My carrots have taken a long time to size up - or so it seems. As is often the case when waiting for things to mature in the garden, a few days seems more like a few weeks – the first ripe tomato, the first juicy strawberry….and the carrot harvest.
That’s why I love keeping records of when I do things. I could have sworn that the carrots should have been done long before now. But then I look back and see that I actually sowed them on May 13 and they didn’t start germinating until May 25th. All of the varieties I am growing should mature in 60-70 days. So moving forward from the date of germination, they were not due to reach maturity until July 24th at the earliest. And taking into account that they are located in a bed that receives a bit more shade, the end of July is, in fact, on the early side of the harvesting window.
So now I want to backtrack to last week when I had a bit of a scare with the carrots. As I was doing my daily stroll around the garden, I noticed this:
Ugh – one of the carrots was bolting. Then I looked a bit more closely and noticed that several more appeared to be sending up stalks. Nooo! I pulled all of the carrots that were bolting and this is what I found:
|Carrot Growers Worst Nightmare|
Double nooooo! Panic sets in….what is wrong with my carrots??
I then pulled a non-bolting carrot and, to my relief, it looked like this:
|Perfect Carrot - Whew!|
And that is when I realized – what I had pulled were not carrots, but that old familiar weed, Queen Anne’s lace also known as wild carrot. Since they were at the same level of maturity as the regular carrots and I had not found them growing in any other bed, I’m guessing that some seeds got mixed in with the carrot seeds. I do find myself scratching my head, however, as Queen Anne's lace is supposed to be a biennial - so that is a bit of a mystery, especially as this is a newly built bed with new soil.
Even though I should probably leave the carrots in the ground to get just a tad bigger, I decided to pull them up today as I'm getting a bit concerned that my fall carrots will not have enough time to mature.
When I pulled up the carrots, I found another half dozen or so Queen Anne’s lace, primarily where I planted the Chantenay Red Core.
I also pulled two carrots that looked like this:
|Bizarre Looking Damage|
I have no idea what happened to these – some type of bug, perhaps? Anyone seen this type of damage before? Thankfully, all of the other carrots were ok.
I chose two very early varieties for my fall crop – Amsterdam Maxi (45-55 days) and Sprint (42 days). I am preparing seeds tapes, just like I did last time, and hopefully I can get them in the ground by tomorrow. Technically, there should still be enough time for these varieties, but carrots can take a bit of time to germinate and then, of course, the cooler days of fall also tend to slow down growth. So fingers crossed that the carrots mature in time and I get a bumper crop this fall for winter munching.
Till next time...☺