Purple Elite (Carrot/novelty/hybrid)
Latin Name: Daucus carota var. sativus
Item #: 89P
CARROTS - for market, processing and freezing
NOTE: All varieties of carrots are susceptible to several types of unfavorable growing conditions, which affect the shape of the root or crop yield.
(a) Sudden weather changes, when the roots are tiny, late spring frosts, long periods of unseasonably cold weather and extremely wet or dry conditions, will cause a check in growth resulting in rough looking carrots.
(b) Compacted soil at the crown or shoulder of the young root, will cause forked carrots (second growth) at harvest time. Commercial growers should expect this in the spray rows from tractor wheels. Home gardeners should never walk between rows, use a plank to distribute your weight when weeding!
(c) Hairy Roots are caused by improper use of weed controls, too much fertilizer, bad weather in fingerling stage or a soil borne disease called "rusty root".
(d) Cracked Roots, too much moisture before harvest or over-maturity. Watch those hybrids, they mature fast.
CULTURE: Sandy loam soils should be deeply dug or roto-tilled (at least 1.5 ft/45 cm deep) for straight, smooth roots. Sow as early as soil and weather conditions permit. Carrot seed requires 6-14 days @ a minimum soil temp. of 60°F/16°C. Scatter seed thinly, in a band 2 in/5 cm wide, spacing seeds about 1/8-1/4 in/3-6 mm apart in all directions (3 - 4 seeds per in/25 mm). Sow in rows 16 in/40 cm apart 0.25-0.5 in/6-13 mm deep, cover with fine soil and firm lightly. Do not allow the ground to crust. Make successive sowings from early Spring till July 15th to prevent risk of weather damage to crop and provide a continuous supply of tender young roots throughout the season. Cultivate the soil so that it covers the shoulder of the root to prevent green shoulders.
HARVEST from Sept.- Nov. Mature topped carrots can be stored for 4 or 5 months @ 32°F/0°C and 90% relative humidity.
FREEZING: Scrape and wash roots. Use whole baby carrots or chop into 1/3 in/9 mm dices. Blanch dices for 2 1/2 min.; whole carrots for 3-5 min. Cool, drain, pack and quick freeze.