22 March 2011

carrot method

Planted a new plot of Carrots today. Five rows of the Long Imperator carrots and one row of the Crispy French ones (they didn't grow for me at all last year so I didn't want to waste a lot of space on them but still give it a try. Maybe after months in the fridge they'll germinate for me?)
It felt like quite a bit of work to prepare the bed and plant the seed, but I'm satisfied and hopeful for good spring carrots! First I raked a five-gallon-bucketful of compost over the plot. Then turned it over a spade's depth, and chopped up the soil with the blade of the spade to break up all the lumps. I'm starting to get out of the practice of turning over every garden spot, especially now that after three years of adding compost the soil is getting better texture. But carrots need nice, loose soil to grow straight deep roots, so I still do it every time for them. After breaking up lumps and removing stones I raked it smooth, then patted the entire surface with the back of the spade to make it even and flat. Took a break and went inside to start water boiling on the stove. Then back outside I used my hand trowel to scrape grooves into the soil where I want the seeds to go- six rows, three or four inches apart.

Next I did what my mom suggested last year- fold a piece of paper and pour some seeds into the crease. Then it was fairly easy to sprinkle them evenly down into the rows, with a little tap of the paper to drop each seed. I still ended up with a few seeds in little groups but they're spread far more evenly than I ever got before, and I'll thin out to leave only the biggest seedlings when they come up. Then the hot-water trick! Before I used a watering can full of just-boiled water, but felt it didn't work so well because by the time I was done watering it had cooled. This time I brought the hot pot outside, lidded still, and poured some into a little plastic picnic-set pitcher of my daughter's. It was just enough to pour the hot water in a stream water down each groove, then refill from the covered pot for the next row, still steaming. After all watered easy to use my hands to pull the soil back over the seeds and pat it down. That's it. Now just wait for green growth.

1 comment:

Chris said...

Oh wow!! Thank you so much for sharing this :D I really want to plant carrots and lettuce right now, but I think I'm going to wait until the fall garden....they don't do so good here because of the intense heat :( At least not til fall.