[Market-farming] Carrots

Harriet Allen hattie_allen at yahoo.com
Wed Aug 15 09:07:50 EDT 2012

I agree with the flame idea, etc. Carrot seed in the hot soil comes up much much faster than in the spring.  Usually within a week.  That means you have less time to get it flamed, but also that it will compete a little bit better with weeds...depending.  The key is to keep it wet. Radish or beet seed will come up before the carrots, but be very careful not to let that opportunity pass.  A quick flame down the rows in the bed where the carrots have been planted will save you much time later, or much labor cost!
You do not need a fancy flamer.  I use a weed flamer I got online from Amazon that cost about $45.  It hooks up to a small propane canister.  I just saw it on Amazon today for sale at $32!  Benzomatic.  Make sure you get the self-igniting one.  Has a little starter on it for when the flame blows out.  Really foolproof.  I've been using the same one for several years and have only used about three little canisters for as many years! (Doing about four hundred foot beds of four rows each. If you are doing a few hundred feet of bed, it is plenty of horsepower..  Takes very little time and so worth it.  You don't really have to go between the rows of carrots, but in the row itself and keep the flame moving. You are not trying to cook the soil, but singe the weeds that are at this point basically invisible.  Then you can take a hoe in between the rows when the time comes.
Be sure to do this when the wind is not blowing and if it is very very dry, keep a hose around and do it when you can actually see the flame.  Early morning is great when there is dew, or after it rains works well too, or after you water.  I kick myself every time I don't do it.
Keep an eye on the radish or beet seed and flame.  Make sure you do bury your carrot seed 1/4 inch.  If it is on top of the soil, or less than 1/8th inch covered, you can easily kill it.  If it has germinated, you'll lose the bed too.  It is just about timing and knowing carrot seed comes up fast fast in the summer. 

Hattie's Garden
31341 Kendale Rd.
Lewes, DE 19958  302-945-0350
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