It’s kinda mean, but I actually like hearing when other people’s crops fail. I don’t feel so bad about myself and it gives me the hope to try again.
But I’ve just had my first two (disappointing) attempts are growing carrots and I’m wondering whether I’ll try them again next summer.
I’ve got some ideas about where I might have gone wrong, but it would be nice to hear if anyone else can give me some pointers.
Potential problem #1. I’ve heard that carrots should be grown in average soil – that way they have to go searching for nutrients and that makes them longer. Sounds logical, but I’m at the beginning of a crop rotation cycle, so I didn’t have any average soil (just that awesome soil where you can sit there for a few minutes letting it run through your fingers). Maybe that allowed them to be lazy. But according to that logic, they should have all been short but fat and stumpy – only about a quarter of them were. I reckon I got about 4 carrots out of 80 that were half Coles-size. A fair few more that were a quarter Coles size.
Potential problem #2. Some of Shane’s back-posts suggest that carrots would respond well to coffee grounds. Looking back, I can’t actually remember putting any grounds on! I think I used all my grounds on other slug-affected plants.
Potential problem #3. Maybe I planted them too close together. On my first attempt I thinned them out but kept them about an inch apart – perhaps too close, yeah! (and a little greedy). The second time around I let them breathe a bit at two inches. I tell you what, thinning carrots and re-planting the shoots has got to be the most tedious and back-breaking thing I’ve ever done in the garden!
Potential problem #4. Dry soil. The first attempt over summer was kept pretty moist. The second attempt was a bit neglected as I didn’t get out into the garden very much during the week. I also assumed that we had more rain than actual. I dug some carrots up last weekend and the soil was getting more like dry dirt (I exaggerate, but you know what I mean).
Potential problem #5. Maybe I’m used to seeing grocery-store-sized carrots and I’m expecting too much.
Potential problem #6. I keep telling my son – you won’t normally be good at something straight away. Time and practice. I should really heed my own advice.
So I’d love to hear some carrot stories.
Have a great day.