Saturday, 17 April 2010

Experimental Carrot Bed

I have finally completed the Experimental Carrot Bed (E.C.B). This is something I blogged about a while ago, and is the natural evolution from my Bucket-of-Carrots experiment last year. The principle is simple- Build a wooden frame to support two deep containers. The legs of the stand must be 2 1/2 foot high. Fill the bottom of the containers with a layer of grit, for drainage, then fill the rest of the container with a mixture of soil and compost. Add a net to keep off the pigeons, sow in some carrot seeds - Autumn Gold, which worked well last year.
The rational for this is that Carrot Fly, the principle pest for carrots, hovers at no higher than two foot, and so will be unable to attack the carrots, as they are above this height. It should also be an effective deterrent to mice and slugs- I hope. It has the added advantage of being a good height to work without bending down. I sieved the soil to remove any roots and small stones- even small stones can deflect a carrot root. leading to misshapen veg.
I covered the container with plastic sheeting to act as a mini-poly tunnel to increase germination, to gain another head start.

As this is an experiment, I also planted a control (ie, a line of carrot seeds in the soil, not enjoying ant of the protection and advantages of the ECB. If the ECB proves a success I will make a much larger one next year. If not, well there's no harm done, as I made it entirely out of recycled and reclaimed materials.

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