Monday, September 1

Harvest- Week of the carrot

We dug up the first if our this year's carrots last week. These were sown back in April in slits cut in weed control fabric. As soon as they are sown they are covered with enviromesh. The carrots have been weeded twice, as some weeds do grow in the slits that the seeds are sown in, but each time the mesh is left in place and I sort of duck the top half of my body under the mesh tent. We don't thin the seedlings at all - it's a case of survival of the strongest so we end up with carrots of all sorts of shapes and sizes - but that's OK. Whatever size or shape they taste good. How can commercial growers get it so wrong and produce carrots that are recognisable only by sight as they have no carrotty flavour. Is this the same worldwide or exclusive to the UK? 
We leave the carrots in the ground overwinter under a straw blanket and lift as we need them.


32 comments:

  1. I pulled my first ~ as in first *ever* ~ carrots this morning! I am so excited to have beaten the dreaded carrot fly. I grew mine in a compost~filled bin that is three feet high. Lots of things to learn by doing this, but the main thing is I have my very first ever home grown carrots for tea tonight and I cannot wait!

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  2. We've still got lots of potatoes to lift. We haven't found any with slug damage yet so it looks as though we'll be able to grow them in the ground from now on, such a difference from the old plot. I think I'll still grow a few in containers as well though, just nowhere near as many. Well done with the aubergine. It took me three years to get fruit on a plant and then I never bothered growing them again.

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    1. We have quite a few aubergines that have set now, Jo. We found the mini plant variety Jackpot works for us.

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  3. It seemed to be the week of the carrot here too. I spent a long time at the sink scrubbing and getting them all cleaned up. Your potatoes did amazing even with the challenges for space in the soil. ~ Rachel at Grow a Good Life

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    1. We were pleasantly surprised by the potato crop, Rachel

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  4. Interesting details on how you grow your carrots. I know quite a few gardeners who plant things in the weed control fabric, and I've done it myself for larger plants but never for something like carrots. That would certainly keep the weeds down between the rows. As for the taste, I think the homegrown ones do have more taste than the commercial ones. At least the ones I grow do.

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    1. This post has more detail Dave, We are using weed control fabric for more and more things on the plot.

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  5. Wow that is a lot of potatoes. And I have had commercial carrots that taste good, but they were from a local farm and they weren't growing them to ship. I think the commercial ones are grown so they look good and all alike.

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    1. So much perfectly good food is thrown away because it doesn't look right, Daphne. It' such a travesty

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  6. Great harvest! I will try to grow potato on the pot, again... your eggplant looks so fresh. I still remember your huge carrot ladt year, fascinating. . .

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    1. We often have a meal for two from one carrot, Endah

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  7. What an impressive array of goodies. So inspirational for all growers and would be growers.

    jean
    x

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  8. Beautiful harvest! That's quite a lot of potatoes. And I love the assortment of soft fruit you have.

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    1. Thanks Thomas -we enjoy our fruit.

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  9. A great varied harvest, Sue. If David Ford reads this, he will be expecting you to take photos of your carrots at ground level underneath the Enviromesh! I have been converted to Enviromesh myself, because for the first time ever I have grown some beautiful (and tasty) carrots. I'm doing what you did, and not thinning them.

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    1. And I'm sure I have such a photo somewhere, Mark

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  10. Another really wonderful harvest, the potatoes are a revelation. I covered my strawberry bed with weedproof membrane, but there are miles of bindweed romping around underneath it. I love the look of the aubergine and the carrots. I'm determined to crack carrots next year. I looked for my single solitary carrot at the allotment the other day but I'm sad to report it's disappeared without trace.

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    1. Maybe Peter Rabbit has bene visiting, CJ

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  11. Now that is a damn fine looking aubergine! And what a marvelous haul of taters too as well as all the other varied veg and flowers. My sweet peas gave up ages ago....astonishing that you still have them. I do agree about carrots, mine always taste lovely especially in lentil and carrot soup. I have a smashin' carrot harvest too, a good year for them.xxx

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    1. Maybe we planted the sweet peas later than you Snowbird

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  12. Fantastic Harvest, I'm so envious! I put lots of effort into guarding against carrot fly and then over one weekend rabbits ate the lot - my veg plot has become a kind of McDonald's for bunnies!!!

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    1. Rabbits are one pest we don't suffer from FRG - now why did I say that?

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  13. Your veggies are beautiful. We will also have carrots for the first time in this garden. This year I sowed the seeds on wet paper towels and moved them out the moment they germinated. Why they do not germinate outside I have no idea. Any suggestion? A friend thought they germinated but were right away eaten by slugs. I doubt it as we do hot have a lot of slugs.

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    1. We have the slug munching problem with newly germinated carrots, Alain but usually some bare stems are left behind and a slime trail. We make a shallow trench in the soil and fill with potting compost which we water regularly to stop it from drying out. We tried the paper towel method for some parsnips. They germinated OK but once planted didn't take off.

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  14. Looks like a veritable farmer's market with all that produce! I expect it's keeping you busy in the kitchen, Sue. I laughed when I saw that you'd written "Cucamelon … no" on your harvest sheet! Maybe next month, eh? I want to grow banana shallots next year instead of onions; which do you prefer for taste and successful growing? You've got some lovely ones there.

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    1. Martyn's the list keeper Caro so I went and looked at cucamelon. The no is short for number (rather than kg). It's an apt description too though.. As for shallots v onions - we use more onions than shallots in cooling but shallots seem to produce easier and they have a gentler flavour. Onions are also cheap to buy and to me are a vegetable where home grown don't taste really different. If I was short of space I'd just grow shallots but we have never tried banana shallots.

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  15. Awesome haul I still behind but did get a small haul of carrots which was lovely Thank you for helping get growing again Sue

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    1. I'm sure that you'll catch up Linda.

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  16. That's excellent harvest of potatoes and carrot! I have planted carrot in the past and got a 4cm long carrot! ;(

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  17. Beautiful carrots....and potatoes too! Completely agree with the carrot taste - store bought carrots often lack the sweetness of homegrown ones.

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