Monday, 26 January 2015
Sunday wasn't a bad day for late January. As promised we didn't really get any sunshine but the rain held off and the temperature was around 8°C in the afternoon so we headed for the plot.
Our carrots have done well again this year after a bit of a poor start when some young seedlings were devoured by slugs. The eaten rows were resown and the carrots more or less left to do their own thing under a tent of environmesh as protection against carrot fly.
These four rows of carrots have gone on to provide us, so far, with 29.6kg of carrots including the ones we lifted on Sunday. Our first carrots were lifted on 27 August 2014 and we've been lifting carrots regularly since then. In October they received a covering of straw as winter protection and their environmesh tent was removed.
These are the Autumn King carrots we lifted on Sunday still in good condition even after the sort of mini cold spell we've just had. They've been left in the ground covered with straw and have survived the -3.3°C freezing they got on 31 December 2014. These are the good carrots.
I thought it only fair to post some pictures of our bad carrots. Expecting to leave carrots in the ground over winter without any losses due to pest or the weather is expecting a bit too much. So here’s a bad carrot.
It’s not good is it. The carrot itself is pretty gigantic, but that’s caused it to split at the root end allowing all sorts of pests to take advantage. It’s not a pretty sight looking at the shoulder of the carrot or what’s left of it!
I'm guessing slugs have started off the damage and then maybe mice have found the inside of the carrot tempting during the cold weather. Who knows? It’s not fit for eating and has been discarded and added to the compost heap. I noticed that a few carrots in a row all look like this so there might be a few more heading the same way.
The worse thing about damaged carrots is that they have a habit of turning into a gooey orange mess by the time spring comes around and aren’t too pleasant to clear away to the compost heap. I’ll try to remember to take a photo.
We also took part in the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch this weekend which involves counting the birds spotted in our garden over a one hour period during the weekend. Our results are shown in the table below.
That’s not a bad result for us although we regularly have more sparrows and goldfinches. Our results along with thousands of other have been sent off to the RSPB for analysis.
Posted by Martyn Garrett at 09:54