Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Storage Carrots

Though it has been hot out I've been getting out in the early morning to get things done. Because of the GSC and Harvest Monday posts, the blog is behind in what I've been doing. And I've been doing a lot as it is the transition time between the spring and fall gardens. Most of the fall garden will be in by the middle of the month, though some is as late as August and September. I could do one huge post, but I'm going to break it up and slowly catch up. Hopefully I won't forget as I go.

Sunday morning was a beautiful morning. I wish I could have stayed out longer as there was so much to do, but I had other things planned for the day, so I quickly ripped out the old fava bean plants. There were still favas on some of the plants, but they were starting to rot and not ripen.

This bed is going to contain my storage carrots. I like to plant carrots in rows four inches apart (10cm). I always leave the foot near the path for fall peas (which will get planted later) as the soil isn't very deep by the bricks. The first foot is really part of the foundation for the brick path. The raised beds are high enough however to grow peas there. I try to put seeds in about an inch apart, but I'm not very good at it. If I do it slowly it works out great. If I accidentally put two I can pick one up and move it. But it is so so S..L..O..W.. that way.

As the sun got hotter I started to get more impatient. I always seem to have two minds about it and I start talking to myself. One part of my mind tells me that being zen about it is the way to go. Just be slow and steady. Enjoy the time in the garden. Marvel in the miracle of a seed. The other half wants to know what time it is. Am I going to have time to clean up and eat breakfast before my family is expecting me? It doesn't really matter if I waste a bit of seed. Thinning is easier than planting those little seeds one by one. I mostly listened to the zen side of me, but did speed up a bit as time wore on.

I'm growing two types of storage carrots. SugarSnax is an old favorite. If it has time to size up it can get huge and in the fall it is nice and sweet. It makes a terrible spring carrot I've learned, but for fall it is great. The other is new to me. Last year I was reading a UMASS article on storage carrots. Bolero really stood out as a long term storage carrot. So we will see how it does.

As is typical I used a doubled over row cover to hold in the moisture as they germinate. As soon as they are up I'm going to take off the cover on the soil and put a netting cover on supports to keep the carrot fly out. Though I can sometimes get away without covering the spring carrots, the fall carrots need to be protected or they will be destroyed by the fly. Even with a row cover I'll get a little damage as I can never keep all the flies out when I weed, but the damage will be minor.

I also had enough time to prop up the corn. Most of the corn that was blown down was small enough to recover on its own. But this patch was just too tall aleady. So I staked each plant up. Hopefully I won't need to stake many more as I'm running out of the 4' bamboo poles. The twine I used came from the fava trellis. I still have a lot more and I'll keep it to tie up the cucumbers and the fruit trees.


  1. I just burst out laughing when I got to the part about you planting the carrots seeds with two minds - I often have that same conversation....too funny!!

  2. You and I must account for about half the world's utilisation of bamboo canes! I use loads of them too - though I feel guilty about the "transportation miles" that are involved in getting them to the UK.

  3. This early spring I did the "drop and hope" method on the carrots but this fall we are going to use the seed tape that Granny :'( used in her garden, with the toilet paper. Basically I'm too lazy to thin out carrots and too impatient to go one by one! We let our cucumbers run on the ground here and oddly don't stake our corn. I am rethinking the corn next year though as this is the first year I've had fruitworm issues that I blame on the corn. Not again! Wife likes tomatoes more than corn.

  4. Good to hear your corn recovered!

  5. My carrots this year are extra slow to mature. I don't understand why and it's frustrating. I just sowed my fall carrots the other day. Hopefully, they will grow faster than my spring crop.