Friday, 12 October 2012

A Carrotty Success!

 I have been trying to grow carrots for over 10 years, with no success.  Our wet, clay soil is not conducive to the process, and despite trying lots of methods to prevent it, the dreaded carrot fly always decimated the crop.  Last year I tried a "variety pack" of seeds, most of which were supposedly carrot fly resistant, in a last ditch attempt to crack the problem.  The local carrot flies  have no respect for "resistant" crops it seems, and munched their way through them regardless!  But one variety - Autumn King- showed promised so I decided to try again this year.
 Autumn King is, as its name suggests, an autumn variety, so is sown late (end of June); this avoids the peak season for the dreaded carrot fly.  The advantage here, with our wet soil, is by that time the soil has warmed up so it benefits the carrots doubly.  However, with the dreadful weather this year I hedged my bets and sowed them in early July under a cloche which had been in place for a couple of weeks to dry/warm the soil.  It paid off handsomely.  I pulled some thinnings this week, plus a couple of bigger roots just to see.  So far, so good, only one carrot had carrot fly.  Very tasty too, so if you have a similar climate/pest problems to me, you may want to try this variey.
 Still got runner beans coming...
And the autumn raspberries are doing well.  Once again, we've had more rain but the weather is not as bad as it was most of the summer so I hope to get out to do some more digging soon.
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