Wednesday 4 March 2015

Sowing "Salad" Carrots

Until last year, when the effective use of Enviromesh made such a dramatic difference to my success with growing Carrots, I had tended to stick to growing only baby Carrots (aka Finger Carrots or Salad Carrots) - ones which are quicker-growing than Maincrop ones, and ones which being small are easier to protect. For several years now I have grown this type of Carrot in plastic crates positioned inside a raised wooden planter outside our kitchen window.

Photo from 2013
This year I am going to grow Maincrop Carrots in my new extra-deep raised bed, but I'm still going to grow the Salad Carrots too. I have chosen 3 varieties:

They are "Chantenay Red Cored 2", a short almost triangular-shaped variety; "Amsterdam Forcing 3", a longer, slim one; and "Paris Market 5", a short fat stump variety.

The stump varieties are supposedly particularly suited to growing in pots and containers, because they do not require any great depth of soil. I have not tried this type before, so it will be an interesting experiment for me. My instinct tells me that my little granddaughters will like them!

I sowed my Carrot seeds at the weekend.

There isn't much to see at present, but let me tell you that one crate is devoted entirely to Chantenay, and the other crate has half each of the other two varieties. I used ordinary multi-purpose compost (New Horizon peat-free), at a depth of about 20cm. The seeds were sprinkled onto the surface of moist compost and then covered with a thin layer of dry compost. The crates then went into the wooden planter and are now covered with a piece of Enviromesh weighted down with bricks.

When the seeds germinate I will put in some wire hoops to raise the Enviromesh well above the Carrots, to allow the foliage to grow without being restricted. All I have to do now is wait...


  1. You're well ahead of the game, there'll be nothing left for your to do in April. I've grown stump carrots in the past when growing in containers, they grew well but there isn't much of them.

  2. I only grew shorter carrots at my last house that had heavy clay soil. Here I don't find any reason to as my soil depth is about 16". I do grow two types though. One type I eat fresh - typically Mokum. The other is my storage carrot - Bolero - that last over the winter in the fridge or basement. But I can see a good reason to grow in containers right now. They will probably be much warmer and grow faster in the spring. Carrots grow so slowly when the ground is cold.

  3. The carrots we tried to grow in the Woodblocx bed didn't do well at all nor did the mini beetroots and radish - I don't think that they liked the compost we used,

  4. Carrot planting time isn't for at least another couple of months around here..hopefully. Like Daphne, I prefer the larger/longer varieties as we often use larger quantities for things such as soups or eat them raw as carrot "sticks".

  5. Last year was my first year for 'carrot failure' - basically all grown from seed and eaten as quick as they germinated, by slugs I assume. This year I've added seaweed to beds and looking forward to seeing if this helps the problem at all.

  6. You're well ahead, I like the idea of growing them in the wooden box, carrots have such lovely foliage too. I hadn't thought of wee salad carrots to grow ....

  7. Is environment the same as fleece? Sarah x

    1. Hi Sarah; No, Enviromesh keeps bugs off, whereas fleece keeps things warm. The Enviromesh is effectively a very fine-mesh net.


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