It has been over six weeks since my last post and in that time I have become a grandfather. Our daughter Cleo and her husband Josh had a baby on June 24th. What a blessing. Well here in Massachusetts it has been plenty wet enough for good carrot germination and growth. And like all things you can have too much of a good thing and June was one of the wettest on record.
That meant that there were also a lot of weeds to pull and carrots to thin.
This year I again interplanted carrots and radishes but I used alternating rows. In the past I had broadly cast the seeds for a solid bed of carrots. I found that when I had good germination I did not give each carrot enough space as I did not thin aggressively enough. I am trying rows this year because I wanted bigger carrots and by using rows I could more easily assure each plant enough space.
Well, using rows has certainly great for the radishes. I have been falling in love with radishes more every year and they have been really, really good this year. I slice them on a mini mandoline and then make an instant pickle with apple cider vinegar, sherry vinegar, salt and water. They make any salad or sandwich better…
I have been reading carrot experts who talk about progressive thinning. Progressive thinning means you thin and then later you thin and harvest. This method optimizes yield and minimize the need for patience. It is still a long, long way from the frost and eating the thinnings in August will makes waiting for frost easier for me. The carrots in the pictures below were planed last fall at the CCSC school garden and grew under a cold frame all winter. On the left are some of the thinnings; they are not frost kissed but they are very good.
Rabbits have been doing very well the past few years in Hull but my garden has been protected by our cat Pepper. Pepper was a hunter and brought us rabbit corpses to our back door mat regularly. Carrot Day Post are not typically conveyors of bad news but today I tell you that Pepper fell victim to coyotes and while the rabbits stayed away for three weeks they have discovered that the garden is now unprotected. So today I will instal a small fence around the carrot bed.
With love and hope you are thinning and weeding your carrots and are able to protect them from the bunnies and other predators.