Sprouting carrot seeds

Sprouting carrot seeds

Sprouting carrot seeds

It’s Friday afternoon here in Chipping Norton, and I’ve just made a BIG discovery!  Our carrots seeds are sprouting away in the airing cupboard.  The 2nd stage of our ‘Good Life’ carrot experiment will be underway tomorrow on the allotment.

We’re going to make up some of the noxious Fibogel and mix in the sprouted carrot seeds.  The gluey jollop will then be piped (using a cook’s piping bag) into drills on the allotment.   The theory being of course, the seeds will be spread more thinly and the germination rate increases.

We are going to be super-organised this year with our carrots.  Our first venture into carrot growing in 2008 wasn’t a great success.  Despite planting lots of onions and leeks beside them, those darned carrot flies did a lot of damage.

Growing carrots on the Copywriters' allotment

Carrot enclosures

Last year we invested in some mesh and enclosed the beds, in an effort to keep the little blighters out.  Unfortunately, me and my sewing machine were a bit tardy in making the enclosures, and we did leave it a bit late.  But the damage wasn’t so great as the year before.

This year, the mesh enclosures are going up as soon as the seeds are in the ground.  We’re also going to plant the carrots well away from the hedgerow, which is at higher level than the plot.  If everything we read about carrot flies is true, we suspect they took at run at it and glided in over the mesh.  But if you’ve ever experienced the wonderful smell of fresh carrots … you wouldn’t be able to blame them for trying!

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7 Responses to “Sprouting carrot seeds”

  1. Allotment Ali Says:

    My first year of carrots = netting all around as you did – result = rubbish.
    My 2nd year of carrots = planted between onions – result = FAB
    Good luck with yours and let me know how it goes.
    Ali

  2. Max Akroyd Says:

    I get all neurotic about carrots. I can’t do mesh here – it’s just too windy – but I love your chitting and piping idea. I’ll then go with Ali’s interplanting with onions…

  3. Joy McCarthy Says:

    I wondered about planting lots of coriander – it is very pungent, but I can’t stand the smell. I’ll keep you posted about the paste jollop. It’s very exciting! Might try it with the swede seeds too … but if it ain’t broke, do I want to fix it?

  4. Joy McCarthy Says:

    Max – meant to say, our allotment is V. windy too. I stitched up the corners of the mesh to form tubes for the canes. Canes were put about 12″ into soil and we heaped soil round the mesh at the bottom. They didn’t budge an inch.

  5. Max Akroyd Says:

    Hi Joy – I’m thinking coriander might be a no-no, it being the same family as carrots: you might end up with a fly party!

    Stitching and burying, I’ll give it a go!

  6. Joy McCarthy Says:

    Hi Max

    I never knew carrots and coriander were related! You live and learn.

    The mesh we got was a sort of plastic, so very strong, but had no problems using the sewing machine on it. We got it from http://www.plasticsbypost.co.uk.

    David did some research into the optimum size of the ‘cages’. It had to be at least 2ft high and we divided it into sections, so if they got into one section, they couldn’t penetrate the rest of the bed.

    For us, it worked better than companion planting with onions. An old boy on an allotment near us plants marigolds by his carrots, but last year he put up a mesh enclosure – and it blew down!

  7. The good companions (415 days to go) « Rural Idiocy? Says:

    […] to create the first carrot growing space. In the onion beds. Stealing my ideas wholesale from here, I’m approaching carrots in two ways this year. First phase (today’s) is interplanting […]

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