• Mandy Doran

Get Growing Diary – Carrot “Bambino”

Updated: May 13

With “Get Growing Kits” set to land by early June, now is a good time to start looking in a little more detail at the seeds and plants in this year’s kit.

The amount of solar radiation received by the soil affects soil temperature, biological processes such as seed germination, seedling emergence, plant root growth as well as the availability of nutrients.

For long periods during April, the cold night-time temperatures were helping to create cooler than desired soil temperatures. For carrots, the general rule of thumb is that it is best to wait for soil temperatures to reach 10c. Warmer temperatures at the beginning of May coupled with a nice sprinkling of rain, make this an ideal time to start sowing with an increased chance of success.

This year we are sending out carrot Bambino, a 'baby' carrot variety producing slender, cylindrical blunt roots with a very small core. Smooth skin and deep orange colour, which develops at an early stage. Best pulled when 10-15cm in length.

Carrot fly can devastate crops, the tiny little flies laying their eggs around young carrot seedlings. It is the creamy larvae that do the damage, out of sight from the grower looking forward to a tasty harvest of young roots.

Late sown carrots (mid-May to early June) avoid the first generation of this pest; alternatively, sow carrots in raised beds 60cm off the ground. It is widely reported that the carrot fly lacks the ability to fly at this height. For extra reassurance, protect vulnerable crops by covering the plants with mesh netting (specified as suitable for carrot fly protection). Carrot seeds are very small, for best results tip some out into a small container. It is much better than keep dipping your fingers back in the packet. Just be careful on windy days as the seed will soon disappear across the garden!

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