2014 sees the start of the carrot experiment.
Carrots are an easy to grow root veg. I didn’t plant them last year as I am not a huge carrot fan. I use only a few a year.
Also carrots do not do well on these allotments and most gardeners find they are a failure year after year. They either do not grow or they are attacked by carrot fly.
Photo by charirygirl
However a couple of things have changed. Since putting in my beds and started crop rotation in earnest I had discovered that I am not actually growing a root veg/potato bed. So I will have this bed empty. Rather than that I decided to expand my growing by adding early potatoes and some carrots. This coupled with a few salad veg will use the spare bed and keep to my 4 year crop rotation plan.
Carrots do not do well on these allotments. Many of the experienced gardeners cannot get them to grow. This is why I decided to give them a miss. I wanted my first allotment year to be as much as a success a possible to stayed clear of any problem areas.
There seem to be two problem areas. The carrots are small or do not germinate. And they have major carrot fly issues.
I have found that most seeds put directly in the ground there do not germinate or grow well so will need to find a way around this.
Possible Carrot Solutions
The carrot fly cannot or does not go about 18″ above the ground. The standard way to protect carrots is by either raising them up or putting a barrier around them to prevent this. Unfortunately this does not work on these allotments. Many people try and try again to grow them with little or no success.
This year one lady was successful. Her technique was to cover them in a tunnel of fleece with the ends sealed and pinned down for the whole time and being as fast as she could when she had to open the tunnel for any reason.
I have yet to decide whether I will try different methods or just try the last one.