Friday, 6 August 2010

Carrot & Stick

This was to be the year of the carrot. So what's wrong with this:

Yes, you've got it - Where's the carrot?

It started off with optimism:

My major investment (£26 if I recall correctly) in nets and supports were going to defeat the dreaded carrot fly. But then I had the bright idea of sowing parsnips along each side of the tunnel and carrots in the middle to be plucked out well before the parsnips matured. The results (above) speak for themselves.

My second net (with only one stray parsnip) is doing better.

But all in all carrots are a lot more fussy, and slower to grow, than I realised. Germination has been sporadic and returns have not been spectacular.

Next year I'll crack it!


  1. Agree Mal they are a pain to grow generally and considering they are relatively inexpensive to buy is it worth it?

  2. Damo, I'm shocked! ;>) Of course they're worth trying to grow it's the pain of growing them that makes it worthwhile in the end! Three years of trying and I'm finally getting some carrots. You can always sow some more now.

  3. For me its the taste that makes it worthwhile, ive gorwn autumn king this year and theyve turned out well, and they are so much sweeter than the bland supermarket rubbish.

  4. I do agree bought carrots taste of nothing do they?

    I thought at first your carrot seed had grown parsnips.

    We do fairly well with carrots so if you want to know how we grow ours visit my website (not blog but linked from the blog on the sidebar) I wrote an article about it - it's from the Growit button

  5. I've also struggled with carrots in the past but I'm thinking of giving them another go next year, using a bed with particularly light soil. I might even start them in pots.

  6. I never had much luck with carrots until I tried growing them in big deep pots, sowing thinly under cover in February. Once they've germinated they go outside then I just have to remember to water.No carrot fly, no fanging, no problem.

  7. Carrots can be very difficult to grow and are very slow in germination and in growth. I grow them together with onions. Onions should keep carrot fly away. So far I haven’t noticed carrot fly.
    Do not give up. You can try sowing some now for late autumn harvest. That is what I will do.

  8. I have never seriously put my mind to growing carrots (and they seem to be something that you have to put your mind to). As usual, I have a packet of carrot seed waiting to be sown. But your parnsips are impressive.

    Your comment on my Skywatch post made me chuckle. Dunrobin Castle does look rather fine in that setting, I agree!

  9. I'm reassured that I am not alone!

    Thanks for the vid Sue, it's the germination I've got the problem with rather than the storage.

    Mojo, I need nets because even if I haven't grown carrots for five years my neighbours have, so the fly is all around. (They laugh at onions).

    I think I tried to early. Then I filled in the gaps with new sowing so I had old carrots and new mixed in the same row, as well as the rows smothered by the parsnips. So next year

    I'll start a bit later

    Have one net worth (4 rows) all of earlies and two nets all of one variety each.

    Cover each furrow with potting compost

    Lift the nets and thin

    Weed and water.

    If that fails I'll go down the large deep pots line.

    ...Oh yes the flavour cannot be matched commercially!

  10. You sound as if you do the same as us - the article I meant was the one called Beating the Dreaded Carrot Fly as that has our sowing method - what about trying different varieties of carrot - could that be the problem? I know when we sow we make sure that the compost is kept most until the seedlings germinate - and guess what we put down some slug pellets! Shock horror!

  11. I am quite proud of my carrots this year...although germination wasn't great it was good and seens as last year was terrible it is definitely an improvement and I have high hope for next year!!