Over the past two years I’ve grown six different varieties of carrots. I’ve grown purple carrots, giant carrots, miniature carrots, and even some “normal” carrots. So I thought I’d write a quick review the different varieties that I’ve grown and maybe you’ll want to try one or two in your garden next summer. So let’s jump right into it.
In the first year I had my square foot garden, I tried this little fellow. The seed package had a picture of little golf ball like carrots, so I thought they would work great in my square foot garden, seeing as the soil in it is only six inches deep. I found the flavor to be a little lacking – not as sweet as your traditional carrot. They were also pretty awkward to peel, since they are so small. Overall I found them pretty useless. True, they were unique, but I don’t think I’ll grow them again.
For being too small to be useful, and lacking in flavor, I give the Parmex Carrot just 1 out of 5.
In 2006 my carrots grew very large. I’m not sure if it was the weather or the varieties I grew. Perhaps it was a combination of both. The Scarlet Nantes (pictured below on the right) was a pretty average carrot. It had good flavor and a cylindrical shape. Good for fresh eating (easy to make into carrot sticks).
For being an average carrot, I give the Scarlet Nantes 3 out of 5.
This carrot (pictured in the previous picture on the left) was also a pretty average carrot. Most of our carrot eating was done right out of the garden, but my wife did cook the occasional carrot. Conical in shape and with a little bit nicer core flavor than the Scarlet Nantes, the Red Danver was my preferred carrot in 2006.
For being a little bit better than average, I give the Red Danver 4 out of 5.
Purple Dragon & Purple Haze
This past summer I planted two purple varieties of carrots – Purple Dragon and Purple Haze. I neglected to get any good pictures of them, but these are some pictures I found on elsewhere on the internet. The Purple Haze (pictured on left) had a very thin, purple-ish, almost dark pink skin with a very bright orange/yellow center. It didn’t have great flavor, although it was a little better than the Purple Dragon. Although it was a novelty to have a purple carrot, once you’ve peeling them, the Purple Haze carrots had no purple left to them. They looked like average carrots and tasted worse.
The Purple Dragon carrots (pictured above) had a much darker skin that was much thicker as well. You could peel the carrots and it would still be purple. This was a very cool carrot to put in salads and the like. However, it was not good to cook with anything else, as it would turn the water (if boiled) and anything else with it (like potatoes) purple – or rather an ugly black color.
For being a novel idea, but not all that useful, I give both purple varieties 2 out of 5.
Sweetness III is a very nice carrot. Very crisp, juicy and sweet. Again I have to resort to internet photos (and it isn’t a great picture), but I’ll be planting them again so perhaps I can update the photo next year. Good size, nice to peel – I can’t say enough good things about them.
For a crispy carrot with great flavor, I give Sweetness III 5 out of 5.