Last year I planted a few Heirloom Red Cored Chantenay Carrots from a seed packet I bought in one of my local shops. The carrots grew nicely, until the chipmunk found a delightful game gathering up most of the seeds I planted. I could see his or her impressions in the planter where they sat and filled their little cheeks to the brim…I even caught one of them in action one early morning when I went out before my pup..
I ate three whole carrots last year ~ Yes that is all the little critter left for me in the garden.. This year my carrots are planted in my 5th permaculture bed with plastic fencing and netting all around.. I suppose they could just crawl underneath the twigs of the bed and get to the vegetables, but so far they have left that bed alone.. Whew….
Above is a picture of a carrot that began growing in my 1st permaculture bed this early spring. I noticed something popping up very early and then we had frost and even a cover of snow in May…Since, I’ve read that some seeds like a deep freeze (like your indoor freezer for a short time ~ I think it said 2 hours… So, I didn’t worry about the carrot seeds I planted before the last frost this year inside my 5th bed.. But, back to the above picture….
I read that carrots will grow one year and not flower until the second year. Hum.. I didn’t know that, since most of my things tend to bolt long before it’s time and I’m out there picking off the flower heads from my dill and cilantro this summer.. The second year the carrots will develop a nice flower head like you see in the picture above.
Now this is where my reading got very interesting.. to get the seeds you need two different plant types…. A nice fat round one and a nice slender brightly colored orange one. The article got very scientific on me, but I gathered it’s something like my zucchini last year, a male flower and a female flower to arrive down the road to a nice looking vegetable for steaming… These flower heads are similar to that if I understood the process correctly.. I forgot to save the link to where I was reading up, but found another one for you to check out if you’re interested…
From this link I found that I might actually get some seeds from this plant as it’s not a hybrid but rather mine are the heirloom… This is the second year and with the many days with chill in the air this year it was or appears to be the perfect combination for my plant to turn into this below…
Courtesy of: http://www.carrotmuseum.co.uk/photos/seedheadlge.jpg
After it dries out like the above picture the head will prepare to scatter the seeds into the wind. If it’s dry the flower head will lean over so as to spread the seeds, and if it’s wet the head will stay upright and appear closed.. I found that simple act of the carrot so interesting, because it’s the road toward survival. I had to giggle at this as I was reading the information on the internet today. I’d never thought about the lovely orange carrot to this degree ~ only what was I going to steam in my bamboo steamer tonight and carrots are usually in the mix of vegetables as I just love them.
I visited a fellow blogger the other day, and they had beautiful pictures of Queen Anne’s Lace. Which is actually a wild variety of carrot. I researched this as it looked just like my flower head on my carrot growing in the now named, Carrot Patch….
I’m excited to see what my carrot flower will turn into down this road of gardening for this season, but be sure that I’ll post an update as soon as the transformation happens.. Don’t ya just love gardening… it’s a hoot… 🙂
Until next time
~Laura & her Pup ~