Friday, 10 October 2014


Thursday was sunshine and a few showers. We almost managed to fit in a dry afternoon at the plot but a heavy downpour forced a hasty retreat.

Our carrots this year were sown on 21 April 2014. For the last few years we have sown them through large slits in weed control fabric. This method definitely takes much longer to get the carrots sown than the conventional method of simply sowing carrots in drills. What’s more for blogging purposes it doesn't make a pretty picture. 
All sorts of bits and pieces of timber along with a few plastic boards are employed to hold down the weed control fabric. Not a pretty sight is it? (We have now developed a neater method using canes). Then of course we have to cover the whole area with environmesh to protect from the dreaded carrot fly. The area looks a bit tidier once this is done.
The carrots are left to germinate without much interference from us. They get some water if the weather turns dry. Some seedlings were eaten by slugs but luckily we spotted this and resowed more seed. By the middle of June the seedlings were well established and growing well although there appeared to be parts of some rows that had suffered from poor germination or more slug damage.
Any weeds managing to grow alongside the carrots have been removed a couple of times through the summer. Eventually it’s clear that the carrot tops have filled the space available in the carrot tent. Nevertheless the environmesh tent stays in place.
It was late August before we decided to harvest a few carrots. Our Early Nantes had done well and produced some decent sized roots even if they weren't up to passing the supermarket shape test. They certainly passed the taste test. Now the carrot harvest is in full swing.
These Chatenay Royal dug this week have again produced some large very tasty roots. But now our carrots have been exposed and their protective tent removed.
Carrot flies aren’t about in October (are they?) so the environmesh tent can safely be removed. It makes the carrots much easier to harvest too. The carrots won’t be left exposed for too long though as towards the end of the month they will be getting their winter duvet of straw. They’ll be left in the ground all winter and we will harvest them as required hopefully protected from the winter elements by the thick coat of straw.


  1. So that's how it's done. I'm taking notes. They do look absolutely fantastic.

    1. Only trouble is we can't do with tasteless shop bought carrots any more.

  2. I've been harvesting carrots today. Still can't bring myself to remove the netting... It's a bit like a comfort blanket now!


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