One of my earlier carrot growing efforts
Inspired by the recent discovery of some yellow carrots thriving under a heap of last year's poppy twigs, I've decided to have another go at carrot cultivation in 2008.
I thought I was rubbish at it. And I don't know why, because my light, sandy and stoneless soil should be absolutely ideal for them. Having abandoned my 2007 crop as a failure, the two solitary specimens of Jaune Obtuse du Doubs not only survived and grew to a good size in spite of me, they came out flawless and perfect. If they can cope with poor conditions and total neglect then it's got to be worth giving them another go. Furthermore, they tasted absolutely lovely. Very sweet and crunchy, and in a different league to shop-bought carrots. The seed came from The Real Seed Catalogue.
What I really want to try though is purple carrots. I've heard mixed views about how successful they are in the garden, but I'm a sucker for anything with an unusual colour, and purple vegetables are rich in anthocyanins. I tried to get some last year but couldn't find any that weren't F1 hybrids. In desperation I bought a packet of Purple Haze F1 from a local garden centre earlier this year, just so that I've got something to try out while I'm looking for an open-pollinated version. But more recently I discovered a mail order nursery in the UK that has a good range of speciality carrots of all colours, and pretty low prices too. Nicky's Nursery are offering two open-pollinated purple carrots: Cosmic Purple, which is purply-red on the outside and yellowy orange inside, and the more intensely purple (but still orange in the centre) Purple Dragon. It'll be exciting to find out how they do in the garden. They also have red, yellow, white, and cream carrots, some F1 and some OP, so it's a carrot fancier's delight.