Posts Tagged ‘carrots’

Carrots Pulled last weekend

I pulled up my carrots Sunday morning.  They were the best I have ever grown, and probably the best I could have done with my shady location.  Not a single one of them would have been supermarket-acceptable.  They were either worm bitten, cracked open, too small, tapered too fast, split rooted, etc, etc.  They’re good enough for me.  I got probably 6 or 8 pounds of edible carrot from six 8-foot rows, but I didn’t pick anything in the last 4 feet of the last 3 rows because they just didn’t grow in the shade there.

I washed them outside with the hose and broke off the green tops.

Then I washed them better inside.  After the picture above I cut off the bottoms and tops of each one.  They are in the crisper drawer in the refrigerator awaiting their date with multiple freezer bags.

As I said, this was definitely the best I can do with my dirt, my skills, my location right now.  I won’t give carrots a serious try again  next year.

June Garden Panorama

I have had panorama photos that turned out much better than this one, but it gets the idea across. Things are starting to get a bit unruly down there. Weeding needs lots of attention soon. It’s time to harvest beets and their greens. Soon I will harvest the carrots, followed by the cabbages and then the garlic. By that time I will be getting many red tomatoes.

I still need to plant the green beans I promised my wife.

Garden Overview, Early May 2012

Garden overview in Early May

Okra, Brussels Sprouts, Sweet Potatoes, Garlic, Cabbage, Strawberries, Beets, Carrots, Peas, Potatoes, Squash, Watermelons, Zucchini.

I need to plant cucumbers where those peas are, but I’m giving them ONE MORE week before they are evicted.

Jimmy Watering the Garden

Almost everything has been planted now.  I just have green beans and cucumbers left to direct-seed.  Also, I’m trying a little chin beard, but I’m undecided on it.  I think I’m going to let it get a bit longer and see how it looks then.

Beets and Carrots growing well…so far

Beets and Carrots

The carrots (up top) are a bit patchy and sparse, but the beets are the best I’ve ever had, by far.  Up until now I have tried beets all 4 years.  One year I had them looking ALMOST this good, but they didn’t form roots for me.  The other 3 times they didn’t even get this far along.

This year I took extra time preparing the bed.  I dug it very deeply and added generous amounts of what the soil was lacking.  I still don’t know if I’ll get beets or not, but let’s say I have my hopes up now.

Beets and carrot seeds planted

The bed shown here got worked on last weekend.  I dug it over as deep as I could with my garden spade, then moved the dirt aside and tried to get most of it dug twice as deep as that.  I was helped along in my cultivation by the tree and bush roots I had to keep tearing out, some a half inch wide and running the length of the bed.

This is a 8 foot by 6 foot bed, with the center 2 feet raised an additional 6 inches.  I put three rows of carrot seeds up top there.  The two bottom sections both got three rows of beet seeds planted in them.  I have NEVER been successful at growing a beet in my garden, but I have high hopes that I’m somehow doing something different this year.

Spring Garden Planning – on Paper – 2011

When I originally built my first set of garden beds in 2008, I had a brilliant idea. Every web site and book I could find was telling me that I wanted my garden beds to be 4 feet wide, for the convenience of reaching the crops easily and the benefit of never having to set foot into my soil. I promptly built each bed 6 feet wide because I knew better and I’ve been kicking myself for my arrogance ever since. I figured that 50% more growing area per bed plus much less wood needed would save me a ton of money by using a 6×8 foot layout. Well, it’s just been a pain in the ass.

This first drawing illustrates this year’s idea to help take advantage of these oddly-wide square foot garden beds. I plan to build a two-foot-wide middle section that has a trellis on each of these beds. I’ll grow climbing crops up the trellis in the middle and use the two-foot section on each side for crops with shorter growth habits.

So with this idea in mind, I got out my handy-dandy graph paper and planned out my 2011 garden. You can click the image to enlarge the photo. Each of the 5 beds I have numbered 2 through 6 will be getting a trellis topper with it’s own double-raised bed section (6 inches higher) beneath.

I have rotated every crop to an area of the garden that it hasn’t been grown for at least a year. Ideally I would use a 4 or 5 year rotation, but that isn’t possible in this amount of space unless I grow less tomatoes.

Because I have 12 growing beds, I plan to have several beds entirely dedicated to single crops, including sweet potatoes, potatoes, beans and tomatoes.

I also have planned some succession sowing with early spring crops, spring crops and fall crops. Carrots will follow the radishes and lettuce, Beets will follow Kale, and the green bean bed will be planted multiple times.

I found a place online where I could download a nice spreadsheet to help me with my seed-sowing dates. I entered my (average) last spring frost date into the spreadsheet, and it adjusted itself to display a range of dates where I should probably start my indoor seeds for best success in my garden. I moved these recommendations to the calendar on my computer and printed out a copy for easy reference. I have two trays of seeds started so far. Pictures coming at a later date!

The boys have been big helpers with the seed starting. They get a little bit of cabin fever when they are snowed in.

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