Phil's Dancing Carrots


| 7/21/2014 11:05:00 AM


Tags: carrots, Maryland, Ilene White Freedman,

Dancing Carrot

Ever try growing carrots, only to have them lost in weeds? Or you harvest tiny little strings because you didn’t thin them? I would sit for hours and try to move along my row, determining the miniscule carrot greens from other fuzzy little weeds. No surprise we stopped growing carrots for our CSA.

There are reasons growing carrots organically is challenging. Carrots germinate slowly. Weeds germinate fast. What if you could plant the carrots into the weed-free soil after they are already germinated with green tops? They would be weeks ahead of the weeds yet to germinate. It’d be like a five mile head start in a marathon.

Carrots are delicate. Their foliage is delicate, and early on it is barely discernible from the weeds. By the time the tiny lacy greenery is substantial enough to see, the weeds are taller and bigger.  Weeding them is painstaking.

Carrot seeds are tiny. They easily wash away in the rain. They are nearly impossible to plant in three inch spacing, and then aggravating if there are big gaps where the one seed didn’t germinate. So people usually plant the seeds heavier and then thin. But you are in for painstaking thinning along with your painstaking weeding. In summary, I find growing carrots painstaking.

What to do? There are expensive seeds that are coated with vegetable matter so they are bigger and have some weight to them. It’s a solution to over-seeding, making less thinning possible. But it won’t help you win the marathon with the weeds.




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