The Lovely Garden Blog

Perfect carrots


March is┬áthe time to start off your own vegetables. So many clients request vegetable patches now. It used to be a herb bed in a sunny spot by the back door, but now many clients wish to grow a good selection of vegetables. It’s not really about the cost saving, but more about the flavour and the real pleasure that goes with digging up your own spuds. The clocks will go forward in just a few weeks, bringing lighter days. March winds will dry out the wet soil making a crumbly texture that’s perfect for seed-sowing. Try to warm up your soil a little before sowing by covering with a long polythene cloche, or tunnel or even black bin liners weighted down over the sowing area. After a couple of days – and if the sun shines – the soil will begin to warm underneath. The first seeds that I sow are parsnips as they need a really long growing season. It’s hard to believe that anything will germinate in February weather, but getting them in early will give you a great crop this winter. Parsnips take ages to show, so mark the row well and don’t despair. They’re in there somewhere. I’m also going to start off my carrots – Early Nantes – into raised beds with a good depth of top soil for lovely long straight roots. If a carrot encounters a stone in the way of it’s growth path, it will fork and go off in different directions. Don’t give it that choice. Sow carrots fairly thinly because they do have a good germination rate. I want some small, bunched carrots so I’m also growing a baby carrot variety and these will be sown much closer together. I do try to be organic in the vegetable patch, so there won’t be any pesticides, herbicides or articificial feeds used, but I dug in lots of good organic matter last year which is now all crumbly and lovely. I remember Sarah Raven saying not to feed the flower beds, or they’ll be all leaves, but feed your vegetables for abundant crops. The vegetables will really be underway over the next few weeks so check the blog for tips and sowings.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011 at 11:04 am and is filed under Home Farm. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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