[Market-farming] Thoughts on carrots

BarbaraJ jbmckillip at mesanetworks.net
Sat Oct 24 20:27:10 EDT 2009

Hi Christina,
  I'm at 7100' on the front range plains of Colorado and I've had wonderful carrots.  I grew a Scarlet Nantes variety from Seed Savers, and even though we have a similar short season, I had weeks of lovely carrots.  One thing I did was to start them under row covers after our April snow melted, I'm not looking at my notes, but I'm thinking it was right around May 1st. since we had a ton of snow in April and I remember taking pictures of all the Redwing Blackbirds that came home at that time.  So I'm guessing that altitude was not the major issue and sandy soil is supposed to be good for carrots and you've got that.  I don't have any answers for you, except to say that I'm closer to your altitude and I'm getting carrots and have grown carrots here for 12 years.  I did try a White Satin carrot that did not do well at all, too small and not as sweet tasting as I like.  I love a Nantes flavor.  I also trialed Dragon carrots, but prefer the Nantes for flavor.  And my customers at the market seemed to prefer a traditional type carrot.  I'm hoping someone here has more ideas.  Is it possible that those varieties are not suited for altitude?  I've never heard that before with carrots, but it could be an issue maybe.

Barb in CO

----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Firefly Mountain Produce 
  To: market-farming at lists.ibiblio.org 
  Sent: Saturday, October 24, 2009 12:11 PM
  Subject: [Market-farming] Thoughts on carrots

  Hi Everyone,
  Thanks for all the good information on this list--I learn something new every day!

  I have a question about carrots. I planted three separate beds of 2 varieties this year (Parisienne, Little Finger) and, although they all germinated in about 4-5 days, the carrots never got more than one or two tiny frilly leaves and the roots were no thicker than a string and barely orange. It's like they sprouted, but then just stood still for the rest of the season. The Parisiennes, which are a small round type, weren't even balling up. I am wondering what was missing, what they needed that they weren't getting and what I can do differently next year to get carrots to grow. Any thoughts?

  Here's a little background. Everything else in the garden--numerous types of greens, beets, Asian greens, spring turnips, flowers, herbs--all grew really well. We have sandy loam soil. I just recently got soil test results back that I took at the end of the season: the organic matter is high, all major nutrients are adequate except potassium and magnesium are a little high. 

  Although we have a pretty short growing season (last spring frost on June 15, first frost on September 7), I planted the first batch of carrots on June 12, as I mentioned they germinated within 4-5 days, and when I pulled them at the end of September, they were minute! Same goes for the other beds--I planted them at the end of June and beginning of July, and they were similarly sprouted but tiny at end of September. It gets intensely hot and dry over the short summer, and these (as were all the other veg) were under 40% shade when it was hot, and under lightweight row covers at the beginning and end of the season. I even mulched one bed of carrots, but that did not seem to make a difference.

  Does altitude affect carrots? We're at about 8000 feet...

  Any thoughts or ideas you all might have will be greatly appreciated! Thanks!
  Christina Yeager
  Firefly Mountain Produce
  Clark, Colorado 


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  Market-farming at lists.ibiblio.org

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