Sunday, July 27, 2008

lots of carrots

three types of carrots
carrot sticks harvest bunches of carrots aond onions carrot and cranberry martinis

I have been pulling alot of carrots this past week. They are ripening fast.

I planted three varieties this year. In the top photo, Mokum is the bunch of five or so on the left, Oxheart is the two fat ones in the middle (also the sliced ones in the second photo with the giant cores), and two Coreless Amsterdam are at the right.

Mokum is an early variety that has been really nice. I recommend it and will plant it again next year. Nicely shaped bright orange roots. Gretta, the farmer at our local CSA recommended it to me. Thanks Gretta!

The Oxheart and Coreless Amsterdam are not ready for pulling yet. The first are big, but still very tart flavor. I think these will sweeten up later. Most of the Coreless Amsterdam are still quite small.

Last year I had trouble with my carrots. The root worms got to them. My neighbor Dave suggested that once the carrots sweeten up, the worms are probably more attracted to them. I bet he's right. So I am trying to pull all the carrots I can eat. Only minor root damage to far.

The other carrot pest in my community garden seems to be snails. They take big bites out of the carrots tops - but only a few carrots are affected. Not a concern worth worrying about yet.

Below is a photo of my carrot bed. I planted patches of carrots with onions in between. There are some big marigolds mixed in too that haven't flowered yet.

carrot bed

Daucus carota


Lisa said...

Your carrots and chinese beans look great.

I love growing yard-long beans (here in our hot humid summers) -- they're great stir-fired with garlic, peppers, and onions.

My carrots haven't done so well this year, with our drought - but it's such fun to harvest them.

Love your blog (Mocha sends his regards to Skippy).


Anonymous said...

What beautiful pictures! If you get a rainy day this week, I highly recommend a big pot of carrot-orange soup and cheese scones for dinner. I'm sure epicurious has a good recipe for both. And on an unrelated note, do you find that companion planting is usually successful?

Matron said...

You are so lucky to be able to grow carrots. I keep trying and failing - I have heavy clay soil here maybe that's why.

Anonymous said...

Hi, Kathy. My name is Jane Dornbusch and I am a food writer for the Boston Globe. For an upcoming column, I am seeking a gardener/cook in the area; I stumbled across your blog and it looks wonderful. Would you be willing to be interviewed for the Globe? If you are interested, I will be happy to give you more details. Please let me know by emailing me at Thanks!

Anonymous said...

how do you know when the carrots are ready to be pulled?

kathy said...

Thanks for the invitation Jane! I'd love to. I sent an email yesterday.

kathy said...

You can pull carrots at any size. The small ones are very tasty. I sometimes dig down around the crown a little and check the size. The biggest carrots will have the biggest greens.

I regularly pull carrots to check them or to thin the patch. I've read they get tough and bitter if they grow bigger than an inch or so in diameter at the crown. But my concern is more that the root worms don't get to them. There seem to be lots in my soil.

Right now my Mokum's are very sweet and pretty big. I'm pulling as many as I can eat every day. I think maybe tomorrow, I should just pull the rest of them. They will keep fine. They are about 4-6 inches long - a half inch at the crown. Still small by a farm standard, but great for me. A bit of root worm damage so far, which will only increase.

My big carrot variety, Oxheart, was a bit bitter last week when I tried a couple of the biggest ones. I'm hoping a bit more time in the soil will sweeten them up, but I think usually small ones are sweeter. This is a giant variety with a large core and probably just not as sweet as Mokum.

Here's a nice site about carrots from the Univ of Illinois Extention. They say fall carrots are sweeter. My plan was to sow some by July 25. Tomorrow is probably close enough!

Anonymous said...

speaking of fall carrots -- can you do a separate post about fall planting? i've always just planted things in april and then when they're done, i'm done. but i'd like to extend things a bit if that's possible. i'm in zone 7 just south of baltimore.

growyourownveg said...

love your blog! great link you provided

Anonymous said...

Beneficial nematodes may help with your root worm problem.