…the letter ‘C’ and the colour orange

Another long-overdue issue of the Sustainability Sundays series…

The garden has been much-neglected this year, firstly because Yarnscape was such an all-consuming business to run full time, and secondly because the return to ‘regular’ full-time work has been a bit of a shock to the system.  Besides, it was too late for many crops by then, anyway.

I did get a few plants in the ground this year, though:

  • Potatoes, from last year’s seed.  I’d intended these to be our salad/new potatoes for summer eating, but since our ‘summer’ never really arrived, they’re mostly still in the ground.
  • Jerusalem artichokes.  Not only did I specifically plant on some of last year’s tubers, it seems that every single one of the ones I failed to dig up from last year’s patch has sprouted and thrived.  I think they’re going to be one of ‘those’ plants.
  • Beans.  I had really poor germination of my pole beans for some reason, but the few plants that made it have produced well.  I’m not going to harvest any more for eating green; I’m allowing the rest of the pods to produce seed and/or big beans for drying now.
  • Carrots.  Oh, boy!!

I wanted to grow both carrots and parsnips this year, but I was late ordering seed (and doing just about everything else), so I decided to sow my old carrot seed instead.  As it really was pretty old, and I didn’t know how viable it was, I decided not to sow rows, but just ‘broadcast’ it over a bed about 1.5metres per side.

I think that carrots are one of my personal tests for a garden soil.  If it can grow good-sized carrots that are not bifurcated, twisted, lumpy or otherwise deformed, then you’re doing something right.  And it seems that my garden soil has now reached that level of maturity.

I’m also pleased to say that we seem to have been remarkably free of carrot fly this year; it’s plagued us in the past, and is supposed to be endemic to this area in general, so I’m even more pleased that I don’t have to deal with nasty little maggoty holes in my produce.

Again, most of the carrots are still in the ground.  They’ll keep just fine there, and will even get sweeter with a frost or two to encourage sugar formation (it’s natural antifreeze for plants, you know!) – but I’ll have to be sure to dig them up before the ground freezes hard, or – horrors! – gets covered in snow.

3 thoughts on “…the letter ‘C’ and the colour orange”

  1. But snow acts like a blanket! In the bad winter 10-11, I went to the allotment on Christmas eve, and under 8 inches of snow managed to dig out carrots and parnsips too! The ground was really soft under the snow.


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