Growing Carrots – Variety Comparison

l-r - Imperator Long, Napoli and Sweetness III

I’m harvesting some pretty nice carrots now – and this year I can tell which variety is which, for a change!  In previous years I have sown different varieties all mixed up together, but deciphering which varieties I like best, or grow well for me was questionable at best.

This season I’ve sown three varieties of carrot, in a big block as usual, but I separated the block into thirds and tried to sprinkle each variety in its own patch.  And I can certainly see the difference, this year I can tell which variety I’m eating and which ones germinated and are growing well. I’ve planted them (cleverly, I think) in alphabetical order within the block, so I would remember who went where because I’m not good at labelling things.

The  carrots growing in my vegetable garden this year are:

Imperator Long (Pacific Northwest Seeds) – I’ve grown this variety before and it has always produced the biggest, longest carrots in the garden.  And size DOES matter!  I find the core a trifle chewy, and it’s not as sweet as other varieties, but it produces a lot of carrot.

Napoli (West Coast Seeds) – This one is new to me this year, It’s billed as an extra-early, sweet hybrid that grows very well in cool conditions and if seeded late can provide a super sweet winter carrot.  Well, I can vouch for the super sweet part – they are very sweet, crunchy and tasty, but germination was spotty.  I’m not really positive that germination was poor, or if I was skimpy when sowing the seed (which was twice the price of the other varieties, and as we all know, I’m frugal).  At any rate, it’s yummy enough that I’ll definitely grow Napoli again.

Sweetness III (Pacific Northwest) – Ding Ding Ding Ding – and we have a winner!  I love this carrot!  It germinated madly, has grown quickly and is producing long, tender yet crunchy super sweet carrots.  These roots are almost as long as the Imperator carrots (so far) but much thicker, and so much tastier.  And the seed was inexpensive to boot!

There’s still more season ahead to assess these three varieties, but as of now I’m thinking that I need to plant a lot more Sweetness III, definitely repeat the Napoli, and probably dump the Imperator – size matters, but flavour matters a lot more!

Fresh, homegrown carrots, yum!

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About hortophile

I am a very opinionated, slightly obsessed gardener with decades of experience in the retail nursery industry. A lucky resident of the "Wet Coast" of British Columbia I tread a muddy path between practicality and beauty, with my veggie patch, herb garden and fruits vying for position with the beautiful trees, shrubs and flowers that I can't resist. DON'T ask me to choose between them! I believe in environmental responsibility and common sense.
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4 Responses to Growing Carrots – Variety Comparison

  1. barb19 says:

    It was good to compare and notice which ones grow the best, then you know which ones not to waste time and energy on. Sweetness III and Napoli look like a winners to me!

  2. Before I read to the end of the post just looking at the photo I liked the look of Sweetness III
    I am going to plant my carrots soon…too dry in the summer for me to grow.

  3. Paul G says:

    Hi,

    Can you tell me what type of soil the sweetness III and Napoli were planted in?
    Some seem to do well in heavy soils and others need extra deep loam.

    Thanks

    Paul

    • hortophile says:

      Hi Paul,

      My soil is clay based with tons of rocks, not exactly prime for carrots, so I add copious amounts of compost and peat moss, removing as many rocks as possible before seeding.

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