On the hunt for a classic, reliable carrot you can easily grow from home? Look no further than the Imperator Carrot…considered the most popular modern variety! Read on to learn about this famous carrot, including how to grow, eat, and more.
Looking to buy Imperator Carrot seeds? Check availability.
Characteristics of Imperator Carrots
Chances are, if you’ve ever consumed a grocery store carrot, you’ve tried an Imperator Carrot! This variety is highly sought after and grown for classic large carrots and is the premier stock for baby carrots.
Imperators tend to be roughly six to seven inches long unless you get the baby variety, which can be just a few inches long. They may have a faintly notched, knobby build and sport a deep, rich orange hue.
The taste of an Imperator Carrot is very classically carrot, and we’re talking about that deep, earthy carrot profile.
Some consumers have described the Imperator’s taste as being nothing special; however, if you love the taste of carrots, you will likely find the Imperator Carrot is precisely what you are looking for in the flavor department.
Fast Facts About Imperator Carrots
Imperator Carrots are delectable as a raw snack or culinary component and cooked and served in various ways.
You can shred or chop raw Imperator Carrots onto a salad for a tasty textural component, and this goes for more than just lettuce salad. Think coleslaw, tuna salad, and chicken salad as other places to add it.
Raw Imperator Carrots make a great dipping carrot and can be paired with veggie dip, plain yogurt, and even peanut butter or other nut butter. Because of their size and crisp, sturdy build, you can transform them into carrot sticks perfect for dipping.
Imperator Carrots also make a great component in a julienned or peeled raw carrot salad. Combine the peeled carrot flakes with apple cider vinegar, MCT coconut oil, and sea salt for a tasty snack that helps balance blood sugar and estrogen levels in the body.
Imperator Carrots can also be enjoyed in almost any dish that calls for carrots. This includes soups and stews as a complement to a roast, baked into cookies, included in pastries like carrot muffins, and more!
And let’s not forget one of the most popular uses for carrots…carrot cake! Imperator Carrots–and that classic carrot flavor they bring to the table–are perfect in a delicious carrot cake recipe.
Carrots also make a great side dish. Honey-roasted carrots are especially popular as they pair well with various savory dishes. Bring these to Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner, and you are sure to have a major hit on your hands!
Aside from just being downright tasty and an easy component to work into tons of dishes, it likely comes as no surprise that Imperator Carrots are bursting with health benefits! Like all carrots, they pack a real powerhouse of crucial vitamins and nutrients.
Imperator Carrots derive their deep orange color from what is known as Beta Carotene. The body metabolizes this antioxidant into Vitamin A…and Vitamin A, which helps with a host of bodily functions.
Because of this, regular consumption of Imperator Carrots can help improve eyesight and skin health, promote healthy growth in bones, muscles, and more, and even raise your resistance to infections!
In addition to these high levels of Beta Carotene, Imperator Carrots also boast a great dose of Biotin, which helps with metabolism; potassium, which aids in healthy blood pressure; vitamin K, which aids in blood flow and bone health; and Vitamin B6, which helps your body convert food into useable energy.
While carrots are not a low-carb food, this carbohydrate is easier for the body to burn up into fuel and use. In addition, carrots offer a great help of fiber and antioxidants.
The consumption of carrots has also been shown to aid in overall physical health, including reduced inflammation, better heart health, weight loss, and even a reduced risk of cancer.
Growing Imperator Carrots At Home
Preparing and Planting
The first step to growing Imperator Carrots at home is choosing where to grow them. This carrot variety requires full sun and loose soil to thrive.
The state of the soil is more critical for carrots than for many other plants, as soil that is too thick or firm will prevent the carrot’s root from forming properly. If you find the soil too dense and heavy where you plan to plant your carrots, you can loosen it up by composting regularly ahead of time.
Once the soil is loosened up and light, it’s time to plant! You do not have to wait for the threat of frost to pass, as can be the case with other garden vegetable varieties. Carrots actually do their best in cooler weather.
As soon as the soil is workable–typically in early spring, when speaking of cooler climates–and you have the soil loosened up and ready to go, you can begin planting. Sow your Imperator seeds one foot apart in a row, then pack the soil down lightly and water it.
Once your Imperator seedlings are about three inches tall, thin them out to the strongest seedlings. Once you’ve completed this step, they need about three inches between them.
Caring and Maintaining
To keep your Imperator Carrot plants healthy and happy, fertilize them about six weeks into the growing process with a high nitrogen fertilizer.
Be sure to regularly water and weed around your carrot plants; a hoe is best used for this task. Weed carefully to avoid damaging the carrot root.
You can stagger your seed planting to have a carrot crop throughout the season. Harvest your carrots when the top is about an inch and a half across. Don’t let your Imperators fully mature. Otherwise, they take on a woody, less flavorful taste.
Before harvesting, you can soak the soil around your carrots to make it easier to pull them up.
Where To Buy Imperator Carrot Seeds
Imperator Carrot seeds can often be purchased at lawn and garden centers or local nurseries. When sourcing your seeds online, we recommend True Leaf Market.
Wrapping up Imperator Carrots
Are you excited to grow this classic and much-loved carrot variety in your home garden? Before you get started, check out our Carrot Plant page! It will give you all the valuable resources you need to grow healthy, thriving carrots.