Wednesday 23 July 2014

Carrot Seeds

    Things always end up being more complicated than I think they will be.  I have been attending outings of the newly formed seed savers group here in the Robson Valley.  I missed the first meeting and that is where members chose which seeds they were going save.  In the meantime, I noticed that I had missed some carrots last fall when I dug them, and that this year I have a few of those carrots up and growing again.
    Carrots are bi-annual plants.  They don’t make seeds the first year, but if left in the ground, the second year they produce flowers, which in turn, make seeds.  
    At the first seed savers meeting I attended, they went around the group so that each person could explain what seeds they were saving, and how things were proceeding.  When it came to me my turn, since I hadn’t chose a vegetable to save, I just said I had some volunteer carrots coming up and that I would save them.  Now I am not so sure.
    As you can see in the photo, my volunteer carrots are blooming, so there should be seeds in my future, but will they be any good?
    I just did a Google search on saving carrot seeds and read some discouraging things.  It seems that most carrot seeds available in stores are hybrids, and if you save the seeds of a hybrid, you never know what you are going to get.  You won’t get the same kind of carrot you had before.  You may get sterile seeds, you may get bad tasting carrots, or really small ugly carrots.  Anyway, the likelihood is that what you get will not be a good carrot.
    So now I am not sure what I should do.  Probably the most reasonable thing will be is to just enjoy the flower and not waste my time collecting the seeds.  

    I save and have been successful in replanting peas, beans, and some tomato seeds, all of which were not hybrids.  If you want to save and replant seeds you need to pick a heritage variety of plant.

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