Scarlet Nantes carrots are a beloved favorite with their unbeatable flavor, texture, and uniformity. Their cylindrical roots, averaging 7" in length, boast bright red-orange fine-grained flesh that is nearly coreless and deliciously sweet. The carrots also color up early, making them perfect for baby carrots.
Sowing: Three weeks before the last expected spring frost or when the soil temperature reaches 45 degrees F, prepare the soil for these long, slender carrots, which prefer deeply worked, loose soil. Build up a raised mound in the row, about 8" wide, and sow the Scarlet Nantes carrot seeds on it, covering them with 1/4" of very loose soil. Keep the soil moist, and avoid hardening the area above the seeds, which can prevent germination. Sow more seeds every 3-6 weeks for a continuous crop in cooler climates. In warmer climates, stick to spring and fall crops since carrots can't handle excessive heat. Plant the Scarlet Nantes carrot seeds for sale with aromatic herbs or onions for companion planting benefits, which repel the carrot fly and its maggots.
Growing: When the seedlings reach 2" high, gently thin them to 2-4" apart, depending on desired carrot size. Keep the soil moist and free of weeds to prevent stunting. As the tops of the carrots begin to emerge from the soil, cover them with mulch to keep them tender.
Harvesting: Start gathering baby carrots when they're big enough to eat to allow the remaining carrots to reach a larger size. Scarlet Nantes is a great carrot for juicing. If the carrots become difficult to pull, ensure the ground is moist. Twist off the tops but don't wash them to store carrots for the winter. Layer them in damp sand or sawdust. In warmer climates, leave the carrots in the garden over winter topped with a thick layer of mulch.
Seed Saving: To preserve genetic diversity, harvest 30-40 carrots for seed and isolate the plant for seed at least two miles from other varieties or provide a protective cage since carrot varieties cross-pollinate with each other and with wild carrots. Dig up the carrots before the first heavy frost in areas where the ground freezes over winter, twist off the tops, and store the carrots at 35 degrees F in damp sand or sawdust over winter, ensuring the roots don't touch. Plant them again in the spring. In warmer climates, leave them in the ground and cover them thickly with mulch over winter. When the top of the plant flowers, let them grow brown and dry. Cut them off and let them fully dry, clean to remove as much chaff as possible, then store in a cool, dry place for up to three years.