How to regrow carrots from scraps

Carrots are part of the parsley family, which also includes dill, fennel, parsnip, celery, and coriander. If you allowed the carrots to flower, they’d have flat-topped flower heads made of many separate flowers on short stems that cluster together. This type of flower is called umbel. If you turn the flower heads upside-down, they look like umbrellas.

In the case of carrots, you won’t be regrowing the root portion of it, but instead, the leafy greens that you can enjoy in salads, braised with garlic, or in soups. That’s because carrots are biennial root vegetables that only produce taproots in the first year of growth. When you buy them, they are already in their second year, so there is no chance to regrow the root portion. If these roots had been left in the ground instead of being harvested, the plants would eventually send up flower stalks and produce seeds.

Carrots are highly nutritious, rich in vitamin A and calcium, and a good source of fibre.

Steps to regrow carrots

  1. Find a good location
  2. Prepare your carrots
  3. Plant your carrots
  4. Harvesting and use

Find a good spot for your carrot plant

Carrots will benefit from a bright and sunny place and, also from soil that is moist but not wet. They are cool-weather vegetables.

Prepare your carrot plant

Some carrots are treated so that their tops don’t sprout in the store, these just won’t work for regrowing. You should try to find carrots with their leaves intact, if you can’t, search for carrots with tops that have a brownish or blackish spot on the top. That is the left-over stem. If the tops are clean-cut and orange, you won’t be able to regrow them.

To prepare the carrots, use a knife to make a clean cut through the carrot so there is only about 3-5 cm left, plus the top. If the carrot has leaves on it, snip the leaves off, but be careful to leave the top of the carrot intact. Keeping the leaves on will discourage the carrots from growing more leaves.

Plant your carrot

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Fill the pot with a soilless mix, which is sterile and less likely to have bacteria or fungi that could cause the carrot ends to rot. Water the mix so that it is damp.

Plant the cuttings by sticking the carrots into the soilless mix with the top ends up. Bury the carrots about halfway.

Harvesting and use

Keep the soil moist while you enjoy the harvest of greens as they grow. You’ll start seeing the tops sprout within a week or so, but it will take a few weeks to get tops big enough to eat. Snip off the greens as needed.

Carrot tops are edible and perfectly delicious in place of parsley in salads, soups, and on sandwiches. Enjoy the tops for as long as the plants produce them. It is possible that the plant will send up a flower stalk, which will be beautiful to look at. Once the plant flowers, you can save some seeds to plant or compost the remains.

An excellent way to try to get flowers if they’re not coming on your pot is to plant them outside in a sunny spot. Keep them watered and watch for a flower stalk. If you are lucky, you may get a flower stalk or two from which you can harvest seeds.

Enjoy your regrown carrots with your loved ones, you can now prepare lots of different recipes. Nothing beats the flavour of home-grown food.

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