Imperator Carrots: Planting and Growing Guide

Imperator is one of the four major groupings of Carrots, the others are Nantes, Danvers and miniature radish style carrots. Imperators are long straight tapered carrots generally measuring 8 to 11 inches long when fully grown.

There are a number of varieties of imperator carrots and they vary in size, texture and taste. Imperator 58 is by far the most popular and most successful among home gardeners. Vying for a distant second would probably be Sugarsnax and Cosmic Red Carrots.

Imperator 58 is a deep Orange color, with a crisp and usually coreless flesh. The tops / greens range from 13 – 20 inches. Unlike some other varieties they do not perform well in clay or coarse soils but prefer loose well drained soil. Soil should be tilled vigorously to at least a foot in depth.

They are not as sweet as many other varieties of carrots and generally have a strong but not unpleasant vegetable taste. They store well and are best [IMO] used either fresh or for cooking with soups and casseroles. An exception in the case of Imperator sweetness would be the sugarsnax strain.

Germination – Carrots are notoriously slow germinators. Anticipate up to 3 weeks. Also anticipate uneven germination over a period of a few weeks.

Direct Seeding is best, not transplants. Begin Planting seeds in early spring, 2 to 3 weeks before last frost. After planting, it’s imperative that you keep the upper inch of soil consistently moist until the seedlings emerge. Carrot seeds have a vary hard coat that must be kept moist in order to soften them for germination

Carrot seeds will germinate in soil temperatures as low as 50 degrees, but in the vicinity of 70 degrees is best for quicker germination and less seed loss.

Maturity at 60-70 days.

Color -Deep Orange

Spacing – 2 to 4 inches apart. This is not always possible when planting seed so plan to thin your carrots as they emerge to attain adequate spacing. Allow them to attain a respectable size before thinning – some of the carrots you’ve removed should be useable.

USDA Hardiness Zones 3- 12

Size 5-7″ Long X 1 – 1.5 ” Round

Full Sun / Light Shade

Average Yields per Sq. Footage

Carrots are cold hardy and will survive fall chills, let some of your carrots stay in the ground until after the first frost. You’ll find that the cool weather increases their sweetness.