A carrot a day…is a healthy habit. Carrots are crunchy, satisfying, and packed with nutrients—rich in vitamins A, C, and K, and high in dietary fiber and potassium. If you grow carrots and want to enjoy your “fresh” fall harvest right through the winter, this article will appeal to you. The Garden Harvest Supply Facebook page, has turned out to provide a wealth of helpful information, as well as being a forum where we can “touch bases” with our customers on a more personal level and even learn something new. For example, we heard from Sue, who talked about “clamping” her harvested carrots, which, of course, heightened my curiosity and led to Sue providing us and other Facebook fans with her tips on growing carrots, which she is obviously very good at.
Here is what Sue told us and taught us:
“We sowed the carrot seed really thinly in a mix of compost and sand in a slightly raised bed. To avoid the dreaded carrot fly we keep the tops of the carrots plants covered at all times to avoid too much damage… in doing this many more of the carrots were fly free when pulled. We lifted them and spread them onto trays to dry for a few hours before clamping them down.”
When Sue mentioned covering them, I immediately thought of our Haxnicks Easy Tunnel Row Coversand how easy that would make the process for large carrot plots. For smaller gardens we have our Harvest Guard Row Cover that can easily be cut to size.
When we questioned Sue on what “clamping down” meant, she answered, “Layered and bedded in sand preserves Carrots for many months keeping the lovely flavour of freshly dug Carrots! She also added, upon further questioning, “We clamp by using sharp sand (dried out) and put in a layer of sand followed by a layer of carrots until the box is full.” Thanks Sue for the great pic!
Another of our Facebook fans had a question for Sue, “Sue did you build your own root cellar? Wondered if you had any tidbits…I want to build one with our next house…”
And Sue was kind enough to answer, “We made a deep box 30″ long 14″ deep 12″ wide, we then put in a layer of sand and carrots alternately, we have done this for several years now and it works really well the Carrots stay firm and sweet, we have kept them this way until the following spring . It can be done with Swede , parsnips etc :)”
This led us to ask the question “Where do you store the box after it is layered, to which she replied, “We keep it in our Garage through the winter where it is cold but frost free.”
Thanks to Sue and to all of those who have posted in the past and will post in the future. We will continue to pass along what we learn and what we think might be useful to you, though you are always welcome to visit the Garden Harvest Supply Facebook page and find out first hand or share your own experiences.