I’ve grown carrots in the garden almost every year. Here at Chiot’s Run they aren’t very fond of the heavy lean soil and thus they don’t get very large. As a result I generally grow the small round variety. In my mom’s garden however, she’s spent years amending the soil and it’s now a deep rich loam that grows some of the most beautiful carrots you’ve ever seen.
We planted these carrots at the end of June and have been waiting for them to size up. Of course you can start picking carrots as soon as they form small roots, but we prefer to let ours mature and harvest them as a fall and winter vegetable. Leaving them in the ground until after the weather turns cold seems to make them sweeter.
A great many different varieties of carrots were planted, as I finished off all the seed packets that were in my seed box. I did have a few new packs of ‘King Midas’ and ‘Sunshine Mix’ from Renee’s Garden, so there are a good number of those in the 4 x 10 foot row of carrots.
Another benefit of growing carrots is that you don’t have to harvest them all right away. You can leave them in the ground and harvest them as needed, especially if you planted them later in the summer so they mature in fall. Last year we harvested the last of our carrots in January right before the ground was fully frozen. It’s like they store themselves. We will dig these before we put the garden to bed, and they’ll be stored in the fridge or maybe in a box of sand in the garage, where they’ll stay sweet and crunchy for quite a while.
When I have more garden space I’d like to start growing both a spring and a fall crop of carrots. They’re one of my favorite root vegetables, especially when roasted, so I’d love having them on my table for more months of the year. I really appreciate that they don’t need much processing to stay fresh in storage, saving me precious time. Along with carrots, I hope to grow a wider variety root vegetables in my garden each year including celeriac, parsnips, rutabagas, and more.
What’s your favorite root vegetable? Do you have a kind of root vegetable to recommend?Filed under Edible | Comments (21)