Friday, 11 February 2011

Carrots from Pipes

These are the 3 carrots shown by Joe Proudlock at Ayr in early August - grown in the same type of pipe I am trialling this year - proof that it does work!!!

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Growing Methods

Well I have finally got started on emptying my barrels (36)this week - This really is a back breaking job which involves emptying every barrel and refilling them. I empty the end one of a row and then empty the next barrel into the empty one - until you come to the last one which you need to fill with the sand from the first one emptied!!. I also give them a good soaking with Armillatox. Although it is hard work you really need to do this every year - It puts air back into the sand in the barrels and also makes the job of boring the barrels easier. I am also trying a couple of other methods this year - one is pipes mounted on to a framework which will be filled with the growing mix. The pipes are 5ft 6in in length with another 1ft of sand underneath. - and another is sleeves made out of damp course. This alleviates the need for having to have barrels with sand and the work that goes with it. I tried some parsnips in sleeves last year and had reasonable results - the 2 in the Mini Collection picture were not bad!. So at the end of all this I will have 96 Long Carrots in barrels and 24 in pipes/sleeves, 48 Parsnips in barrels plus 30 in pipes/sleeves. I still have to empty my Stump Carrot beds plus I have built a new bed so in total I will have around 300 under cover. The new structure that is in the picture will have one side with stumps and the other side has staging the full length - useful to put plants etc on but it`s main use is for French Beans in pots for the NVS National in August. The parsnips will be sown in the first week of March with the Long Carrots sown in the first week of April.