As any gardener will tell you dealing with the occasional failure is just part of the fun and challenge of growing your own vegetables. Gardeners like fishermen will boast about their successes, that massive pumpkin or tomato however a project that doesn’t fare well is normally dug under or quietly finds it’s way into the compost heap.
Due to my haste to get our garden underway last summer I quickly “threw” in a row of carrots because they are one of those staple vegetables that’s easy to grow and occupies any half decent veggie patch.
What, a garden without carrots? … it just wouldn’t feel, or look right!
Perhaps it was that haste combined with my unsteady hand that resulted in the mass of carrots that emerged.
As the subsequent weeks passed I kept reminding myself “must thin out the carrots, must thin out the carrots”.
It never happened.
No drama, will thin them as we use then. In theory a good idea but when it came to pulling some for salads and coleslaw they just wouldn’t budge. Like early morning commuters on the Tokyo tube they were packed in tight.
When the seed was sown the ground hadn’t been well cultivated and was totally void of any organic matter therefore expecting a good result was probably a little naive on my part. I have grown carrots before but in this case my enthusiasm out weighed my usual common sense.
Carrots need a deep well prepared soil free of stones and other material that can restrict growth and cause deformities. They also need to be positioned where they will receive all day sun. A well worked loam sandy type soil will ensure they grow to an acceptable size, unlike mine.
I know you can’t judge a gardener by the size of his or her carrots but these were embarrassing.
Over the summer I would wander in from the garden proudly showing off lettuces, cabbages, tomatoes, corn etc … carrots didn’t get a mention, not by me at least and needless to say, no photos. When it was time to grate them for salads it was more about where do the finger nails end and the carrot begins.
Last week I had to reluctantly accept my small defeat and very quietly mentioned to our daughter … “pet, can you get some carrots when you’re next at the *#!+=^”.
Funny the things that motivate us … next year there will be no more carrots from the supermarket. Already have another row doing very well and yes “they’ve been thinned out”.
Sure carrots are dirt cheap but you can’t compare “home grown” to “those others”.
You can bury a lot of troubles digging in the dirt. – Author Unknown