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winter carrots  RSS feed

 
paul wheaton
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I just spotted this in mother earth news:

"about the first of August every year I plant carrot seeds in my cold frame, leaving the glazed cover open.  When the weather turns cold and snowy, I close the cover and am able to pull fresh carrots out of my mini-greenhouse all winter long."
 
Jami McBride
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Do you have pictures of your cold-frame?  I've only used plastic for part of the winter up to now. 
 
jeremiah bailey
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Note to self: get those old recovered windows out of the garage and into the garden. Great winter project! I have about a half dozen windows recovered from a friend's remodel project. I kept them just for the purpose of making cold frames but they've been gathering dust for a few years.
 
Jami McBride
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I too have windows saved just for this, but I'm not sure what would be the best way to proceed.  I have raised beds, but it will take several windows to cover one, and even then the windows will not fit the beds so some kind of construction will be necessary 

I bet I'd be better off to construct new beds that fit my windows 

The edges of these recycled windows are torn up and uneven in places - so how to use them exactly eludes me - I'm no carpenter that's for sure.

I would love winter carrots ♥ thanks for posting this info.
 
Leah Sattler
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I have had good luck (actually it was kind of accidental ) with just a good layer of hay over the carrots. a bit of warm day while planning the springs garden I discovered they were alive and well and tasty in january!  that was in zone 6 and I expect it to be even more reliable now that I am farther south.

I bet in colder zones a little extra protection and carrots would do great!
I like the book four seasons gardening, it talks alot about cool season gardening and is very inspiring.

i am very excited about cool weather growing opportunities here, considering  several of the houses we looked at in december and january had actively growing cool crops such as cabbage unsheltered in the gardens. I have some carrots in the garden now that are doing well and when it starts getting down to freezing I will bury them. I have quite a few potatoes that I am trying the same thing with. I don't expect that they will be continuing to grow but as long as I can store them in good shape in the ground I would much rather do that then dig them all up to can or try and devise a root cellar. 
 
jeremiah bailey
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Jami, try making 1x or 2x lumber frames to fit your windows and place them around your current beds. They don't have to cover the entire bed. You can grow hardier stuff around them or just wait until warmer weather to plant around them.
 
Mike Turner
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There are carrot cultivars such as Autumn King, Bolero,and Merida that were bred for overwintering and are cold hardier than the run of the mill carrot.  I pull carrots from my beds all winter long and then let a few of the largest survivors flower and seed to produce next winter's crop.  In my climate (upstate SC), the seed dropped by the seedling carrots in May remains dormant through the heat of the summer and starts germinating in Sept.
 
Jami McBride
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Jeremiah - so your saying after I frame my windows then I can lean them on each other like a tea pea in the middle of my bed just over the plants I want protected....?  Sorry if I've got this wrong, but I have a cold and I can't seem to picture what your describing.  It's a clear as mud to me.

basjoos - thank you for listing those carrot varieties, and how you work your winter crop.  That's very helpful information.
 
Leah Sattler
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is there any reason why I would need to rotate carrots out of an area or could I set up a permanent raised bed for carrots and allow them to self sow?
 
Fred Morgan
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These are subjects I should stay away from and not make snide remarks about not even having winter. 
 
Leah Sattler
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Fred Morgan wrote:
These are subjects I should stay away from and not make snide remarks about not even having winter. 


yes. you winterless people always confuse me with your remarks and experiences I get all excited about something that might be possible and then find out it only works in the absence of freezing temps! although I have at least moved closer to winterlessness.....
 
Fred Morgan
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Leah Sattler wrote:
yes. you winterless people always confuse me with your remarks and experiences I get all excited about something that might be possible and then find out it only works in the absence of freezing temps! although I have at least moved closer to winterlessness.....


Well, it isn't all sunny down here, no pun intended. You get a plague and you can't hope for a winter freeze to do it in!
 
Brenda Groth
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here in Michigan you have to be really careful of your overwintered root crops..as our deer love to find them and dig them up..in a cold frame they are definately safer than under heavy mulch !!

i've watched herds of deer completely decimate our carrot crop during some winters..

our carrots are not in the ground this year..

we used to overwinter most of our root crops outside..in the garden..except of course potatoes..
 
paul wheaton
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I would be sorely tempted to work in at least a little polyculture.  Radishes, lettuces, kale ....

 
Jennifer Smith
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This is where my lost post about carrots was to go. 

One day a week or so ago, I was out giving grocery store carrots as treats to my horses.  I noticed while biting off chunks to give them that they were real yummy and sweet carrots, so I put some tops in my pocket. 

I brought them in and potted em up.  They are growing well now and I look forward to seeds.
 
Kelda Miller
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allow them to self sow?


I was just weeding a client's garden where he'd let carrots self-sow two years ago. It was still happening! I was stoked to see that. Only bummer was that they weren't good eatin', I was actually asked to weed them out. The roots were white, so it looked like it had crossed with a Queen Anne's Lace somewhere in the neighborhood. I just looked up QAL's edibility now, and it is edible, just bitter. I should have pocketed a few to take home and try anyhow.

And about this:
I brought them in and potted em up.  They are growing well now

Re-Growing Carrot Nubs.

I have a friend who would actually get not-so-great 'seconds' carrots from a nearby farm and replant them this time of year. Amazingly, they would plump back up, firm up, and be good eating during the winter. Wow, and of course if they'd been stored in a fridge they would have always remained limp.
 
Jennifer Smith
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So when I set  these out this spring I can put my carrots and kale in the same place?  Good to know as both are growing in my window now. 

I am going to try the replumping trick.  Thanks for the tip.
 
Jennifer Smith
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If anyone cares the best carrots I have had and the ones I hope to grow are http://www.michaelcutlerco.com/brands/gnac.html
I had to go get a bag out of the trash in the tackroom just to see.  Green giant is just not the same.
 
Jennifer Smith
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FWIW,

the carrots they grow are sugarsnaps and seed should be available.  The guy I was chatting with didn't grow carrots but he knew a lot about where each package of carrots was grown.  I got a nice lesson on the rotation of where carrots are harvested when. 

I am learning all I can to try to produce my own sugarsnaps seed... they were good.

I read recently that carrots do well in an aquaponic system.  The guy I talked to made it sound like the tase of the carrot is tied to where it is grown.
 
paul wheaton
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Kelda O. wrote:
I was just weeding a client's garden where he'd let carrots self-sow two years ago. It was still happening! I was stoked to see that. Only bummer was that they weren't good eatin', I was actually asked to weed them out. The roots were white, so it looked like it had crossed with a Queen Anne's Lace somewhere in the neighborhood. I just looked up QAL's edibility now, and it is edible, just bitter. I should have pocketed a few to take home and try anyhow.



So .... they might have been okay?


 
Mike Turner
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Kelda O. wrote:
I was just weeding a client's garden where he'd let carrots self-sow two years ago. It was still happening! I was stoked to see that. Only bummer was that they weren't good eatin', I was actually asked to weed them out. The roots were white, so it looked like it had crossed with a Queen Anne's Lace somewhere in the neighborhood. I just looked up QAL's edibility now, and it is edible, just bitter. I should have pocketed a few to take home and try anyhow.


For all you know they could have been pure Queen Anne's lace.  If QAL had been growing on that land prior to when the garden was established, they would have filled the soil with dormant seed which would then be germinating in the garden beds in subsequent years.  I used to have this problem in one of my earlier garden locations.  The key to telling them apart is that QAL seedlings have a few small hairs on them whereas domestic carrot seedlings are hairless.  Otherwise the seedlings look identical.
 
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