Are you looking for an easy-to-grow root vegetable that can handle cold weather? Thumbelina carrots could be an excellent addition to your home garden!
This tiny carrot can fight off most diseases and will grow much faster than other carrot varieties. They’ll also offer a delicious sweetness to all your carrot-based recipes.
Keep reading to learn more about these carrots and how to care for them in your garden!
Are you looking to buy Thumbelina carrot seeds? Check availability.
History of Thumbelina Carrots
The Thumbelina carrot comes from Europe (most likely France) in the 1800s. It is a relative of the Parisienne, or Parisian, carrot, which developed around the same time in France. So, these two carrots share many of the same traits.
Characteristics of the Thumbelina Carrot
This carrot variety is one of the best to plant if you live in areas that can get rather chilly at night. They have a great tolerance to the cold. The carrots won’t die, but germination might take a little longer than if they were growing in warm weather.
They’re also hardy against most root-vegetable diseases and don’t have a long list of pests. Due to this, you’ll find growing these carrots a breeze!
These carrots are pretty small and tend to have a spherical shape to them. When you first harvest them, you might notice that they have the appearance of a bright orange radish. The fronds of these carrots are a beautiful green and are usually four times larger than the carrot itself.
Thumbelina carrots usually have a diameter of about 1-2 inches. You can expect them to be about the size of your typical golf ball.
Growing and Caring for Your Thumbelina Carrots
This carrot variety has a great growing season as long as you sow the seeds after the predicted final frost. Typically about two weeks after the last frost should be sufficient, as the ground will start thawing out by then.
After planting, growing carrots like these is a low-maintenance task. Use the following information as guidelines when caring for your Thumbelina carrots.
Carrots like this variety grow best in USDA hardiness zones 3-10, which contain a variety of temperatures.
You should always plant carrots in the springtime after the temperatures begin to warm up. This is typically around April. Due to this carrot’s small size, their growing season is short and usually lasts from April to June or July.
Size and Spacing
When planting these carrots, you’ll want to plant them at a depth of about ¼ – ½ an inch. Along with this, each carrot seed needs to be a minimum of 2-3 inches apart.
Thumbelina carrots enjoy loose, well-drained soil with a slightly acidic pH. Drainage is important, as the excess water can pool in the soil and cause rot. Try incorporating sand or organic matter into your soil to aid in drainage.
Your carrots will need full sunlight, which is about 6-8 hours of sun per day.
The carrots will need about an inch of water per week. The soil must always feel damp but never sopping wet.
Carrots are root vegetables that don’t need pollination to produce.
Fertilize your carrots about once a month with a low-nitrogen fertilizer. You’ll want something containing 5% or less nitrogen, which can negatively affect carrot growth.
Instead of pruning, carrots will need thinning. When your carrot fronds are about 2-3 inches tall, you should pluck out the small seedlings. This will give the stronger and larger carrots more room to grow without fighting for nutrients. You might need thin again later in the season if you see crowding.
Thumbelina carrots don’t usually have many disease issues, but they’re still possible. Here are some possible diseases that can attack them:
- Bacterial leaf blight – bacterial infection that causes sudden browning or yellowing lesions on the fronds.
- Black root rot – a post-harvesting fungal infection that causes brown or black mold-like lesions on the carrots.
- Cavity spot – a fungal infection that causes small craters on the carrot due to a calcium deficiency.
There isn’t a cure for bacterial leaf blight besides getting rid of the affected plants.
Black root rot is something that usually happens post-harvesting with carrots. You can prevent it by properly storing the carrots in a cool place after harvesting.
To help with cavity spots, simply use a calcium supplement in the soil.
Some general carrot pests you could encounter include the following:
- Aphids – nutrient-sucking bugs that can attack the fronds.
- Carrot rust flies – bugs that will lay their carrot-eating larvae near your crop.
- Carrot weevils – a type of beetle that tunnels and eats through carrots.
To keep bugs out of your carrot crop, using row covers might be helpful.
When to Harvest Thumbelina Carrots
This carrot variety is ready for harvesting 60-70 days after planting. Once the base of the fronds is about an inch in diameter, they should be good to harvest.
Eating Thumbelina Carrots
Thumbelina carrots are perfect for snacking raw or mixing them into cooked meals. They have a tasty sweetness that kids and adults alike will love!
What Do They Taste Like?
These poppable carrots are almost a little sugary-tasting and have a hidden herb-like taste. Their flavor is much different from other carrots, which tend to be more earthy than anything else.
Cooking and Baking With Thumbelina Carrots
When you cook these carrots, they become tender and slightly sweeter. Their small size makes them great for stews, soups, salads, and simple oven-roasting!
Thumbelina Carrot Recipe Ideas
Here are some tasty recipes to try out with this carrot variety:
Health Benefits of Thumbelina Carrots
Some health benefits you’ll get from regularly eating carrots include the following:
- A healthier digestive system due to fiber
- Heart disease prevention
- Vision improvement due to vitamin A
- Help in controlling diabetes
Where to Buy Thumbelina Carrot Seeds
If you would like to add the Thumbelina carrot to your garden, check Amazon for seed availability!
Wrapping Up the Thumbelina Carrot
Try planting Thumbelina carrots if you want a low-maintenance vegetable that packs a flavorful punch! Anyone can grow them with their basic care requirements, general disease resistance, and cold tolerance.
Take a look at our carrot page for more information on growing this root vegetable!