Friday, 7 August 2009

This bunch of carrots is the result of my 'bucket of carrots' experiment. Earlier in the spring one of the old hands down the allotment saw me wandering about with a 12 inch plant pot that I had found in my garage. "You know what you want to do with that?" he said "Sieve some soil and compost into it and sow carrot seeds. Stand it up on a stack of pallets two foot off the ground and keep it well watered." The rational for sieving the soil is to encourage nice straight carrots, as they tend to deflect and fork if the hit even the smallest stone. The idea of standing it two foot off the ground is to prevent attack by carrot fly, which flutters along below that height, apparently operating under the misscomprehension that all carrots grow in the ground.

I followed the old guys advice, and sowed baby carrot seeds (and I sowed another lot when Charlie accidentally kicked the first lot off the wood pile, scattering them to the four winds). I put a Tesco carrier bag over the top to encourage them to germinate, and that was that. The ridiculous rainfall we have had this year meant I hardly even needed to water them. The carrot fly were suitably confused by the wood pile, and we have got a big bunch of sweet baby carrots. Next year we will be carrying this experiment on, perhaps with other varieties, and sowing them at two weekly intervals to give us sustained cropping. This method is easy, successful and, best of all, doesn't involve any digging. You could even do this on a sunny patio.
Not that all the carrots ended up dart straight though. This one is a particular oddity. It reminds me of a mandrake root from Harry Potter.

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