According to local gardening guru Linda Gilkeson, July 1st is “Carrot Day” – the ideal time to sow the last batch of carrots for winter harvests. Planted now, they have time to grow to full size by mid-October when they stop growing. You can leave carrots in the garden all winter – think of it as your outdoor fridge.
With this inspiration, I picked up a package of pelleted Bolero carrots. Why pelleted? Pelleted seeds have a National Organic Program (NOP) approved coating clay-based coating that makes the tiny seeds easier to handle.
The cool weather we’ve been having is perfect for carrots, which must be kept moist until they germinate – sometimes up to 2 weeks. Covering the seed bed with Remay (floating row cover) helps retain moisture, but nothing substitutes for daily attention until they come up.
Carrot rust fly can be a real pest, but one year when I planted carrots in a container that was raise on a stack of bricks 20” high, I had no problems because the rust fly doesn’t fly very high off the ground. Raised beds – if high enough – are also good. If you’re planting in the ground, cover with Remay that is well held down so the flies can’t get in.
Now comes the hard part – which variety to grow! I’m particularly fond of the little snack-size Paris Market, but the colours of the Rainbow Blend shown above are so much fun! Then there’s my choice for this planting – Bolero – a sweet, crunchy carrot that stores well in the garden. Sigh. So many choices and only so much garden.