Starve yer carrots

I’ve got this thing about growing the perfect carrot. There is something about pulling a carrot out of the ground, it’s the smell, it’s the way a carrot should smell, and it’s hard to recapture again. 

I am prepared to go to great lengths to grow my perfect carrot and I’ll be preparing my next carrot bed today by doing nothing.  By not digging in manure.

I’m feeding the soil in my little allotment with manure ready for my next big planting season in March. Except for one little corner which I am saving for my next carrot bed. I grew my kale last season up that same little corner. 

Carrots do really well after a well-manured greedy leaf crop such as kale. So all I plan to do is add some horticultural sand when I plant the seeds. This helps because if carrots as they are growing hit anything to stop them they will fork. And just how many legs do you want on your carrots???  By adding the sand it will lighten my soil and hopefully there will be nothing to stop them reaching their full potential.

So like I said, today I’ll do nothing to my new carrot bed.

What I will do when I go over to the allotment today, however, is harvest some carrots. I planted a late bed of this lovely root veggie and even in the heat of this December I’m still pulling them. 

Now just because I like to finish with a photo this is one taken in our winter and you may have seen it before. No apologies.

So, as all the good foodies say, “this is one I prepared earlier”. 

Image

Happy Gardening.

Advertisements

22 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. horticulturalhobbit
    Dec 29, 2012 @ 06:20:01

    Atta girl, Jean!

    I’m going to try carrots in the raised beds at some point. i did try direct sown in to a bed of clay; only for them and parsnips to be drowned out. I think I had one seedling of each. I had dug in some sand, but to avail. I know I can grow them, did so a couple of years ago. Some hobbit sized paris market in a pot. Need to go back to them glory days!

    Reply

    • Allotment adventures with Jean
      Dec 29, 2012 @ 06:32:50

      Thanks for your comment HH. Do try in your raised beds. My brother in the UK has even grown them in pots of potting mix. The main thing I find is they cannot deal with lumps of anything, or bits of straw. Sensitive little blighters aren’t they? You know that one of the things that I absolutely love about growing my veggies is the CHALLENGE! It’s what sorts out the men from the boys or the wheat from the chaff – or whatever.

      Reply

  2. christiok
    Dec 29, 2012 @ 06:32:45

    Great carrot tip about the sand. I’ve had some pretty crazy looking carrots in our rocky soil. I too love the smell of carrots just harvested…so rooty. 🙂 Cute picture, too!

    Reply

    • Allotment adventures with Jean
      Dec 29, 2012 @ 06:35:53

      Hi Christi, I have grown some crazy looking carrots too on the edge of the bed. The thing I have found however is that little children love them, the more legs the better! When I plant my carrot seeds in March I’ll put a few in other areas of my little allotment for the visiting children to discover.

      Reply

  3. livingsimplyfree
    Dec 29, 2012 @ 07:49:19

    So that’s the secret to carrots. I have never been able to grow carrots, I may try again this year with your tips.

    Reply

    • Allotment adventures with Jean
      Dec 30, 2012 @ 06:30:11

      Thanks for visiting. You don’t mention why you have had troubles growing carrots. Wonder if it was carrot fly or perhaps rocky soil. All challenges. If problem soil is the answer my brother in the UK grows him in pots where you have more control over the growing medium. The only thing about too rich a soil for carrots is that you get dramatic green tops which look rather impressive, but weeny little carrots underneath.

      Reply

      • livingsimplyfree
        Dec 30, 2012 @ 06:36:11

        Not sure what our problem is, we get these little carrots, if any, that don’t even come close to the size of a baby carrot. I think I’ll try both a container of seeds and a section in the garden and see if I can get at least one to grow this coming summer. Thanks for the help.

  4. Anna B
    Dec 29, 2012 @ 10:07:46

    Hello Jean! I just love this photo of you! You look so happy with your carrot!! It’s fab. I grow mine in tubs in seed compost but in the past I added horticultural sand to normal compost. I also cover my tubs with fleece to fend off the dreaded carrot root fly! They never see the light of day bless them, but my paranoia tends to work. I got given some cool purple carrot seeds for Christmas this year so I’m very excited to start sowing those in a couple of months. Really interesting that you starve your carrots and the one you’re holding is a fine specimen, so you’re definitely an expert! I think I’ll carry on just growing mine in tubs with no fertiliser then too, starving carrots is the way forward!! : )

    Reply

    • Allotment adventures with Jean
      Dec 30, 2012 @ 06:26:31

      Thanks for visiting Anna B. I have found the addition of sand in my soil makes a huge difference, they don’t seem to struggle as much as they can work their way down through the sand. My brother grows his carrots in pots for his grandchildren and he does well. Mind you, I think they pick them a big early with the excitement.
      How thrilling to get some purple carrot seeds. When I started with my allotment two years ago I didn’t even know then that you could grow purple carrots, then I learned that in the first place all carrots were purple, and then they bred the purple out of them to become the regular orange ones we buy today.
      On your last comment, I have found in the past that fertiliser fed the green tops and not the roots. That is my experience anyway. I love the challenge of veggie growing don’t you?

      Reply

      • Anna B
        Dec 30, 2012 @ 06:33:58

        Hello Jean! I absolutely love it!!! Even when things don’t quite go to plan I still learn. It’s a continuous learning experience for me and being outdoors or indoors dreaming of outdoors dominates my life! I think that’s a good thing though, at least I have a healthy hobby!

  5. narf77
    Dec 29, 2012 @ 12:56:12

    What a gorgeous carrot Jean! I haven’t even attempted carrots because I am totally in fear of them. I might take note of what you have said here and see if I can’t grow some next year 🙂

    Reply

    • Allotment adventures with Jean
      Dec 30, 2012 @ 06:19:42

      Hi Fran. Don’t be scared. Carrots won’t harm, they are just a bit of a challenge – and I know you like a challenge. The funny thing is that I have had just as much fun out of the ‘legged’ carrots as the little kids love them.

      Reply

      • narf77
        Dec 30, 2012 @ 06:29:49

        I would be tempted to just scrub the leggy ones a bit and steam them and eat them whole! My friend in the witness protection (not really but she HATES her photo being taken 😉 ) is growing some carrots but says that hers are very pale coloured this year. Might have to boost something to get them darker and happier but the rest of her veggies are going as crazy as ours are…must be that organic compost that we both used in our raised beds 🙂

    • Allotment adventures with Jean
      Dec 30, 2012 @ 06:40:19

      Hi Fran. Not sure about your friends carrots being pale. I bought some Harlequin carrot seeds last season which were very exciting, and some were white. I wonder what you friends carrots taste like, if they taste good then maybe there is no problem with the colour. Whoever thought that growing veggies could be this exciting. They always leave us with challenges.

      Reply

      • narf77
        Dec 30, 2012 @ 11:54:56

        My zucchini was challenging me bigtime…the leaves had invaded all over the place and so I cut some of the leaves back and found a massive stash of zucchini’s underneath! Lucky I decided to cut the leaves or I wouldn’t have noticed the zucchini till they were marrows poking out under the massive great leaves…now I have a nice sized zucchini to do something with for my tea (some cashews left over from Christmas, some sundried tomatoes, a bit of turkish bread whizzed up in the food processor, some grilled red capsicum and some herbs methinks…) a whole PILE of chopped up leaves for my compost heap and a new sense of accomplishment that is totally undeserved as I am only steering this veggie garden and directing the cycles of the compost heap to be honest, but it feels so good being the captain of the good ship Serendipity that I am going to keep on feeling good 🙂

      • Allotment adventures with Jean
        Dec 30, 2012 @ 12:00:20

        I envy your zucchini. I planted four and two have rotted at ground level. We havn’t had enough rain to rot them, I think it’s a bug.

      • narf77
        Dec 30, 2012 @ 19:54:58

        Bug or maybe some sort of viral/fungal or bacterial thing? Not too sure Jean but whatever it is, it doesn’t look like you were meant to have 4 zucchini plants… with the way that ours are starting to go mental, I don’t think I was meant to plant 6 of them! At least you have 2 plants and that should keep you in zukes all through summer 🙂

      • Allotment adventures with Jean
        Dec 31, 2012 @ 16:56:34

        Fran, just visited the allotment and the remaining two zucchini plants are sulking. They are growing big leaves but the one little zuc is quite puny. I don’t know anyone on our allotments who has done much better. Bummer.

      • narf77
        Dec 31, 2012 @ 19:50:47

        I have a huge amount of tiny ones all growing exponentially…I have had an amazing year growing zucchini’s and Steve just had 1/2 of one grated into his quiche tonight and loved it. Sorry that your harvest isn’t so good…I guess it is swings and roundabouts and your carrots have made up for it 🙂

      • Allotment adventures with Jean
        Dec 31, 2012 @ 19:58:40

        Congrats on your zucchini’s. Despite the fact that mine are pathetic I always manage to pick plenty assorted veggies for my dinner so I’m not too worried. It still surprises me just how much produce my tiny allotment can produce. Only a few hours now Fran and we’ll be into 2013!

      • narf77
        Dec 31, 2012 @ 20:26:44

        🙂 I usually don’t make it Jean so keep your fingers crossed that I am still hard at it reading my rss feed reader and don’t wake up at 1am drooling on my shirt with a crick in my neck 😉

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Frugal Queen

Writing about all things thrifty, home cooking, fun on a budget and living between Cornwall and Huelgoat in Brittany.

Jerry Coleby-Williams

Sustainable Gardening in our Continually Surprising Climate

The Power of Thrift

and other ramblings

Nourishing Traditions

The Blog that Challenges Policitally Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats

could do worse

adventures in London

Allotmentals Plot 103

Allotment, garden and daytrips

Pickle Me Too

Nourishing foods for the whole family (including pickles!)

myproductivebackyard

Sustainable Backyard Food Production

My Front Burner

making what matters

30 acres of sunshine

organic, sustainable and self-sufficient hobby farm in the making

Lottie Land Girl

Living the 'Good Life' the Brown way!

Throwback at Trapper Creek

An ongoing chronicle of meeting the expectations of the land...

Foodnstuff

Energy decline & self-sufficiency from Melbourne, Australia

horticultural 'obbit

'obbitry of the horticultural kind

Leisa Rayven

Passionate stories for lovers of words

Frugal Queen

Writing about all things thrifty, home cooking, fun on a budget and living between Cornwall and Huelgoat in Brittany.

Jerry Coleby-Williams

Sustainable Gardening in our Continually Surprising Climate

The Power of Thrift

and other ramblings

Nourishing Traditions

The Blog that Challenges Policitally Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats

could do worse

adventures in London

Allotmentals Plot 103

Allotment, garden and daytrips

Pickle Me Too

Nourishing foods for the whole family (including pickles!)

myproductivebackyard

Sustainable Backyard Food Production

My Front Burner

making what matters

30 acres of sunshine

organic, sustainable and self-sufficient hobby farm in the making

Lottie Land Girl

Living the 'Good Life' the Brown way!

Throwback at Trapper Creek

An ongoing chronicle of meeting the expectations of the land...

Foodnstuff

Energy decline & self-sufficiency from Melbourne, Australia

horticultural 'obbit

'obbitry of the horticultural kind

Leisa Rayven

Passionate stories for lovers of words

The Self Sufficient HomeAcre

One homemaker. One Acre. My quest for Self Sufficiency.

not just greenfingers

Mrs Thrift's Simple Living in the Modern Day......Kitchen Garden, Allotment, Baking And More...

quarteracrelifestyle

The "Good Life" on a quarter acre, frugal living

Gardener Jen

Trials, errors and joys of creating and maintaining my first garden.

Our Everyday Life in Pictures

Growing vegetables on one small allotment

Exercising Septuagenarian

Growing vegetables on one small allotment

Tootlepedal's Blog

A look at life in the borders

frugalfeeding | Low Budget Family Recipes, UK Food Blog

n. frugality; the quality of being economical with money or food.

The Next Stage

Growing vegetables on one small allotment

The Greening of Gavin

Sustainable Living in the Suburbs

Down to Earth

Growing vegetables on one small allotment

%d bloggers like this: