Every vegetable garden should grow at least one variety of carrots. Once you’ve grown them, I’m certain you’ll be hooked. I grew a row of 10 carrots wide by 25 feet long. That’s a lot of carrots and to my surprise, although I have a bunny running around the garden at night, not one of the carrots was destroyed! I will admit that a few of the leaves were eaten, but no digging or other damage.
I started all of my carrots by seed, and yes it is a little tough planting all of those tiny seeds, but the benefits were quite obviously worth the trouble. I planted in a row three feet wide, which equaled to a thinned row of ten carrots per row. I also planted each row three inches apart, so, my calculations tell me that at harvest time, barring any lose to rabbits, insects and diseases; I could easily harvest 1,000 carrots…That’s a lot of rabbit food.
After the seed germinated, I thinned the plants to three inches apart. I then spent the next several weeks watching them grow. Carrots have a beautiful, fernlike top, so it was a pleasure watching them wave in our Texas breezes. I checked them daily as they grew, and enjoyed the growth spurts after a wonderful rain, or after fertilizing.
Because I planted early, I had very little problem with pests. Right as I began to harvest some of them, I noticed some small grasshoppers starting to get interested in the tops. While harvesting, I noticed a caterpillar starting to munch. This caterpillar was so very small, that I could not really tell what it was, and quite honestly at this point I did not care.
I processed the carrots by cutting off the tops. Those tops immediately went back into the compost pile. I then cleaned them and did any necessary additional trimming. I put them on ice and made a plan for canning them. Once I found a good recipe, I broke out the canning gear and got busy in the kitchen. 16 pints later and I have a great feeling of accomplishment. To know that I can feed my family by the planning and hard work put into my vegetable garden just makes me feel really good.
I hope you are having some of the same successes as I am having. Please feel free to join us on my Facebook page, where I hope you will come and participate by asking questions, and posting your photos.