Tuesday 13 September 2011

Carrot Success

You may remember that I named this year the Year of the Carrot. I've never grown carrots successfully on the allotment yet, I manage to grow round stumpy ones in containers at home, but I really wanted to get some growing at the allotment. I've never even got them to germinate in the past. When we took on the allotment, we inherited an old bath which had been left on our plot, and hubby has put it to good use this year filling it up with old compost and sowing some carrot seed in it. Meanwhile, I sowed some carrot seed in the bed which had been allocated for my root vegetables this year. Well, the biggest success has been the bath. The picture is of carrots which have grown there, all different sizes, shapes and colours as hubby sowed all different kinds, he can't remember which varieties though now. The carrots which I sowed in the ground did grow, so I've had a success of sorts, though because I didn't cover them with fleece, they were decimated by carrot root fly. I'm not too bothered, at least I got them to grow, and I know what to do next year now, though I'll definitely be utilising the bath again.

As I've mentioned before, I'm really pleased with my Tangella tomatoes. They've produced a very good yield and are still cropping now. My Gardener's Delight were very leggy and produced tiny tomatoes early on, but are now giving out some decent sized ones. The San Marzano have suffered from blossom end rot and haven't given one edible tomato yet, though there's some ripening at the moment. I might end up with half a dozen this year. I don't grow a huge amount of tomatoes as I only grow them in my 4X6 greenhouse and have already decided that I'm going to grow some outdoor ones in the garden next year. I was telling hubby's auntie that I want to make some soup and sauces next year, and she kindly popped round with a bag full of tomatoes for me from their allotment. I shall turn these in to soup.

Hurricane Katia was forcast to hit our shores yesterday, and it's certainly given our area a battering. Part of the garage roof over the road from us blew off yesterday and my greenhouse is in bits. Archie, the dog, was frightened on his walk last night as the street lights were out, and temporary road signs were following him down the street being blown by the wind. The rain has started now too and it's being driven by the wind. I haven't been to the allotment so I don't know if there's any damage there, I hope my bean wigwams are still standing.


  1. Congrats on your carrots - such a lovely selection of colours - I sowed a late crop which were doing fine - I went up to check on them the next day, and they had all disappeared. C'est la vie!

  2. The bath sounds like a fabulous carrot-growing idea! I keep mine just covered in enviromesh but wish I had a large/tall enough container to grow them in. Carrot flies are the worst!

  3. Those carrots look great - an old bath is obviously the answer!

  4. Our beans are still standing but have a lean to them and the foliage on the windy side is tattered.

    The beans are still there though!

  5. Well done on the Carrots, a fab selection. Personally I think Carrots have to be orange!

  6. We made a fleece frame to cover our carrots and have had a really good crop. Like your hubby I sowed different kinds of carrot - whatever I had left in my seed stash and they all grew. However I'm having to lift them all now as some seem to be turning to sludge in the ground even parts of the big ones. I'll have to keep my eye on that next year and lift them all sooner.
    Hope your greenhouse and garage recover soon!
    Love from Mum

  7. Great looking carrots! Do the white one taste different to the normal orange variety?

  8. What a lovely array fof beautiful carrots!! Well done you!! xx

  9. Dear Jo, I am so glad your carrots were successful this year. Mine were a flop. The tops are dying off, and the roots are underdeveloped. I don't know what I did wrong -- maybe it was all the rain. Pam x

  10. Congratulations on your carrots! :)
    One of our bean wigwams went :( And the Borlottis are leaning dramatically, planning to pick them today.

  11. Thanks, Elaine. That's such a shame. I've sown a late crop in a container, I'll move them in to the greenhouse when the weather turns colder.

    I shall certainly cover the carrots which are in the ground with fleece next year, Tanya. It seems that the bath is too high for the carrot fly to reach, either that or they haven't discovered them yet.

    Thanks, Su. I'll definitely sow some more in the bath again next year.

    Glad to hear that your beans have survived the winds, Sue. I still haven't checked on mine yet, I'll go down later today.

    I prefer my carrots to be orange too, Bridget, though carrots didn't used to be orange. It's just what you're used to.

    I think a frame is the way to go, Mum. Glad you've had a good crop this year.

    All the carrots taste the same, Petra. There might be slight differences in taste, but I suppose that would be just down to variety rather than colour and it's too slight to really notice.

    Thanks, Nellilou. I'm hoping to do even better next year.

    Sorry to hear about your carrots, Pam. It's been a very strange year weather wise so I'm sure that must have had something to do with it.

    Thanks, Mo. I still haven't checked on my beans, I'm hoping to get down there later on today. At least the wind has dropped now.

  12. They look really impressive Jo.

    Ours aren't big enough to pull up yet I don't think. But the parsnips look like they are doing well though!


  13. Hi Jo, really pleased that you've finally had a good crop of carrots! The height of the container is one way of confounding the carrot fly, interplanting with onions or garlic is another. I always companion plant mine and it's one of my really successful veg, although I doubt I do anything to help them along! My Amsterdam Sprints have been wonderful and I have a few left but pulled up one with a baby slug attached the other morning, which was a bit off-putting!

  14. Well done, I now have a touch of carrot envy! Mine have been so-so yet again but next year...
    Flighty xx

  15. oohh they look great and love the idea of sewing them in a bath, i will have to try our butler sink out!

    Very windy here too - the tomatoes look a bit droopy now the wind has blown them all over!

  16. Hi Jo, those carrots look absolutely fantastic, I think there is going to be a run on old baths!

    We have had quite a battering from Katia too, there isn't anything except a few fields between us and the sea so we really copped for it.

    Didn't you do well with your seeds at Wyevale, what a saving!x

  17. I love all the different sizes and colours of your carrots!

  18. They are bobby dazzlers! Well done! :)

  19. The carrots look great, and I'm sure that they looked striking whilst they were growing in the bath.

    Do you have any pictures? I would love to use an image of that in my college work!

  20. Your carrots look great! I love the flavour of home grown carrots. I've been away (in Madeira, the garden island of Portugal) the last 10 days so I'll have to catch up on your blog posts over the weekend. Those seeds at 50p (I'm jealous! as I love a bargain). Kelli

  21. Thanks, Martin. Your's still have time to grow a bit more. I'm hoping that my parsnips are growing well too.

    Slugs get everywhere, Caro. I don't like to see them hanging on to something I'm going to eat though. The carrots in the ground were planted with my onion crop, and it didn't do a thing to stop the carrot fly. I'll definitely use fleece to cover them next year.

    It's a good job we get a fresh start every year, Flighty. I'm hoping that I can get some decent ones growing in the ground next year, without a carrot fly attack.

    One advantage of growing in a container is that it can be raised higher than the carrot fly can reach, Scented Sweetpeas. Hope your tomatoes survived the wind.

    There's so many things being used on allotment sites, Bluebell. I think the allotmenteer's motto is don't throw anything away. Hope you didn't suffer too much damage in the gales. I'm sure being situated where you are, you'll get some very challenging weather.

    Thanks for visiting, Knitsamadworld. I found one of the packets of seed which hubby sowed, the variety was Rainbow, which explains why they're all different colours.

    Thanks, Rachel. My perseverance payed off in the end. Fingers crossed that I do as well next year.

    Thanks for dropping by I doodle garden. There's a photo of the carrots growing in the bath on my post dated 18th August. You're welcome to use it in your college work.

    The flavour of home grown carrots is so different to those you buy from the supermarket, Kelli, though I think that's the way with most things home grown, you tend to get a much stronger and sweeter flavour. I hope you had a lovely holiday and didn't come home to any damage from the winds we've had whilst you've been away.

  22. I had never thought of using my blog in that way, I can imagine its really interesting to look back and see where you were a month or a year ago! thanks for taking the time to leave a comment!

  23. Congrats on the successful carrots!! They look great , esp the array of different colours :) I'd have loved to have see a pic of that bath in your allotment... sprouting all those carrot tops... fantastic!!

  24. Great looking carrots Jo, love the colours.

  25. So sorry to hear you've lost your greenhouse - can you claim on insurance (was it the neighbours' garage roof that did the damage?)

    Hope Archie is feeling better.

  26. Brilliant array of carrots there! Success!Well done.
    Sorry to hear you've taken a battering there and lost your greenhouse. Hope everything else was OK at the allotment.
    Poor Archie!
    Gill xx

  27. You're welcome, I doodle garden. I sometimes enjoy looking back at my blog and seeing what I was doing at this time a year ago.

    There's a photo of the carrots growing in the bath on my post dated 18th August, Louise. These were Rainbow carrots, hence the many different colours.

    Thanks, Damo. It's really made a change having my own carrots this year. I'm hoping I can be as successful again next year.

    We've managed to get the greenhouse put back together, Bilbo. It often falls apart in high winds but hasn't been damaged yet.

    I eventually managed to get to the allotment and luckily, there was no damage there, Gill. The greenhouse is all back together again now.

  28. Wow your carrots look great...are you sure you didn't pick them up in a supermarket?? lol. Only kidding... hope they taste as delicious as they look!! I haven't even lifted mine yet!!

  29. Thanks, Tanya. We've had them for tea again tonight, delicious. I still can't believe they grew, I'm looking forward to more next year.


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