Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Given the Hurry Up

After its frosty start Monday turned out to be an excellent sunny day if a bit on the nippy side but then it is November. The frosty morning was an urgent reminder that the carrots on our plot hadn’t been given their usual winter protection of straw. The mild weather had lulled me into a false sense of security but this morning was a real reminder that cold and frosty mornings can happen any time now.

As a result we made a trip to the allotment in the afternoon with a stop at the local farm to pick up a couple of bales of straw to use as carrot and beetroot protection over winter.
The environmesh protecting the carrots from the dreaded carrot root fly had been removed a few weeks ago. The left over timber frame for supporting this was removed first to give easier access for getting some straw down amongst the carrot foliage. The best part of two bales of straw later and the carrots now looked like this.
Just a few tops left exposed to the elements. If any frost is severe enough to penetrate through all that straw there’s a fair chance I won’t be going harvesting on the plot in any case.

The remainder of the straw was used to protect our beetroot. You’ll have to trust me that our beetroot is under there somewhere as I forgot to take a before shot.
If you have a little peek at the top left hand corner of this picture you can just about see a row of Little Gem lettuces which somehow managed to survive the frost.

If we can continue harvesting carrots like the ones below, which were dug just before the great cover up, then I reckon it’s worth investing a little bit of time and money to give them some winter protection.
These carrots are a variety called St Valery and were sown on 20 April 2013 along with all the rest of our carrots. Our first roots were pulled on the 24 July and since then we’ve harvested some regularly with a total of 15.6kg so far made up of Chantenay Royal, Early Nantes and St Valery.


  1. Thanks for the prompt. Our carrots are still going strong - and we've already had a couple of frosty nights. Funny thing is that one row in particular turned out to be tunneled, even under the mesh, and that's St Valery!

    1. Our tops looked green and healthy too but I suspect the last few frosty nights will have stopped them growing. We've not really had a problem with carrot fly using environmesh although occasionally we have a damaged carrot. I suspect an attack when we take the cover off to do some weeding.


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