Sunday, September 13, 2009

The love of Carrots

Carrots are a wonderful vegetable that grow easily in most climates given adequate water. They're very useful in the kitchen and contain loads of nutritional goodies. The idea that carrots gave you great eyesight was an invention of the RAF during world war 2 when England had developed radar technology to detect the German bombers. Not wanting the enemy to realise the threat, they invented a story about 'cats eyes' cunningham, a fighter pilot who could see in the dark as a result of all the carrots he'd eaten.

Carrot Seed are tiny and the biggest hindrance to successful germination is keeping them moist. They're sown quite shallow, so regular watering or covering the drill with wet newspaper will help to keep moisture levels up. Well cultivated loose soil is essential for long straight roots, over fertile soil will cause forked or hairy carrots (covered in fine roots).

As the seedlings come up they need to be thinned to allow the roots room to develop.

<==from this to this ==>

If you are happy to thin your carrots more than once as they grow, you can first thin them to about 5cm apart, and then to 10 cm apart. The second round will probably be large enough to eat as baby carrots.

When your remaining carrots have enough room to continue growth unchecked, make sure you give them a foliar feed with a weak seaweed solution, comfrey tea or the like. The foliage will droop as they will have provided some mutual support, but within 48hrs they'll be back up and growing.

Remember when harvesting any root vegetable to cut off the tops as soon as they are out of the ground to keep the foliage from drawing on its stores in the root.

Any thinnings too small to eat will be interesting to scratch around in for the chooks.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Hope, You guys are awesome keep up the good blog. Something you might like to try,which I have done with great success. Get an "old" (left in the paddock) bale of hay,(usually wet right through) cut 3 grooves "V" full length about 5cm wide x 5cm deep, fill with soil and sow your carrot seed into this. Thin, and "whalla" you pull out a clean carrot every time.