Carrot Seeds - The Delightful Flower of the South
Carrot seeds are a great way to add a unique flavor to your favorite recipes, or to make a healthy snack that your whole family will love. Many people like to use the seeds from this succulent vegetable for salads and in boiling water for a tasty treat. It's a shame that not many of us know how to cook with carrots because they are quite tough to deal with when they are in their fresh state. When you do get to cook with them, though, it can be quite a wonderful experience.
Carrot seed production is a long process that takes months to complete. Carrots come from the root coat which is the top of the plant and has to be destroyed before the fleshy interior can be harvested. Carrot seeds are used in preparing sauces for stews and soups, in making ketchup, and as a garnish on food items. They also serve as a natural preservative for some foods and are good for replacing vitamin E that might be lost during storage. They have been a popular addition to soups and stews for centuries.
Carrot seeds are sold in supermarkets as well as seed catalogs and are available at most garden centers. Local nurseries should have good supplies of the best carrots for your garden. If you want the best quality, you may have to invest in a hybrid variety. Hybrids are cross-produced between two separate lines of carrots so that there will be extra vitamin C in the plants. The cost for planting hybrid carrots is slightly more expensive than buying a pure breed but, in the end, you will reap the rewards by having sweet, healthy, bright, and colorful garden flowers and vegetables.
Carrot flowers and leaves don't do well in dry soil so you will need to water often during dry spells. You should check the soil frequently for excess moisture and add water when necessary. A heavy frost may also kill some varieties of the Carrot family so keep any remaining vegetables covered until the weather conditions improve.
The most effective way to grow Carrot seeds is to cross-pollinate the Carrot plant with a member of the same family like the Queen Anne or Royal Gala breeds of plants. These plants have many desirable characteristics and yield very well if they are cross-bred. The best Carrot seeds to use are those that come from hybrid varieties that are the result of cross-pollination so that they have the desired traits of both parent trees. Some hybrid varieties also cross-pollinate better with the likes of the dwarf Carrot and the false Carrot. In this case, the parent Carrot tree has to be planted alongside its true parent to achieve cross-pollination.
The flowering period of the Carrot flowers is quite short - four weeks on average. During this short flowering period, the flowers drop their petals and the appearance of the entire plant changes from whitish to yellow. Once the blooming period is complete, the young roots begin to climb up the sides of the trunk. As the plants get older, they form long, straight shoots that reach up to six inches in height. The tallness of the shoots encourages their growth and brings the garden visitor out to look at them.
The most visible characteristic of the plants is that of the large number of blooms. With a single bloom producing about forty flowers on average, it is evident that this small Carrot flower has a prolific reproductive system. The large number of blooms, though does not mean that the plant is a florist's dream as other flowers produce far fewer blooms. This short-lived Carrot flower is in fact so productive and prolific that it takes over fifteen days for each flower to bloom completely before the plant must bloom again.
The final and one of the best known characteristics of the Carrot (other than its appealing shape) is that of its ability to grow rapidly. The average gardener can easily grow up to twelve plants of this compact perennial by choosing only two Carrot flowers for a single harvest. The Carrot is so well known for its prolific growth that it has been planted to cover just about any flat surface with its seeds. While the average garden can never have too many Carrot flowers, a great place for planting these quick growing bulbs is the vegetable garden as they will grow quickly and make a colorful accent for your salads and side dishes.