Should you save carrot seed?
To answer that, start off by thinking about the carrots you grow.
Are any of your carrot varieties open pollinated?
Or are they all F1 hybrids like Napoli, Yaya, or Miami?
If you’re only growing F1s and you don’t want to trial any OPs, then carrot seed saving is not on the table.
If you’re growing OPs, there is one big reason carrot seed still might not be a good choice for #seedsavingformarketgrowers.
Queen Anne’s Lace!
Those weedy carrots.
Queen Anne’s Lace is the same species as carrots and will happily cross up with you carrots.
If you have any Queen Anne’s Lace, then do not choose carrot seed as one of your beginning seed crops.
All that being said, carrots are a staple crop that are not going out of style any time soon.
If you get good at growing carrot seed that thrives in market gardens, you will have a lot of friends looking for some seed.
The PROS of saving Carrot seed:
- Easy to grow extra in your market garden and choose the best for seed
- Spring Radishes are ANNUAL – from seed to seed in 1 season
- There are great open pollinated varieties
The CONS of saving Carrot seed:
- BIENNIAL- you need to get these plants to year 2
- Crossers – only grow one variety for seed at a time
- Crossers – they also cross with Queen Anne’s Lace
- A lot of hybrid varieties – make sure you have an OP for seed
- Prefers dry climates – carrot seed does not thrive in humid climates, a tunnel or greenhouse can help offset that.
2lbs to 4lbs from a 100ft bed
3 to 4 years