March 22, 2013

Growing Carrots - Tips from Papa's Garden Journal

Papa grew the best carrots ever! We had them from summer till way after Christmas. Below are tips from his journal about how he did it.

Papa always planted Nantes Coreless seeds in the fall. Here's what he said in his journal about growing them: "8-2 Planted 1/2 pack (same as last year) where potatoes were - ground very fertile and loose due to pony poo and straw. 2 rows.
8-9 Carrots coming up, removed straw and mulch
9-27 Some as big (around) as pennies - very good stewed. Lots and lots. Too thick still
1-1 (following year) lots and lots: smaller than usual probably due to them being planted too thick but some very large, most OK. Still have one full row in ground. they are mulched.
1-29 dug 2 large plastic dishes full - the end of the crop.

Another year he wrote this: " Carrots- Nantes - 2 rows where potatoes were. Started eating some end of Sept. When we returned from trip 12/3 (he and mom always went to Gulf Shores for three months every fall) they were monsters! a bumper crop of long, large, smooth ones. I gave carrots to everybody and still had scads for us.
12-21 mulched remaining rows with straw due to cold
March 1 final digging - an aluminum dish pan full after eating them since September, giving them to all our friends. Much too many - cut back to one 40 foot row this year.

Dad always mulched the carrots with straw before the first hard frost. He always planted his carrots after he dug the potatoes and raked the bed smooth. One of his favorite sources for seeds was Henry Fields . I lived on the adjoining property to mom and dad and we raised ponies. That's where he got the pony poo. He would till in the year old manure every spring and his garden soil was very fertile and fluffy too.

I think I will plant carrots this fall in my deep tubs. I don't have a normal garden due to my nasty clay soil and huge, tall oak trees. I use raised beds and plastic containers. See my post about container gardening.

 Next week a mishmash of tips about lots of things from Pop's journal.

If you want to read more about Papa and his antics check out Papa's Journal.

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