erthnsky at bellsouth.net
Tue Jan 13 12:52:33 EST 2009
As always, great gardening post, James.
Clansgian at wmconnect.com wrote:
> Now I plant them two ways: In beds made of small ridges 4" or so apart. I
> can identify the location of the carrots by the ridges and weed the rest clean,
> also I can water in the space between ridges without washing out the tiny
> seeds. When the carrots have established themselves, I fill in the troughs
> between ridges with compost to level the bed once more.
That is kind of what I have been doing with the short, parallel rows.
> A second method is this: and it comes from the observations of my failed
> attempts to transplant them. Hairy carrots do not result so much from too much
> fertility as it does from too much fertility close to the surface. The
> no-till-teetotalers depend on earthworms to drag organic material own rather than mix
> it in mechanically. This tends to have the upper layers more fertile than the
> lower layers.
> The carrot's game plan is to decide how big a tap root it will use to store
> food, then send down the root to a certain depth and branch the roothairs from
> there. If it finds the upper layers very fertile but the lower ones not, it
> has no recourse but to send out root hairs from the swollen root.
> So here is my second way: I get a really fertile bed prepared usually by
> applying a lot of chicken manure and or rabbit manure (plus wood ashes which also
> contain potassium and calcium). Then I cover that with some inert organic
> material or else very low fertility material such as neutralized peat, half
> rotten sawdust, light compost with a lot of creek sand. This inert-ish material
> goes on 4" thick or better. Carrot seeds are broadcast on top. Weeds are
> mimimum but kept religiouisly pulled.
> The carrot looks at the medium in which it has sprouted and immediately sends
> down the tiny taproot until it finds the very fertile ground beneath. It
> doesn't bother to branch the taproot before that because it knows it would do it
> little good.
That makes a lot of sense, and since I generally layer the top of that
bed with fine compost to make a seeding area for small seeds like
carrots, that is exactly what is happening. My top layer is too rich.
Hairy Carrot Mystery Solved.
> The very best garden carrot I've found is Touchon (Nichols carries it, I
> think). It is a bit short, but ideally suited for the type of cultivation I'm
> doing. The last few years I've grown those white, red, yellow, and purple
> carrots offered by, among others, Baker Creek. They did really well with the white
> ones being the most tricky to get a good roots.
> Plant carrots all the time. OK, with the freezy-frosty on us the next couple
> of weeks, maybe not today exactly. But just as soon as this worst breath of
> winter passes, plant some carrots. Cover the planting with an inch of sawdust
> or peat or some such and if a ground heave threatens, cover it with a tarp of
> straw or some such. Then in three weeks or so, plant some more, then more
> and more all the way to early November.
> When you pull your first carrots, cut off the tops leaving about 1/2" of
> carrot and plant them back in the garden. Within a very short time you will have
> another crop of carrots. Sometimes I prepare a bed in the garden and take a
> basket and knife and as I harvest the carrots I want for the next couple of
> days, I simply turn to the other bed and plant the tops back (tops, leaves, and
> all). The same top will often produce carrots for three years.
Are you kidding me?
1/11/2009 5:57 PM
"Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will
not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius
will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the
world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone
are omnipotent. The slogan 'press on' has solved and always will solve
the problems of the human race"
~ Calvin Coolidge
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