Sunday, 14 July 2013

Carrots

Those of you who follow my blog will know that I have taken to growing baby carrots in a wooden planter which stands some 3 feet above the ground. This year I have three different type of carrot - "Mini-finger", "Amsterdam 3 Sprint" and "Mignon". They are growing in black plastic containers filled with commercial compost, which are placed inside the wooden planter.


Yesterday I harvested my first carrots of the year. They were from the container on the left in the picture above - the ones with the least luxuriant foliage - so I was surprised how big they are:


These carrots are of the variety "Mignon", which has been specially bred to produce small roots. Actually they are a lot fatter than I had expected. The other miniature varieties I have grown normally go longer and thinner.


I am pleasantly surprised too by the absence of Carrot Root Fly damage. No sign of it at all, which is a relief, considering that I have given them no protection whatsoever apart from elevation above ground level. I had intended to cover them with some Enviromesh supported by stiff wire hoops, but somehow I never got round to it.


Well, I'm really pleased with these. As is normal for me, not a big quantity, but good quality. And home-grown carrots fresh from the soil are so much tastier than ones that have been hanging around in a shop for weeks on end!

11 comments:

  1. Where did you get your planter from, Mark?

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  2. Sue, it is from Forest Garden, but we won it in a competition - Jane entered the comp; I took the photo "qualifier". http://marksvegplot.blogspot.co.uk/2011/06/our-prize-planter.html

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    1. I remember that now Mark - thanks. We are considering some raised planters for behind the greenhouse for salad stuff. We always forget to pick things like radishes when we are at the plot!

      AS for carrot fly I think it is easier to avoid in a garden as are many pests and diseases. On an allotment site where lots of potential food plants grow close by is a more attractive proposition. We get more pests and disease no our site is fully occupied that we did when surrounding plots were just head high in weeds.

      With carrot fly timing also plays a part as it is possible to plant between life cycles. The second egg laying cycle will be starting now so watch out.

      I know of people who have relied on planting off the ground and still had carrot fly devastation.

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  3. They look fabulous. I've always had great results when I've grown carrots above ground level, there's definitely something in what's said about carrot root fly not being able to fly very high. I enjoyed your last post about the zoo, though I have to say that I have mixed feelings about keeping animals caged. It can be a good thing when breeding proogrammes are in existence for animals which are under threat, but I don't really think that natural conditions can be replicated. Are we doing what's in the animal's best interest? I really don't know.

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  4. Love the planter and the carrots are lovely - so perfect!
    Here in Knoxville Tennessee we have very heavy, thick & sticky clay soil.
    So a raised bed is the only way to go.

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  5. Spectacular Mark..truly. They are so fat, and I bet delicious. So raising them off the ground really works to escape the carrot rust fly.

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  6. They look perfect! - How deep is the growing medium? That is, I have carrots in an extra deep bed, but wondering if I could give them a go in one of my shallower beds.

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    1. David, my carrots are in about 15cm of compost. The miniature ones don't need a lot. And of course you could always go for the little round ones like "Parmex".

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  7. Your carrots look great. I continually change my mind about the merits of growing carrots here. I haven't worked out the best time of year to grow them here. Certainly not summer when they go a little bitter in our heat but perhaps Autumn coming into winter - its the only time of the year I haven't tried them in.

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