The Q&A Archives: Origin Of Carrot Seed

Question: My 12 year old son was helping me plant our garden and he was wondering where carrot seeds come from. Also, where do beet seeds come from?

Answer: Although we plant carrots as an annual crop and enjoy eating the roots of the plant, carrots are biennial plant, growing tops and roots the first year and producing seeds their second year. If you allow a carrot to remain in the soil for two years it will develop a flower stalk. The flowers are small and in an umbel shape (like an umbrella). If insects visit the open flowers and pollinate them, seeds will form. If the seeds are harvested and stored over the winter months, they can be planted and will produce new carrot plants. Beets are also biennial plants and will produce seeds their second year. Beet seeds develop in clusters which are difficult to separate so they are generally planted in clusters, and the new little seedlings are thinned to prevent overcrowding. Hope this clarifies things for you!

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