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Carrot 'Lila Lu' Organic

Maincrop

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Carrot 'Lila Lu' Organic

Maincrop
€2.45

Availability: In stock

Packet Size:1 gram
Average Seed Count:1,150 Seeds
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With amazing flavour and colour, Carrot 'Lila Lu' is a stunning newly developed organic variety, deep purple with a vibrant orange centre and a pleasant sweet taste. A dense nutrient profile and wildly unique colour make this a must grow for the home gardener as well as a top choice for grower's and farmers markets.

Carrot 'Lila Lu' is a mid-early variety with 130 day cycle. Seeds can be sown successionally almost all year, or sown directly May to July for harvesting September to end of October. The optimal harvest stage is reached when the crown diameter is generally between 20 to 30mm.
In frost-free regions the carrots can spend the winter in the field and the harvest can take place gradually. In regions with cold winters, lift and store carrots in raised boxes, in a cellar or in a cold room at a temperature close to 0°C and a humidity of 95%.


With their compelling health benefits and a thumbs-up from taste testers, Purple carrots have quickly established themselves as an interesting choice of many home growers. Launched in 2005, they originally caused a great stir at grower's and farmers markets, adding much needed excitement to the meals of many children and adults alike who are fascinated by their wonderful colour.
The roots have a high antioxidant and vitamin content, so are best eaten raw. When sliced into 'carrot coins', they really show off their stunning colour scheme in beautiful displays of purple, orange and yellow, they look amazing in salads or as a steamed vegetable.
The purple carrot is a nutritional powerhouse and it's being hailed as one of the most powerful foods on the planet for its mighty health benefits. Modern orange carrots have always been known as an excellent source of vitamin A and phytochemicals, but the ancient purple carrot has double the level of beta-carotene than the orange carrot and contains 28 times more anthocyanins.


  • Certified Organic Seed.
    This seed has been organically produced, verified and certified. It has been harvested from plants that have themselves been raised organically, without the use of artificial pesticides, herbicides and fertilisers.


Prepare the site:
Success with root vegetables is very much down to the quality of the soil, so it’s worth taking the time to prepare your patch. Start digging over your soil in late winter or early spring, removing any stones you find and turn the soil until it has a fine, crumbly texture. If your soil is not ideally suitable, you can prepare a large container instead. Do not add manure as this makes the soil too rich for the seeds. Too much nitrogen will cause the carrots to grow hairy little roots all up and down the carrot.
Carrots sown in February in a cold frame/cloche are ready to harvest by June. Put the cloche in place a month before sowing as this helps to warm up the soil.


Sowing: Sow successionally from February
Carrots sown early in February in a cold frame/cloche will be ready to harvest by June. Put the cloche in place a month before sowing as this helps to warm up the soil. Sowing seeds into modules is another way to obtain early cropping. Sowing in early spring to early summer will hopefully avoid the most harmful hatchings of the carrot fly.
Sow the carrot seed thinly into drills 2cm ( ¾in) deep. The rows should be spaced at 12 to 15cm (5 to 6in) apart for optimum performance. Carrot seeds are small, but it’s wise to plant them as thinly as possible. This reduces the amount of thinning necessary and potential risk from pests. Mix the seeds with a handful of sharp sand and sow them together. Sand will also aid drainage.
Once the seedlings are showing their first rough leaves, thin out to 7 to 10cm (3 to 4in) apart which minimises competition and enables the carrots to grow quickly to harvest size.
It is best to thin seedlings in the evening when carrot fly are not around, as it’s the odour of bruised leaves which attracts them.


Cultivation:
Use a lightweight fleece over the bed to increase the temperature of the soil while also preventing the carrot flies from laying their eggs. The plants need little other attention during their growth period, although the plants should be kept well watered – too little water results in coarse, woody roots.


Harvesting: Matures in 70 to 80 days.
Start pulling up your carrots as soon as they are big enough to eat. It’s best to harvest them in the evening to avoid attracting carrot fly. Late-sown carrots must be lifted by October to be stored over the winter.


Storing:
Store only the best, undamaged roots, cut off their foliage and lay the roots between layers of sand in a strong box, ensuring that the roots do not touch. Store somewhere cool and dry, check the carrots occasionally, removing any odd rotten roots before they infect their neighbours. Carrot tops can be used in a variety of dishes, including raw in drinks or in salads.
Carrots are an excellent source of the deep yellow carotenoids that produce vitamin A. They are also a good source of magnesium, potassium, vitamins C and B complex, and a form of calcium that is easily absorbed by the body.
During the first five months of storage, carrots will actually increase their vitamin A content; and, if protected from heat or light, can hold their nutrient content for another two or three months


Pests:
Carrot fly is drawn to carrots by the smell of crushed foliage, reduce the risk of an attack by thinning plants in the evening on a still day, removing any thinnings and watering afterwards. Carrot fly are also low-flying insects: erecting a ‘wind-break’ style shield around a crop will also help deter these pests.


Companion Plants:
Carrots do well alongside most plants, especially Chives, Garlic, Rosemary and Sage (which deter Carrot Fly).
However Dill, Coriander and other members of the Umbelliferae family should not be planted near carrots as they tend to cross pollinate which can be important if you are to save your own seed.


Seed Saving:
You can save seeds from this heirloom variety quite simply. Carrots are biennial plants, they will grow their greenery and long, tender root this year, but won’t flower until next year, so you’ll have to sacrifice the root from your best looking plant for saving carrot seed in order to insure that future crops will carry those admirable traits. When saving carrot seeds during the second flowering year, allow the seed heads to fully ripen on the plant. When the flower heads begin to brown and become dry, carefully cut the heads and place them in a small, paper bag and then leave them alone until the drying is complete. Remember to label and date the packaging before storing your seeds in a cool, dry place. The cooler the storage, the longer the viability of the seed.


History:
Carrots originated in what is now Afghanistan, Iran, and Pakistan and by about 1000 A.D., they were being grown from India to the Eastern Mediterranean. By the 1300s, purple and yellow carrots had spread as far as western Europe and China. Red carrots originated in India, China, and Japan in the 1700s. White and orange carrots first appeared in Europe during the 1700s.
Due to the influence of patriotic Dutch growers who, in the sixteenth century bred the carrot orange to honour their national colours, orange carrots quickly displaced all other colours and dominate the world to this day. Modern agribusiness narrowed our choices even further.


Coloured Carrots:
Plant pigments perform a range of protective duties in the human body, which is not surprising, since many of the pigments serve to shield plant cells during photosynthesis. Generally speaking the more colour in the carrot the higher the content of beta-carotene and vitamins.
Red carrots derive their colour mainly from lycopene, a type of carotene believed to guard against heart disease and some cancers.
Yellow carrots accumulate xanthophylls, pigments similar to beta-carotene that support good eye health.
Purple carrots possess an entirely different class of pigments—anthocyanins—which act as powerful antioxidants.


Additional Information

Additional Information

Packet Size 1 gram
Average Seed Count 1,150 Seeds
Seed Form Natural
Seeds per gram 1,150 seeds per gram
Common Name Maincrop
Family Apiaceae
Genus Daucus
Species Carota ssp. sativus
Cultivar Lila Lu Sang
Hardiness Hardy Biennial
Spacing Thin the seedlings to 5 to 7cm (2 to 3in) between plants.
Time to Sow Sow successionally from Feb under cloches or fleece
Germination 15 to 20 days
Harvest Start pulling up your carrots as soon as they are big enough to eat
Time to Harvest A mid-early variety with 130 day cycle

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