Saturday, 8 November 2014

Harvesting Carrots

Yesterday I decided to make a hearty braised beef casserole with herb dumplings - ideal sustenance for the cold wet and windy weather we are experiencing at present - and it just seemed appropriate to serve it with home-grown carrots, so I went out and had a furtle around in the big raised bed to see what I could find. I found these (the leek was from a different area of the garden though).

Although much of their foliage has died down now, there are still quite a lot of carrots in there. When I sowed the carrots back in the Spring I put in 3 different types: "St.Valery", "Early Nantes" and "Autumn King". The most productive ones have been "Early Nantes", but I think most of them have been used by now. The ones I picked this time were mainly "Autumn King".

"Autumn King"

Although I have had a few good-sized ones, they are mostly a lot shorter than I had hoped for - quite "stump-rooted" really.

"Autumn King"

 I don't know why this is. It certainly isn't due to lack of depth of soil, because there is about two feet of soil in that bed. And you can see that they put down long thin tap-roots.

There were a few (3!) "St.Valery" in amongst the batch.


After washing, the veg always looks very different:

One or two of the carrots had a little bit of slug damage, but there was no Carrot Root Fly damage at all.

Slug damage

These carrots have been in the ground for a long time now, and their skins didn't look very appealing, so they were peeled before cooking. I usually just scrub home-grown carrots if the skins look OK.

This has been my best year ever for carrots. I know that is not much of a claim, because in the past my carrot-growing prowess has been severely limited, but I reckon this year's crop has been pretty respectable by any standards. I shall definitely be using the Enviromesh again, because it is this that has made the difference. Normally I would grow the roots in a different bed next year, following my crop-rotation plan, but that big deep raised bed seems so suitable that I think I will make an exception here. The extra height of the woodwork also made it easier to support the mesh, so that probably clinches it. I'll just make an extra effort to add more nutrients in the form of loads of home-made compost as well as a few handfuls of "Growmore".


  1. Enviromesh rules eh? I guess it would work for whitefly too bit we would end up with most of the plot covered.

  2. I could never grow carrots two years in a row in the same bed. The nematodes would take over. I wasn't so lucky with the carrot fly. A few did get into my row cover because there were some small holes that I didn't repair. I'll try to be better about it next year. But mostly the damage has been negligible. Thank goodness. The carrots look wonderful, but the leeks look so huge. I keep thinking I need to grow them again, but they never make the cut come spring.

  3. Nice looking carrots Mark and they look well and evenly developed too. I've got 1 row left in the ground which will have to be lifted this week due to the wetter weather. A very good year for carrots this time.

  4. Your carrots look so tasty...I am always astonished at the first home grown carrots we incredibly sweet they are compared to grocery store commercial carrots! I just found your site after visiting Frank and Fern, now I am going to enjoy more of your posts!

  5. Nice harvest! I didn't grow Carrots this year. And that leek reminds me to be sure to put it back in rotation.

  6. lovely carrots. I love eating them fresh out of the ground just rubbing the dirt off and not washing


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