Question on saving carrot seeds.

lakedallasmary(8 - North Central TX)December 31, 2008

I have a question about carrot seed. It is probably a dumb question. I just can't find my answer online at all. Maybe some one knows.

I planted a lot of carrots last fall. one or two plants went to seed in the spring. Only 1 went to seed this fall. How weird. I ate a lot of the carrots last fall, but many were not big enough to eat, so I left them in the ground.

I don't plan on planting this kind of carrot again (kinda bland in my view), but I was wondering if these seeds are viable. In case someone else might want them.

I know you are supposed to save seeds from at least 6 root type crops for genetic diversity. I also know a higher number like 20-40 plants would be even better.

I read someplace, on-line I think, that some crops will not make viable seeds if only one plant is involved. For the life of me, I can't find the site anyplace.

I cut off those Amarillo yellow carrot seeds today, to give away for SASE if anyone was interested.

I know they will suffer inbreding depression if you continue to save seeds from only a few plants, but are carrot seeds saved from only 1 plant, with no other carrot plant in bloom at the same time even viable?

Does my question make any sense? I talk in circles sometimes.

I would think if they were viable, I could say to only grow these to see if you like the variety or to see if carrots would grow in your area, but not to save seeds from year to year.

Or to be safe, maybe I should toss them out. I hate tossing seeds! I do toss health food store squash seeds now, since they often make weak bush (verses vine) plants that don't perform well here.

I also have some celeriac seeds I should also probably toss for the same reason. I planted a top of a healthfood store celeriac (I ate the root part). It did not grow a root, but did produce a lot of seeds. I saved them thinking one day if I got brave I could try growing celeriac, even though not well suited to my climate.

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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana(zone 5/6)

Boy, Mary, I can tell you have been going round and round pondering this. They are all good questions, but right off the bat, I don't know the answers.

I did however find this on line at another forum.

Carrots are bi-annual - they grow in the first year, go dormant over winter and then flower the following late spring. The flowers look like cow parsley or cuminor coriander. They will cross with Queens Anne's Lace, so if you have any nearby, you need to isolate them. The seeds follow the flowers.

I don't plan on planting this kind of carrot again (kinda bland in my view), but I was wondering if these seeds are viable.
Well, in looking on line, it looks like they are 'not' hybrids. I see they are described as lemon-yellow roots have sweet,bright yellow flesh. Good for a summer to fall crop,arge 8" roots & strong tops. Yellow carrots are crunchy & full of juice.
Another place describes them as Bright, intense yellow roots with large shoulders that taper down. They are nice, juicy and crunchy with a distinctive sweet taste. different from orange carrots. Fine for any raw carrot use and superb for cooking. We have found Amarillo to be one of the finest stewing and roasting carrots we have grown. It keeps a nice carrot taste yet nicely picks up the flavor of your broth or spices. Makes great carrot juice and freezes well. Can withstand dry conditions. They sound like a wonderful carrot. Did you buy the seed originally, or maybe trade for it?

I know you are supposed to save seeds from at least 6 root type crops for genetic diversity.
I had never heard that, but won't dispute it.

Ok...also found this, It is hardy to zone 5 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from June to August, and the seeds ripen from August to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Flies, beetles. The plant is self-fertile.

Does my question make any sense?
Oh, yes.

I talk in circles sometimes.
I think I answered you in circles also. Where's that Remy girl? She always knows all about this sort of thing.


    Bookmark   December 31, 2008 at 11:38PM
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lakedallasmary(8 - North Central TX)

wow, you really looked into this. thanks.

My seeds were purchased from baker creek. Yes indeed they are drought tolerant. Maybe the lack of flavor has to due with my soil type and our dry horrible Texas soil.

I planted rutabagas this past fall and they tasted fine. And it was drier than dry this fall.

I wonder if Amarillo yellow has been bred to not bolt or if they do very late. I mean to have them bolt one year after a fall planting?

I liked them cooked better than raw. I also find yellow beets lacking in flavor. I guess the darker color gives them character.

from this site I read

If you want to maintain a carrot variety effectively, you really need to save seed from at least 40 good roots to maintain good genetic diversity. If you have too small a genetic pool, you will end up with small, poor quality roots in a very few generations.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2009 at 2:37PM
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grovespirit(Zone 9)

Rather than tossing those yellow carrot and celeriac seeds, please donate them to Need4Seed. I bet both types of seed will be viable, and will produce food. That is the main goal of seeds sent to Need4Seed- to help feed hungry, low-income families.

If you want the address to mail seed donations in to Need4Seed, email me and I'll give it to you. :)

    Bookmark   January 2, 2009 at 8:48PM
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lakedallasmary(8 - North Central TX)

Please send me that need 4 seed address

I don't trade much anymore but often have extra seed and would love to have them so to someone the truely needs them


    Bookmark   January 3, 2009 at 10:07PM
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