Thursday, 20 July 2017

Here Come The Carrots


There is a notable addition to the harvest table this week: carrots. It is also the final picking of the gooseberries, broad beans, potatoes courgettes are all going like the clappers, but it is the carrots that take star billing.  That's because of their problematic history.  We eat carrots all the year around and lots of them.  Only organic shop bought carrots will do, but even these cannot compare with home grown. Yet mastering the carrot is not so easy: They don't like a rich soil (or they will fork). Sandy but not stoney soil is best. Germination can be poor if sown too early or with old seed. Watering is left to nature except in drought conditions (like April this year). Above all you have to take measures to keep the carrot root fly off or you will get a useless tunnelled crop. Fine thrip netting (see below) is the answer but even then there is the danger that weeds will overrun the carrots. Out of sight is out of mind and you will find many warnings about carrot root flies just waiting for you to lift that netting so that they can get access.  It is said that they can smell thinnings from a mile away.  So a lot of people sow sparsely and never thin or weed.  That is what I did last year, and the weeds got the better of a pathetic crop)
After a poor year last year I decided on the double or quits approach and sowed lots. I did thin and weed - just as quickly as was practical. So it was with some trepidation that I dug up the first of the crop. They came up clean, a good size and undamaged by root fly grubs. It looks like we could be eating our own carrots well into next year! 😀

Carrot Protection


Gold


3 comments:

  1. We usually do very well with carrots and really have to buy any. This year, however germination has been problematic. To start with it was damp and the slugs or snails ate all the seedlongs so I re-sowed the seeds. Then it has just been so dry that we have had difficulties keeping up with watering them.

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  2. They look like excellent carrots Mal. Ours will be weeks before we have any to pull after the problems we had in spring. I agree though they are a difficult crop to grow well.

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  3. They are the perfect bug bunny cartoon carrot.. very impressive. I always try the so thinly approach, get impatient, replant and end up thinning. Will I ever learn!

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