germination process.
8. Take care of your carrot garden: watch your garden by taking good care of it. Weed the garden timely when you see off plants growing. When the carrot seedlings grow to an inch tall, thin them by snipping the tops with scissors. Water the garden regularly to keep the garden soil moist. Feed the carrots with a high-potassium and -phosphate fertilizer after 5-6 weeks of planting. Do not fertilize your carrots with a nitrogen-rich fertilizer. Watch for pests and diseases and control them.
How long does it take to grow carrots from seeds?
Under normal conditions, from seeds to harvest, carrots can take up to 50-80 days. However, some varieties of carrots can mature earlier or later than this time.
In this article, I discussed how to grow carrots from seeds and scraps. I hope you will find the article helpful. Let me know if you have any questions.