I noticed today that my carrots are starting to shape up. I planted them on July 4th, so not only are they very patriotic carrots but they have had 51 days to sprout and grow. Though their roots are tiny still, you can now tell they are carrots. I thinned the above one out. It has little knots on its roots. This is not a good sign. I'm guessing it is root-knot nematode. I've never seen this here before, but I haven't grown carrots in many years. I've always thought it a pest of sandy soil. My soil is very much clay. I'm hoping it is the northern variety, because I intend to grow corn here next year. I'm wondering if I should start worrying.
I've also had some damage from, I'm guessing, birds. The leave have been broken off. Usually rodents eat from the end down. Cutworms cut them close to the soil like this, but drag then end into the soil (and I usually only get cutworm damage in the spring and early summer). So it is probably birds. If I see more damage, I'll net them, but bird damage like this tends to be sporadic so might not happen again.
I hope so much that the carrots make it. Except for the chopped down ones, they look nice enough above ground. I do adore carrots fresh from the garden. I quit growing them years ago because they don't like growing here. However I was seduced by the blogosphere. So many photos of beautiful carrots being pulled from the garden overcame my good sense. Then again, they might make it. Is it hope or insanity that reigns in my garden?