Carrots are a cool-season vegetable that can be planted in the early spring or late summer. They are a great source of vitamin A, and they are also high in antioxidants. One of the best things about carrots is that you can save the seeds from them and plant them the following year! In this blog post, we will teach you how to harvest carrot seeds for planting.
Where do Carrot Seeds Come From?
Carrot seeds are contained in the umbels, which are clusters of small white or yellow flowers that form at the top of the carrot’s main stem. When the flowers die, small seed pods will start to appear and ripen. These pods contain the tiny black seeds that you will be harvesting for planting.
When to Harvest Carrot Seeds
Carrot seeds can take a long time to ripen, so it is important that you wait until the pods are dry and beginning to split before harvesting them. This usually occurs in late summer or early fall.
How to Harvest Carrot Seeds
At first glance, there are a lot of seeds in the inflorescences. But not all of them are suitable for planting.
Choose large inflorescences, remove small branches, and leave the stem and main shoots. If the summer is wet, the inflorescences are cut and put in a dry room to ripen. The room should be well-ventilated.
The final readiness of the umbrellas can be checked by rubbing them with your hands – the seeds will easily crumble.
It is better to shake the seeds in prepared containers. It can be plastic cups or small containers. A cloth bag is also suitable.
How to Select Unsuitable Seeds
Unsuitable seeds are those that do not mature, lack healthy sprouts, or have other signs of disease. To select these seeds, pick out the inflorescences in advance and check them for signs of disease.
To check the suitability of seeds, they are soaked for 2 hours in water at room temperature. Low-quality seeds float to the surface, and high-quality ones sink to the bottom. The quality seeds are filtered and dried.
Saving Сarrot Seeds
If carrot seeds are properly harvested and stored in proper conditions, they can remain viable for 2-3 years. This will allow gardeners to save their own seed varieties and use them for future plantings. When storing carrot seeds, it is important to keep them in a cool, dry and dark place with temperatures between 0-5°C (32-41°F). The container should also be kept tightly sealed to prevent moisture from entering. It is recommended that the seed packets or containers are labeled with the variety and date of harvest. This will help to keep track of the seed’s age and viability.