Saturday, November 12, 2011

Cold Season Carrots

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This is just another post I've been meaning to write - The other week, I pulled the remainder of this year's carrots, mainly because the field mice were beginning to feast on them. Growing my carrots in taller raised beds seems to deter them a bit but not completely. Last year, I lost all of my fall and winter carrots to them, which is a shame since the year before, I was still pulling extra-sweet carrots from the garden well into January. With a bit of protection in the form of floating fabric and plastic row covering, they store very well in the garden in our Zone 6 winters. The soil tends to freeze solid at night but the added heat provided by the protective covering during the day defrosts it just enough so that you can still access them, even when the outdoor temperature never goes above 32 degrees F. Generally, they'll keep well until about early February, at which point our mid-winter thaws will encourage the plant to send out new lateral white roots.

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The most annoying thing about field mice is the fact that they tend to nibble at the tops and then work their way down. Usually, you'll end up with a large percentage of carrots that look like this. Commercial farmers must go crazy when they see this. Sometimes, I'll just cut off the tops and save the rest of root if the damage isn't too bad. I doubt most farmers market customers would go for that.

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My winter carrots could have used a few more weeks to size up fully. Oh well. These baby carrots are wonderful roasted whole.

9 comments:

  1. What beautiful fall carrots! I'm so jealous! I had such a horrible time with my later planted carrots. They would germinate and then die from the heat! I have a total of 4 carrots growing!!

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  2. Oh those delicious!!! Great for cooking or STEAMING!!! Yum! A little butter on top. Yeah the mice and rabbits....here it's a larger population of bigger rodents:)...and they dig underground!!! Looks like you got a great crop.

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  3. Beautiful carrots. The look like they would be nice a sweet!

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  4. We love fall planted carrots, it's the best time to grow them in my opinion. We have two 4x8 beds of them growing now. Under the protection of the cold frames they will last well into February and give us something fresh to eat from the garden when everything else is dead!!

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  5. Sorry the field mice were invading again, but you still got a nice harvest from them.

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  6. I've yet to have the mice eat my carrots. I had plenty of mice in my last yard but for some reason they weren't much of a pest. I think they liked the insects in the soil as much as anything else. I've always wondered if mice eat slugs or not. So far I haven't seen mice here. I'm sure I will get them at some point, but with so many cats in my yard I'm guessing they won't get too bad.

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  7. Ugh that is frustrating about the field mice, they have done the exact same thing to my beets... they seem to be kind of lazy nibblers though and never go down too far beyond the level of the soil...

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  8. These cold season carrots are looking so healthy and this is the result of your continuous care of your garden.

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  9. You have a good carrot as it seems. Carrot in cold season are very good to take. As it is healthy and growing well.

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