Smash Negativity Team

Types of Carrots

Carrots, vegetables

One of the most fun aspects of gardening is browsing seed catalogs in the winter and discovering new vegetables to plant.

As you will soon find, a carrot is more than just a carrot; there are countless types of carrots to pick from.

Carrots are classified into five types: Nantes, Imperator, Chantenay, Danvers, and Ball or tiny carrots, in addition to many wonderful heirloom variations.

Every carrot has different attributes and characteristics, providing us with a genuinely unique growing experience.

Some are sweeter than others, have thinner or thicker roots, and grow in a variety of hues, including orange, purple, and even white!

However, before you sow carrot seeds this year, you should know which types will thrive in your area.

I’ve gathered a list of our favorite types of carrots, along with useful instructions on how to produce, harvest, and store them till needed!

The History Of Carrots

Today’s carrots are derived from wild carrots found in the Middle East. It is uncertain when the edible carrot first appeared, although early records indicate that it was used medicinally and in cuisine in ancient Egypt and the Persian Empire.

The ancient Greeks and Romans also used these less palatable types medicinally and by the 13th century, carrots had been grown in Asia and Europe into sweet-tasting root vegetables.

Open Pollinated VS Hybrid (F1)

Carrot seeds are either open-pollinated (OP) or hybrid (F1). Open-pollinated seeds are created when pollen is transferred between two related carrot kinds.

Many carrot kinds are hybrids, which means they are cross-pollinated with other varieties to produce new desirable qualities.

Hybridization is not the same as genetic alteration, which is a risky laboratory operation.

The Five Types of Carrots

Over the years, five primary cultivars have been developed, each with a different shape and characteristics:

1. Nantes

Fresh organic and sweet carrot over dark stone background

Nantes carrots were produced along the French coast more than 200 years ago. They are still popular today and the roots are cylindrical and medium in length, with a blunt end and a pleasant flavor.

There are dozens of Nantes types that thrive in a variety of environments; however, some can be difficult to grow.

Many Nantes farmers buy premium seeds from France but the majority of local seed vendors also provide high-quality seeds.

With over 40 types of Nantes to pick from, let’s take a look at some of the most popular.

2. Imperator

Senior farmer in field examining the carrots in his hands.

Imperator carrots are the most frequent type grown by commercial operations because they grow large, have a high sugar content and are what you typically see on grocery store shelves.

Typically, they thrive in deep, loose soil and are extremely sweet. Because the tops develop swiftly, it is easy to find them early for easy weeding, and they can be bunched nicely for the market.

Imperator carrots make a great storage crop. They can be eaten raw, boiled, steamed, or roasted.

3. Chantenay

nickcollins, pexels, 1297256.jpg

Chantenay are broad and thick, making them ideal for growing in shallow or heavy soils. They are sweet and flavorful, but if not harvested on time, they will grow woody. They are typically grown for canning, but they also keep exceptionally well.

4. Danvers

Danvers carrots were created in Massachusetts in the 1800s, hence their name. They have a typical “carrot” shape but these easy-to-grow carrots thrive in most growing situations and have a pleasant flavor.

5. Ball or Miniature

Short Rondo carrots on grey textured background with copy space, top view

All carrots can be harvested while they are small, but some types have been bred specifically for mini carrots. There are also some circular types that add interest to the landscape and table. Ball or miniature carrots are ideal for growing in containers or in gardens with shallow or heavy soil.

Popular Carrot Varieties to Grow in Your Home Garden

There are hundreds of carrot types available to home gardeners, so how do you decide which one to grow?

Continue reading to learn about the various carrots and which ones are most suited to your garden.

1. Scarlet Nantes

Scarlet Nantes are easy to grow and perform better than many other Nantes carrot kinds. Carrots mature to a uniform 18 cm (7″) size and can be harvested as baby carrots as they sweeten early. Scarlet Nantes are suitable for freezing and storing well.

2. Napoli

Napoli carrots are extra-early hybrids that thrive between spring and autumn. They are ideal for early sowing or late harvesting throughout lengthy seasons.

They have a superb shape, texture, and flavor, turning quite sweet after fall frosts, and are commonly used as “winter carrots” in temperate countries. Napoli can also be harvested as baby carrots.

3. Bolero

Bolero hybrids have excellent flavor, are easy to store, and can even overwinter in the ground in temperate areas. Furthermore, they are resistant to powdery mildew and other common carrot diseases. Bolero carrots are brilliant orange, thick, and heavy.

4. Little fingers

These are wonderful baby carrots with golden-orange skins. They’re sweet and have a nice texture.

Little Fingers are particularly suited for growing in containers and thrive well in heavy soil. They are delicious right out of the garden and are the perfect size and texture for pickling.

5. White satin

Fresh parsley root. Rustic background.

White Satin carrots are actually a Nantes/Imperator hybrid with a Danvers form. However, they are worth mentioning because they are crisp, juicy, and thrive in a variety of environments. They thrive in most gardens and are juicy and crisp, with a pleasant flavor.

6. Sugar Snax 54

These delicious carrots have straight, consistent roots with a sweet flavor and a nice texture. Sugarsnax 54 has a lovely orange color due to its high beta-carotene content, and it is resistant to several carrot blights.

7. Yellowbunch

Yellow carrots on blue cloth, from above

These are yellow carrots that are extremely delicious. They are excellent for fresh eating and retain their lovely flavor and color when cooked.

8. Viper

Viper carrots are narrow, long, and thin, making them suitable for dense plantings. They are relatively coreless and quite sharp.

9. Royal Chantenay

These regal-named carrots are popular for juicing, but they are also fantastic to can and freeze. They grow to be very large and broad, but they remain incredibly tasty. They are often fairly uniform and sell well at farmer’s markets.

10. Kuroda Nova

Kuroda carrots are frequently regarded as different types of carrot developed in the east, yet many seed firms classify them as a variety.

They are ideal for fresh eating and juicing, and can be plucked as young carrots. Kuroda Nova carrots are incredibly sweet and soft, no matter when they are picked.

How Do You Know When Carrots Are Ready for Harvest?

Size, color, and timing all influence when to harvest your garden carrots.

Carrots are a reasonably simple crop to cultivate in the garden, whether in the ground, raised beds or containers.

Give them loose garden soil and thin them adequately at the seedling stage and you’ll probably have success growing carrots.

Carrots should be ready to harvest 60–80 days after planting seeds, depending on the type. The tips of the carrot roots will be about 3/4 to 1 inch in diameter and will most likely begin to emerge from the soil, though this is not guaranteed.

They will also have bright colors. To harvest, loosen the soil surrounding the carrot with a spade or shovel before pulling up from the greens; this will prevent the greens from breaking away from the carrot roots.

Carrots develop about the same time, but they don’t have to be harvested all at once. The most effective method of preservation is to leave them in the soil.

If cold weather is on its way, cover the carrots or add more mulch to keep them from freezing.

How To Store Carrots

Trim the greens from your carrots, leaving approximately an inch to keep them in the fridge. You can either preserve the greens for later use or compost them.

Place the carrots in a jar of water and refrigerate. If the water becomes hazy before you finish eating the carrots, replenish it.

Growing Carrots

Carrots thrive in cool temperatures, so plant them in early spring for an early summer harvest or late summer for a fall and early winter crop.

They are easy to grow from seed. Make narrow rows, or furrows, in the earth with your finger. Sprinkle seeds down the row, approximately 15 seeds per foot.

Cover the seeds lightly with soil and gradually water them. Carrot seeds germinate slowly, so be patient.

It may take 2-3 weeks for your carrot plants to show indications of life and emerge from the earth. In a few more weeks, you’ll have a lot of seedlings to trim out.

When seedlings reach around 2 inches tall, thin them to one plant every 4–6 inches. To avoid damaging surrounding seedlings, clip the plants at soil level instead of dragging them out.

Give your carrots frequent watering as they grow—around 1 inch every week. Mulch around your plants to keep the soil moist and the weeds at bay.

To avoid sunlight-induced discoloration, cover the carrot roots with mulch as they emerge from the soil.

You can fertilize carrot plants, but don’t overdo it; too much nitrogen will produce lovely carrot greens but not the roots underneath.

Gardeners in warmer climates may be able to grow carrots all winter if they are well mulched, but in climates where the ground freezes and temperatures routinely fall below 32 degrees Fahrenheit, carrots should be harvested in late October.


With so many different types of carrots to pick from, it’s difficult to know where to start. Or perhaps you are an experienced carrot grower who wants to try something new in your garden. I hope this article helps you choose your next gardening experience.

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