Carrot Varieties - What's the Difference?

There are several types of carrot varieties available to the backyard vegetable gardener. Some folks are surprised to learn that carrots come in different shapes, sizes and colors. Generally speaking, the smaller the carrot, the faster it matures. Larger carrot varieties can take up to 80 days to reach maturity, while smaller varieties can reach their full size in just 60 days. We like to plant a few different varieties and sizes. This gives us a nice mix of different carrots and also extends the harvest season. We also spread out the planting times over 7-10 days. This way, we get a steady supply of carrots over several weeks, instead of getting them all at once.

Here is a list of some different varieties of carrots, along with descriptions and size information:



Round Carrots

  • Thumbelina - this unique variety produces round, orange carrots about the size of a golf ball, good for denser soil, ready in 65 days

  • Danvers Half Long - this heirloom variety dates back to the 1880s and features dark orange, cone shaped carrots that are 2 inches thick at the top and 6-8 inches long, ready in 75 days

  • Nantes Half Long - cylindrical carrots reach 6-7 inches long
    and 1 1/2 inches across at the top, red-orange color, ready in 70 days



  • Yellowstone - this variety produces slender, yellow carrots that reach 8-10 inches long, very unique, ready in 70 days


  • Short and Sweet - produces 4 inch long, cylindrical shaped carrots, bright orange, good for containers, ready in 68 days

  • Multi-Colored Carrots

  • Purple Dragon - features purple exterior and orange core, appears similar to red cabbage when shredded, very unique, ready in 68 days

  • Rainbow Hybrid - this unique variety produces different colored carrots, each being completely orange, yellow or white, ready in 65 days

  • Big Top - Asian variety that produces cone shaped orange carrots that reach 8 inches long, very good for baby carrots, full size carrots are ready in 80 days



  • Nelson - produces deep orange, cylinder
    shaped carrots that reach 7 inches long, classic carrot, ready in 60 days


Harvested Carrots

Click here to learn about planting carrots

Click here for information about fertilizing and watering carrots

Click here to learn about harvesting and storing carrots

Click here for some of our favorite carrot recipes

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