I had a lot of problems earlier in my carrot bed. Germination was fine, but the cutworms were very bad. Obviously a lot of cutworms eggs had been laid the previous fall. I planted them where my seed mustard was. The hope was that it would keep the nematode problems down. Mustard is a natural way to fumigate the land from them. I didn't anticipate that the cutworms would like the mustard so much though. I would guess that about a quarter of my crop was destroyed. Maybe a bit more. Not that you can tell from the photo, but I thin to about 3-4" apart. The cutworms thinned much father apart. And there is one sixth of the bed with almost nothing at all.
I noticed that some of the carrots were showing above the bed. Some years they seem to hide and I have to dig down to find them. But some years they show themselves. It was time to start picking. I won't pick them all at once. I don't need this bed for another three weeks. So I'll pick some. Once they are used up, I'll pick more.
I planted my beloved Mokum carrots of course. Many carrots taste bitter at this time of the year. Mokum is always sweet and tasty to me. It isn't a large carrot at 5-6" long (well by the book, I've had it grow to 8" one year). But I'm always on the lookout for another to plant near it. This year I trialed Nelson. It was described as a good summer carrot as it tastes good when the weather is hot. This one is 6-7" long.
Of course a trial means I have to know which carrot is which. Did I write it down where I planted each one? Nope. Not on the blog, not in my journal. Not on my planting map. I think Nelson was put on the northwest side. I think. Maybe taste would tell me which one was which. I know Mokum will taste sweet and delicious. If one is bitter, then I know.
I cleaned them up. I used a trick I used to use with my garlic when I had more than one variety. When you trim them, trim one higher than the other so you can tell them apart. I left some stem on the top of one. It really helps if you KNOW which one is which to start with though. The ones I think are Mokum were a bit shorter than the Nelsons, so that jibes. I tasted the one I thought was Mokum. Yup sweet and so delicious. It will be nice not eating store bought carrots anymore. I tasted Nelson. Also a really lovely carrot. Sweet, but not quite as sweet as Mokum. I think the flavor is a bit more complex though. Very nice. It is a definite keeper. Last year I tried Yaya. It was sweet enough without bitterness, but it lacked the depth of flavor that a carrot ought to have. It was insipid. Both Mokum and Nelson are very good. I think my summertime carrot trials are at an end. Unless some other blogger proclaims a summer carrot above all others, I'll stick with these.
And the mustard crop I used to keep down the nematodes worked to an extent. I did see a touch of damage, but not much. Definitely not worth the cutworm damage.
And as a quick update, I decided to use one of my Chinese cabbages to make a couple of quarts of Sauerchi, Kimkraut or something like that. I made it like you do sauerkraut. Chop up the vegetables and use a dry salting technique. Then jam them into jars. But I seasoned it like kimchi (or as much as I can without peppers). I used garlic, ginger, and cilantro. I didn't use any sugar or fruit to keep the fermentation under control. And I'll let them ferment for weeks not days. So it is more like an Asian flavored Kraut.
They joined the fermenting station in the dining room. I might make more this week with the last cabbage. It seems like a very nice way to preserve the cabbage. Tasty and long lasting.