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Carrots are one of the most popular vegetables on our tables. Most often, orange carrots are included in the daily diet, but in addition to this familiar option, there are roots with a purple color.
How does such a carrot differ from orange, as well as how to grow and consume it, this article will help you figure it out.
We will also tell you how to care for such a root crop and what is its chemical composition. For clarity, the article will give photographs of purple carrots.
What it is?
Purple carrots are a representative of the Umbrella family. Belongs to the same subspecies as the orange carrot - Daucus carota subsp. sativus. A biennial herb with a well-developed root crop and feathery leaves characteristic of the species.
A brief history of breeding
Everyone is familiar with orange carrots - this is the result of the work of breeders and was originally purple. The vegetable cultivated today was obtained from wild varieties whose roots were purple in color. Wild purple carrots, most likely, used to be of interest to humans not as a root crop, but as a source of juicy greenery.
What does it look like?
Purple carrots have sprawling tops with characteristic needle-carved leaves of a juicy green color. In appearance, the plant does not differ from the classic orange carrot..
In length, the vegetable can reach 20-30 cm. Outside, the root vegetable is painted in a bright purple color, and inside it has an orange or yellow core. Also, the cut can also be colored purple, but a slightly different shade, like that of a beet. There are varieties that can have several colors on the cut - yellow, orange and purple (read about yellow carrot varieties here).
How is it different from other species?
In addition to the external difference, purple carrots have a different chemical composition... The concentration of nutrients in this root vegetable is several times higher, so it is more effective to use it for treatment than other types of carrots.
Where does it grow?
Purple carrots in Russia can be grown everywhere, as well as orange ones. This root crop successfully tolerates cold in the open field, and after harvesting it has good keeping quality.
Purple carrots do not have as many varieties as regular carrots, but several varieties are widely available for purchase.
Root crops have a deep purple color and a yellow core.... They reach 25 cm in length, are distinguished by a sweet taste and a high content of vitamin A. The seeds can be purchased in specialized stores. The price for a bag of seeds varies between 100-150 rubles.
Root vegetables are easy to distinguish from other varieties by their purple-violet color. In cross-section, they are three-colored - an orange core, an intermediate yellow layer and a violet outer layer. Planting material is widely available for purchase in gardening stores. The cost is 120-150 rubles per bag.
The fruits of this hybrid are dark purple on the outside and orange on the inside. The variety is early ripening and grows up to 30 cm in length within 70 days after germination. Resistant to disease.
It is almost impossible to find planting material of this variety in the markets, but it can be easily purchased via the Internet, or in specialized stores.
The cost of a bag of seeds is 130-160 rubles.
Early ripening variety. The vegetable has a purple color with a raspberry tint due to its thin, brightly colored peel. Inside, these carrots are classic orange. Very juicy and crunchy fruits, 20 cm long. Planting material can be purchased in gardening stores on the Internet or offline. The price for a bag of seeds varies between 90-140 rubles.
The chemical composition of root crops
According to research, purple carrots have a much richer chemical composition than regular orange carrots. Vitamins and minerals are perfectly balanced in it. The root crop is rich in beta and alpha carotene, and its unusual color is due to the presence of anthocyanins in the substance. Vitamins included in the composition - B3, B1, B2, B5, B6, B9, C, E, H, K, PP.
Benefit and harm
- Purple carrots are the richest source of vitamin A. The use of the root vegetable helps to relieve fatigue, improves vision and alleviates the course of some ophthalmic diseases, such as cataracts.
- Also, the vegetable slows down the aging process in the body, strengthens the immune system and, in complex therapy, helps to heal from diseases of the heart and blood vessels.
- The anthocyanin contained in the composition is effective in the prevention of cancer.
Purple carrots can be harmful in case of individual intolerance or abuse.
It is recommended to limit the consumption of this vegetable for people suffering from stomach ulcers or inflammation of the small intestine.
Step by step instructions: how to grow?
Purple carrots have a fairly simple agricultural technique, and the features of caring for it are similar to those used for orange carrots.
Preparing for landing
- Inventory... To organize the garden you will need a shovel and a rake. The grooves can be made using a special small flower spatula. You will also need a watering can with a nozzle with small holes.
- Soil... The best precursors for carrots are potatoes, onions, cucumbers. The soil should be fertile and well fertilized.
- Seed... Before planting, the seeds must be soaked for a day - this will accelerate their germination and help identify non-viable seed.
- Landing dates... Carrot seeds are sown in the ground in early spring. Purple varieties are distinguished by good germination.
- Landing scheme... Seeds are distributed over the bed in rows with an interval of 1-2 cm.Allow 15-20 cm between rows.
- Suitable microclimate... Planting carrots feel good at a temperature of + 23 + 26 and are quite unpretentious in matters of humidity. The main thing is to observe the watering regime. If the weather is hot, you can spray the carrot tops.
- Watering... Water the planting of carrots with warm, settled water in the evening. Moisture should be completely absorbed into the ground without the formation of puddles and stagnation.
- Top dressing... During the season, carrots are fed at least two times. The first feeding is carried out in the phase of 3-4 leaves with ammonium nitrate. The second - after the final thinning, using superphosphate fertilizers.
- Loosening... After the seedlings of carrots get stronger, it is necessary to regularly loosen the soil. This will help prevent crusting on the ground.
- Weeding... The first thinning is carried out after the appearance of 1-2 true leaves. Large seedlings should be left at least 2 cm apart.
- Mulching... You can mulch purple carrots with chopped straw, this will perfectly retain moisture and eliminate the need to loosen the soil.
Harvesting and storage of crops
Purple carrots are less productive than orange varieties.
- If a variety was planted with an early ripening period, then the crop can be harvested already in the middle of summer.
- The medium-ripening varieties are harvested after 80-110 days from the moment of emergence.
- Late-ripening purple carrots are harvested in the fall, in the first two weeks of September in dry weather.
The difference between varieties in terms of ripening is described here.
You need to store the crop in a cool, well-ventilated, dry place, in which there is no access to rodents and harmful insects.
List of mistakes and how to avoid them
- Thickening of plantings... Purple carrots are very germinating, so do not overseed the garden with seeds. Emerging seedlings must be thinned out in a timely manner.
- Irregular watering... Failure of the irrigation regime leads to deformation and cracking of the fruit, so you should strictly adhere to the recommended scheme.
- Introducing fresh organic matter... Do not fertilize carrots with fresh manure. Excess nitrogen damages the plant.
- Planting seeds in heavy soil with high acidity... The soil for planting carrots must be carefully prepared, balancing all indicators.
Diseases and pests and their prevention
Purple carrots are highly resistant to disease and pest attacks, therefore, when growing any of its varieties, prevention is quite effective.
- Fomoz... The disease affects root crops, they are covered with black-brown spots with a white coating. The introduction of nitrogen fertilization helps to prevent the disease.
- White rot... The fruits affected by this disease become soft and covered with a white coating. The disease is treated with potassium supplements.
- Carrot fly... Damages root crops, and the tops acquire a bronze tint. Timely cleaning of weeds will help prevent pest attacks, and in order to get rid of the insect, carrots are treated with insecticidal preparations.
How to use?
In cooking, the purple carrot has found the same uses as its orange version.:
- Root vegetables can be boiled and stewed.
- Bake and steam.
- Use for desserts.
- Consume fresh.
- The vegetable is great for making marinades and juices.
- Can be used to decorate other dishes.
The beneficial properties of ordinary carrots are known to everyone and the positive effect of orange root crops on the body is undeniable. But it is important to know that unusually beautiful purple carrot varieties are able to add not only an aesthetic component to the diet, but also an increased content of substances necessary to maintain health.