Monday, August 01, 2011

Carrots Gone Wild: Saving Seeds Part 2

On my July trip to the cabin, I found that my carrots from 2010 had gone wild. Normally I leave my carrots in the ground through the winter to pick as needed, but last year I didn't get back as anticipated. Consequently, my remaining carrots completed their two year cycle and went to seed.

My friend Margaret here in Powell River suggested I try saving the seeds. She said covering the flower heads with muslin (I used cheesecloth) would contain the seeds. When I got home this week, the heads were all dry and ready to pick. There were more seeds than I could ever use, so I chose the biggest and best.

Removing the seeds from the heads was easy. All I had to do was rub them with my finger and then fell right off. I did find a few aphids, so I finished drying them outdoors on the porch. There's plenty for me and for Margaret to share.

Now the big question is, what will they produce? I'm not sure what variety I planted two years ago. I think they are either Scarlet Nantes or Chantenay. If so, they are probably non-hybrids and will reproduce true. If not, who knows what may result. I plan to plant the seeds in one of my four raised beds next spring and see what happens. It's worth a try to complete the experiment. -- Margy


  1. It will be a lovely suprise when you dig them up, orange treasure! x

  2. Oh yes, I agree with Fran. It will be a lovely surprise! I've never heard of this happening before, although I imagine some of my gardening friends have experienced carrot seeds.
    How seriously cool, Margy. It will be fun to hear about this next year.

    Kay, Alberta, Canada
    An Unfittie’s Guide to Adventurous Travel

  3. Yes Kay and Fran, this has been quite the experiment. If I hadn't left the carrots in the ground so long by accident I never would have tried it. Yes, it will be fun to see what comes up in the spring. I'm sure there's be a future post about that. - Margy

  4. You ladies are so inspiring. My garden was such a failure. I am happy to buy produce from the pros nearby.

  5. It will be interesting to see what comes up. The experts are always saying that fruit in particular never comes true from collected seed, apples should be grafted etc., but I planted a cherry stone years ago and have a beautiful tree now, the fruit is sweet, trouble is I can rarely get to it before the blackbirds! I've grown an apple tree that is producing nice apples, and I have a small grapefruit bush that has to stay indoors, no flowers or fruit on that yet.

  6. Jenn - You are so busy. Maybe next year it will do better.

    Jackie - Good to hear of your successes with seed saving. I'll let everyone know next year what happens.



We welcome your comments and questions. - Wayne and Margy