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Kuroda carrots of the Apiaceae family have been around for a very long time, but in the last few years, a new and improved version has hit the market, and it may be the best-tasting carrot ever.
Growers call it the Shin Kuroda carrot, but you’ll call it memorable and delicious. Kuroda carrots are well-known for their rock-splitting growing characteristics and they belong to the Daucus genus. They are incredibly tolerant to temperature changes and exhibit an intensely sweet flavor perfect for juicing, cakes, and stir fry recipes.
The Kuroda carrot is an excellent choice for home gardeners, even those who struggle to grow root vegetables. The Kuroda carrot will surprise you with bountiful harvests of bright orange carrots in conditions that kill lesser varieties. You can have a fantastic crop of delightful Kuroda carrots growing this season by following the simple tips in this article.
This guide will tell you all there is to know about Shin Kuroda carrots and give you a head-start with your garden.
JUMP TO TOPIC
- What Are Kuroda Carrots?
- How to Grow Kuroda Carrots
- Common Pests
- Storing Kuroda Carrots
What Are Kuroda Carrots?
The first Kuroda carrots came from Japan in the 1950s. Kuroda carrots are part of the Japanese variety of Chantenay red-core carrots. The Chantenay variety is short and light orange carrots with dark centers. They featured fast maturation times, hardiness, and smooth-sided root vegetables that measure 8-inches long when mature.
Shin Kuroda carrots are the newest variety to come to market. Since the late 2010s, these carrots are increasingly popular additions to root vegetable gardens in the United States. This variety grows shorter, plumper carrots with a sugary sweetness.
Pickling, canning, and cooking Kuroda carrots is popular where Kuroda carrots are found. This variety makes one of the best carrots for juicing because it provides large yields and a sweet, smooth texture. Juicing Kuroda carrots is an excellent way to give your family a flavorful way to get ample nutrition.
How to Grow Kuroda Carrots
Kuroda carrots are easy to grow once you succeed in germinating the seeds. Our professional gardeners will give you good advice on the best way to germinate Kuroda carrot seeds and plant them.
We will also tell you the signs to watch out for problems, diseases, and pests. You can grow Kuroda carrots in your garden this season by following this planting and growing guide.
– Where to Buy Kuroda Carrot Seeds
It’s rare to find Kuroda carrot seeds in local nurseries or garden centers in the United States. Gardeners will have the most success purchasing Kuroda carrot seeds online.
Most gardeners harvest and replant each year rather than harvesting seeds and replanting. The best way for U.S. gardeners to get Kuroda carrot seeds is by purchasing online from reputable seed companies.
The most challenging part of growing carrots for most gardeners is germinating seeds.
Kuroda carrot germination time can take from six days to three weeks to germinate. The key to germinating carrot seeds successfully is to keep temperatures stable and warm and keep seeds moist. Carrot seeds are tiny, about the size of the head of a pin, so it’s essential to handle sprouting seeds delicately.
One of the most successful methods of germinating carrot seeds is pre-sprouting. There are a few methods gardeners have found to be successful, so that we will discuss each. Pre-sprouting carrot seeds help because the seeds have hard outer layer water must penetrate before the seeds begin growing.
1. Soak Method
Sprinkle your carrot seeds in warm water and let them soak for one hour. Use a fine-mesh screen to collect seeds or carefully pour onto a paper towel. Place the seeds in a container with a tight-fitting lid and place them in a warm place. Kuroda carrot seeds germinate in as little as five days when temperatures are around 70 degrees.
2. Boiling Water Method
Cast-sow Kuroda carrot seeds in a shallow tray of potting soil, peat moss, and sand. Gently pour the hot water over the tray, then cover with a thin layer of potting soil. Place the tray in a clear plastic bag. Seeds should begin germinating in 6 to 12 days, with green tops showing two or three days after germination.
3. Freezing Method
Cast-sow Kuroda carrot seeds in a shallow tray of potting soil and lightly cover with soil. Place the tray in a plastic bag and put it in the freezer for no more than 24 hours. A 24-hour freeze tricks the seeds into thinking spring has come. They will germinate within two weeks.
Pre-sprouting ensures that you know how many carrot plants you will be starting in your garden. It takes the guess-work out of the most stressful part of the process.Reasons for Pre-Sprouting Kuroda Carrot Seeds
Pre-sprouted carrot seedlings grow quicker and mature sooner than direct-sown seeds, so you’ll be able to harvest sooner. Gardeners using biodegradable seed starting pots can easily transplant without disturbing the delicate roots of Kuroda carrot vegetables too.
– Direct Sow Carrot Seeds
Once the soil temperature has warmed enough to work the ground, you can directly sow Kuroda carrot seeds into the ground.
The best way is to make a shallow trough, spread seeds carefully, and then cover with soil to a depth of no more than one-quarter inch. Water well and keep the soil moist but not wet. Direct sown seeds can take three weeks to germinate.
– How to Plant Kuroda Carrot Seedlings
Kuroda carrots grow somewhat upright, so they don’t require a large amount of space between plants. When you plant seedling Kuroda carrots, you want to be careful with the root. You want to make sure that the root is in contact with the soil completely when you plant, but avoid crushing the young root when you plant.
You can space Kuroda carrot seedlings four to six inches apart. This spacing allows plenty of room for the root to form and keeps the greens from overcrowding nearby plants. It’s a great idea to plant Kuroda carrot seedlings sequentially over two or three weeks. Doing so gives you a longer harvest season.
– When to Plant Kuroda Carrots
Kuroda carrots thrive in cool temperatures. In most parts of the U.S., gardeners will have success planting in mid-spring and a second planting in late summer. Kuroda carrots will tolerate high heat but must have adequate water.
The vegetable plants do much better in cold weather and will tolerate up to freezing conditions. A fall harvest can be left in the ground until the first frost to keep carrots fresh.
– How to Harvest
Harvesting carrots is a lot of guess-work. There isn’t any way to know how big your carrots have gotten until you pull them from the ground.
Can Kuroda Carrots Grow in Containers?
Kuroda carrots are an ideal vegetable for container planting. The short roots don’t require the planting depth of some varieties, and the vertical growth allows you to plant lots of plants in a small area. Growing Kuroda carrots in a container can also cut down on some of the most common and destructive pests that’ll feast on your crop.
Lots of things eat your carrots, and many of the common pests are also hard to catch.
Many types of worms like wireworms will happily set up shop and devour your plants, ruining an entire crop. One way to reduce wireworm populations is to place regular carrots on your garden’s perimeter when you plant seedlings or seeds. Wireworms will seek out the sacrificial carrots instead of your Kuroda carrot seedlings. Sowing seed in late spring and harvesting before midsummer can help you avoid the peak of wireworm populations.
Most Kuroda carrot seeds on the market are treated seeds, so the disease’s incidence is relatively low.
Common diseases include blight and deformation from nematodes living in the soil. If your carrot crops suffer from yellowing, wilting leaves, your soil may be contaminated with pathogens. You should avoid planting carrots in the same soil that grew potatoes to reduce the risk of transmitting harmful pathogens.
Storing Kuroda Carrots
Fresh harvests of Kuroda carrots mean you’ll have lots of tasty, bright-orange roots, and you’ll need to find a way to store them, so they don’t go bad.
There are several ways to effectively store Kuroda carrots, depending on how long you plan to keep them.
– Refrigerator Storage
Storing carrots in the refrigerator is the go-to for most gardeners and for a good reason. Properly stored carrots will keep for at least a month in the fridge and may even last six weeks. There are a few essential tips you should remember if you plan to store carrots in the refrigerator. You should always remove the greens as soon as possible after harvest to prevent the root from drying out. Carrots you keep in the fridge will require some moisture to avoid spoiling.
One successful method of storing carrots is cleaning them and submerging them in a container with a tight-fitting lid. The water should be changed every day or two when it starts to look cloudy. Carrots can also be stored this way in a pitcher for an upright solution.
– Freezer Storage
Kuroda carrots freeze well and hold flavor and nutrient levels very well. The key to successful freezer storage is first to blanch the carrots. Blanching is merely immersing carrots in boiling water for a few minutes, then immediately putting them in an ice bath to stop the cooking process. Completely dry your blanched carrots and put them in a plastic bag. They will keep for up to six months in the freezer.
– Root Cellar
Like many root vegetables, you can store Kuroda carrots in a cellar. Do not wash the carrots, but make sure to cut the greens from the root. All you do is pack the carrots in a box with damp sand. The sand will provide moisture to prevent roots from drying out, and your Kuroda carrots will be fresh for six to nine months.
What are Kuroda Carrot companion plants?
Some plants that are commonly used as companion plants for Kuroda Carrots include onions, garlic, leeks, chives, and lettuce. These plants can help deter pests and improve soil quality for Kuroda Carrots.
Are Kuroda Carrots the largest carrots to grow?
Kuroda Carrots can grow to a relatively large size, but there are other varieties of carrots that can grow even larger under the right conditions. Therefore, Kuroda Carrots are not necessarily the largest carrots to grow.
How many times can you regrow Kuroda Carrots?
Kuroda Carrots can typically only be harvested once, but the plant can be allowed to flower and produce seeds for future planting.
- Kuroda carrots are uncommon in the United States and are typically grown from seed
- They are known for their bright, sweet flavor and are perfect for juicing
- Germinating seeds is the most challenging step in growing carrots
- Pre-sprouting carrot seeds is an excellent way to improve your harvest
- Kuroda seed germination time can be six days to three weeks
- Carrot seedlings can be planted as soon as the last frost has passed in spring and again in mid-summer
Harvest Kuroda carrots after 70 to 100 days when the primary root is five-inches long
Store Kuroda carrots in the refrigerator for up to a month or blanch and freeze for six months storage or longer. Carrots can be stored in a root cellar for up to nine months when packed in sand
Carrot juice is a delicious way to ensure your family gets essential vitamins and minerals.
Kuroda carrots make the best juice you’ll find. Carrot seeds are often intimidating because they can take unpredictable amounts of time to germinate. Still, once you can sprout seeds, they grow quickly. You’ll particularly like growing Kuroda carrots in containers where the leafy greens are attractive, and you can grow lots of plants close together.