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Overwintering carrots

Overwintering carrots

by 3 years ago
2

I sowed some carrot seed in the autumn and now have some lovely not so little seedlings that are too small to harvest. To keep them over winter do they need winter protection or are they hardy enough without? I believe farmers overwinter their carrots by covering with a thick layer of straw although I would think mice might well enjoy that, a relatively warm place and endless food!

3 years ago
Tutor
Hello Michael! Interesting time of year to be sowing carrots.... :D Carrots are perfectly hardy but I think you'll find the reason farmers can grow them over winter is that they spray them like crazy against the many, many pests who fancy a tasty winter snack. First in the queue are slugs and snails, followed by mice, voles, rats, bunny rabbits... just about everything that's around over winter, really. You can keep a lot of things off using your usual slug déterrent plus cloche protection - this will help keep the worst of the winter rain off them too (too much wet and they'll rot off before they can form proper shoulders). Perhaps next time it might be better to sow your late-season carrots into the border of a cool greenhouse - the stump-rooted Paris Market types are really good for this and keep going more or less all winter - or just grow double the number of maincrop carrots you need during summer and store the surplus well away from pests in boxes of damp sand. Hope that helps and I'll keep my fingers crossed for your brave little carrots!
3 years ago
Tutor
Thank you very much Sally for such a speedy response. I realised it was rather late but I thought no harm in trying and they are looking v good at the moment but I agree slugs may well be a problem they were a real scourge on the brassicas earlier in the year when it was wet. and there are lots of yet to be identified burrowing rodents there too. Sowing in the greenhouse sounds like a good idea although I always reckon aphids can be a real problem in the winter inside greenhouses and we are organic (or at least as close as possible). Perhaps worth trying SB Plant Invigorator to control those. Storing them may well be the best option

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