Saturday, June 22, 2013

Purple Carrot Experiment

In looking for new vegetable varieties to try out I stumbled across purple carrots. Although the majority of purple carrots I have grown in the past have been of purple only on the outside, I have been experimenting with some more deep purple carrot varieties.

A few purple carrots from a recent carrot trial

One helpful hint, courtesy of Kitazawa seed company, is that if your desire is to have your carrots exhibit full dark colors, you should grow them over the winter. Thus, if you want to grow a dark red or purple carrot – you should try to grow them when the weather is cool.

In May my purple carrot experiment was doing well

Thinning a few of the carrots out in May

Some more purple carrots

Another reason to grow carrots in the winter, should you live in a hot climate like I do, is that growing over the winter can assist in avoiding harsh summer growing conditions and pests. In my excitement to plant a new purple carrot variety, I decided to try growing my carrots over the summer. However, thanks to some local leaf-hoppers and the unrelenting heat of the summer putting my plants under stress, my whole purple carrot patch became infested with mosaic.

With leafhoppers comes Mosaic
The leafhoppers discovered the remaining carrots
All I could do to save the remaining carrots from mosaic was to pull up most of them and hope for the best. While pulling out the carrots, the leafhoppers clued in on what I was doing and shifted their population to the last healthy plants. The remaining plants soon became diseased. My only consolation is that I learned something and that I have more seed for next fall. Until then, I will make sure to remove all food sources (including carrots) for the local leafhoppers. The main consolation of a failed vegetable experiment is that I can consume my failures before they consume me.

Another way to say "garden failure" is "dinner time"


  1. Too bad about the mosaic. I have grown white, orange and purple I have not had too many problems but it doesn't get as hot as it does for the color of those purple carrots.

  2. I have also heard that growing carrots with onions confuses all these pests due to the smell of the onions.

    1. Thanks for the tip, KL. I am growing radishes and onions right now and it has definitely helped with the cucumber beetles. Though the squash vine borers and other pests are still able to find me.

  3. That is NOT a failure! You experimented, learned, and pulled off a small harvest of astonishing-looking carrots! The world would know if I grew those!

    1. Thank you, Anastasia. I still have much to learn.


Dear Gardening Friends,
I look forward to learning more about gardening with you. Your comments help me recognize that gardening is a life-long journey.

To advertisers: Note that this blog is concerned with gardening and gardening techniques. Please do not attempt to advertise here by leaving a comment. Depending upon how egregious the comment is, it may be deleted.