Carrot, Danvers

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Print This

Geography/History:
Improved strain of Danvers carrot that was introduced in 1947 by Eastern States Farmers Exchange. Danvers was created for better yields, smoother skin, and uniformity.  Danvers is a heat tolerant carrot variety that will also work in a wide range of soils.  6-7″ long and about 2″ at the shoulder this is a premier storage carrot.  Danvers resist cracking and splitting.  Strong tops make it easy to pull this carrot from the garden.

In an 1996 trial study done by Texas A&M University Danvers “yielded significantly higher” than the modern hybrid carrot “convert” under ideal conditions.  “Generally, the differences recorded in yield and in quality characteristics are a result of the two different cultivars included in the trial. Treatments utilizing ‘Danvers 126’ consistently yielded higher than those with ‘Convert’, except for the smaller root sizes, where ‘Convert’ produced significantly higher small root yields. Observations made throughout the season indicated that ‘Danvers 126’ had a more vigorous top growth and this may account for some of the yield difference between these two cultivars.”

Nutritional Value:

Most carrot cultivars are about 88% water, 7% sugar, 1% protein, 1% fibre, 1% ash, and 0.2% fat. The fibre comprises mostlycellulose, with smaller proportions of hemicellulose and lignin. Carrots contain almost no starch. Free sugars in carrot includesucrose, glucose, xylose and fructose. Nitrite and nitrate contents are about 40 and 0.41 milligrams per 100 grams (fresh), respectively. Most of the taste of the vegetable is due to glutamic acid and other free amino acids. Other acids present in trace amounts include succinic acid, α-ketoglutaric acid, lactic acid and glycolic acid; the major phenolic acid is caffeic acid.

The carrot gets its characteristic and bright orange colour from β-carotene, and lesser amounts of α-carotene and γ-carotene. α and β-carotenes are partly metabolised into vitamin A in humans. β-carotene is the predominant carotenoid, although there are lesser amounts of α-carotene and γ-carotene. There are typically between 6000 and 54,000 micrograms of carotenoids per 100 grams of carrot root. Carrot extracts are used by poultry producers to improve animal skin and alter the colour of egg yolk. Massive overconsumption of carrots can cause carotenosis, a benign condition in which the skin turns orange. Carrots are also rich in antioxidants and minerals. Ethnomedically, the roots are used to as an emmenagogue(to increase blood flow in the pelvic area and uterus), a carminative (to reduce flatulence), to treat digestive problems, intestinal parasites, andtonsillitis or constipation.

Sun:                                      Full Sun

Spacing:                               2”

Height:                                  6-7″

Optimum Soil Ph:                  6

Days To Maturity:                 72

Sowing Method:                   Outdoors

Planting/Growing Tips:
Plant in the spring in a well prepared bed free of rocks.  Scrape shallow furrows 1/4”-1/8“ deep and sow seeds directly, covering with a thin layer of soil.  Weeds can be a problem due to the long germination time – careful weeding is a must.  Thin to 2-3” apart once seedlings have come up.  For longer harvest, stagger plantings every 2-3 weeks.

Heirloom Carrot Climatic Requirements:  The heirloom carrot is a hardy, cool season crop that can be planted in the garden as soon as the orgnic soil can be prepared in the spring. Organic carrots require relatively large amounts of moisture and are not tolerant of drought. Prolonged hot weather in the later stages of development may not only retard growth but result in an undesirable strong flavor and coarseness in the roots. At the other extreme, prolonged temperatures below 55 degrees F tend to make the roots longer, more slender and paler in color than expected. The best temperature for highest quality organic roots is between 60 and 70 degrees F.

Soils:  Heirloom carrot plants thrive in deep, loose, well-drained soil. Avoid stony, cloddy or hard soils as they increase the likelihood of root defects. Because raised-beds usually have loose soil and receive little compaction from foot traffic, they are an ideal location to grow carrots. Heirloom carrot plants grow well at a pH range of 6.0 to 6.8.

Organic Fertilizers:  Most of the time a very well composted manure and a humus laden soil is all you need to grow great organic carrots.  Heirloom carrots require large amounts of plant nutrient elements normally found is this mix, but sometimes need extra potassium, for good production.   On the flip side too much manure applied just beforeseeding can result in forked roots. Better to wait till the tops are about 3″s to apply more organic manure as a side dressing.

Establishing:  Direct seed heirloom carrots into a well-prepared soil early in the spring. Suggested planting seed depth is 1/4 inch deep in rows spaced 12 to 18 inches or more apart depending on the method of cultivation used. It is important to avoid crusting of the soil around the seed-bed. Covering the seed with vermiculite or fine organic compost and keeping the soil evenly moist until the seedlings have emerged will help prevent this problem.  After the seedlings have emerged, thin them to one inch apart. When the tops of the carrots grow thicker, thin them to about two to three inches apart.


 

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