Carrot in Clay Landrace

I would like to introduce my carrot landrace I started the last week week of September last year (2022).

To start, I only used 3 varieties: Lofthouse, Danvers, and over the rainbow.

I have attached images taken today: 3-20–2023.

I anticipate harvesting 90 % of this in about a month. I will let the cream of the crop go to seed, looking for any indication of superiority.

There is 1 unique colored plant that I attached a picture of. I definitely will let that one go to seed too.

Moving forward, what I have learned so far is I should have planted a month earlier. In that case, I believe I would have been eating carrots all winter, harvesting as needed. As a result of this situation, I will have to harvest most of it at once to make room to grow something else.

Also in the future, I plan on adding a lot more varieties. I think I have 7 or 8 additional varieties purchased since starting this project.


I just remembered I bought maybe 5-8 additional varieties and planted those the first week of October. I got a really good deal on an end of season seed sale at a hardware store. I forgot the names of those varieties, but I do remember checking to see “hybrid” on the label and making a point to avoid those due to CMS.

Therefore, there might be up to 10 varieties in this landrace.


So are you saying that you planted these carrots into clay soil that had not been amended in any way?

1 Like

It’s hard to see in the previous attached image, but there has been one change to the soil. I have shoveled dirt from the pathways to the beds, making the beds about 6-12” higher. The clover in the pathways I like to hand scatter those seeds and rake them in. I also hoed the beds.

I’ve had to weed the beds twice since the carrots were planted. I’ve also rigorously thinned out the carrots because I planted too many seeds. What you see there is the best of the lot so far after many rounds of thinning.

I’ll be interested in your progress. I have clay soil and have lots of carrot seed to try this year.

Ditto. I’m hoping to do some planting tomorrow. Our soil has so much clay that I’ve been able to wind some around my finger. :-/ But I’ve got some carrot tops from the store, and tiny amount of carrot seed to get started with. Lord willing, and the rabbits don’t pounce, there might eventually be something resembling a carrot patch. I’m not doing anything to my soil either. Which is to say that there’s a significant chance that all my efforts will come to naught. Which is to say, please continue to post pictures of your progress so that I can assuage my disappointments by vicariously enjoying your successes. :slight_smile:

1 Like

I have seen worse types of Clay in my travels than I am dealing with at home. The red Georgia Clay is different than here in south Mississippi. I probably have 10% sand, not sure.

Just so you know what I am dealing with, I have attached a video.

1 Like

Just a heads up. Store bought carrots are very likely to have male sterility. I would carefully note where you plant them so as to be able to check them carefully at flowering time.

Och, aye. I’m a newbie trying to cram a lot into my head, and I quite forgot about that bit. Many thanks, I shall do so.

I planted a few store bought carrots last year that tasted good. Two of them have sprouted this spring. If they prove to be male-sterile, which they probably will, I’ll probably save the seeds from them separately. Even if I don’t want them in my landrace, I could plant all those seeds in a separate population that is meant to be harvested through the winter to eat.

I have yet to confirm this with any first-hand experience, but carrot seeds should also be edible. I’m hoping to try some, see if the flavor is at all similar to caraway. If so, it would make a splendid addition to kraut. So it might be worth harvesting carrot seeds with no intention to plant them.

I’ve heard they can be used as a spice, so yes, they’re definitely edible!

My carrot seeds smell very strongly of carrots. They’re really aromatic. That surprised me, because the ones I’ve gotten in seed packets aren’t. Maybe they smell most strongly when they’re freshly harvested. My guess is they’ll taste a lot like they smell. It would of course be terribly shocking if carrot seeds tasted like carrot! :wink:

Carroty kraut would not go amiss either, for that matter. :slight_smile: Hmm, now I’m wondering about grinding them up and adding them to carrot cake…

Queen Anne’s lace is often claimed to be an abortificent to livestock. The flower head after it’s gone to seed. After a quick search it looks like it’s not so, but “Rather, it disrupts normal hormonal shifts in the body that would enhance and develop healthy endometrial lining for a pregnancy to implant. It makes the uterus inhospitable to grow a pregnancy.”
So if you plan to use seed you may want to look into it.

Whoa! So carrots are a problem for women who are trying to conceive? That’s alarming! Is that true of the root as well, or merely the seeds?

Just the mature flower head/seeds I believe. It’s for queen annes lace so it could be dependent on certain oils or something. Needs more researching.

1 Like

I would also expect this to only be true of the seeds, though I would not be surprised if carrot seed is disruptive for human pregnancies as well. There is a related plant grown for its seed called Ajwain widely used in Indian cuisine. It adds a pungent flavor and is great for digestion. To the best of my knowledge one of its pharmacological actions is abortifacient. Quantity, frequency, and combination are bound to be important factors

Either way, anything that significantly affects hormonal shifts is something I’d best avoid till my days as a dairy producer are done. Drat and bother. I shall console myself with more seed-planting.

1 Like

Also excited to hear how you go! Your soil looks more friable than ours but we’d like to grow carrots nicely too

Have you heard of Rouge Demi-courte de Guérande? We have planted a lot of carrot seed this year in rather challenging conditions but have yet to plant this one. It’s supposed to fair well in heavy clay

From Cornucopia II: A Source Book of Edible Plants by Stephen Facciola

Daucus corota Wild carrot
The aromatic seeds are used for flavouring stews, soups, fish chowders and savory sauces.

Although this entry is for the wild plant I see no reason why it wouldn’t apply to the domesticated version.
If anyone is interested I’d be happy to post the complete entry for both wild and domestic carrot in the resource section or perhaps in the off-topic area if that is more appropriate.