Skybird - z5, Denver, ColoradoOctober 27, 2007

Here are a few of my carrots (Royal Chantenay). This is the first year IÂm getting a pretty decent crop. Almost all of them are still in the ground.

A know you can leave parsnips out all winter, but can anybody tell me if you need to get carrots dug by a certain time? And the same question about beets. So far they seem to be doing just fine in the groundÂthe tops still look good. I donÂt have a whole lot of room in the fridge to keep them, so if they need to be dug, I guess IÂll have to buy a bag of sand and store them in the garage.

Carrots with that earthquake prone quarter!

And hereÂs another pic of the carrots with some of my beets too (Warrior).


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Don't know about the beets, I've never left them in the ground late. (Good lookin beets, BTW. I grew Warrior with the Red Aces this year, also. Nice choice.)

Are you raking lots of leaves right now, Skybird? Pile them nice and deep on both sides of your rows of carrots. If the wind won't blow them away and the voles don't get under them to enjoy a feast - the leaves should protect your carrots right down to subzero temperatures.


    Bookmark   October 27, 2007 at 10:31PM
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Skybird - z5, Denver, Colorado

I grow the Warriors because theyÂre what my brother in Illinois growsÂand his get at least twice as big as the ones I have this year, and theyÂre still tender and yummy. And some of his carrots are three times as big as the ones I got this year, and theyÂre still sweet and tender too. Next year IÂm hoping for bigger and better thingsÂbut I really must get better at thinning or thatÂs not gonna happen.

I donÂt have any deciduous trees, so IÂm not raking many leavesÂbut my neighbors across the street have a huge maple, and theyÂre raking leaves alreadyÂand most of the leaves are still on the treeÂso IÂm gonna ask them for all their leaves this year. Last year I dug the (few) carrots and beets I had and then laid one huge bag of leaves (still in the bag-Âthat I stealthily dragged home when they put them out by the curb) on either side of the parsnips, and then dumped a couple more bags out right on top of them. I think maybe IÂll do that with everything this year and see how it works.


    Bookmark   October 27, 2007 at 11:22PM
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highalttransplant(z 5 Western CO)

I harvested most of my carrots about a week ago, when they were predicting lows in the low 20's. The ones left in the ground, that I thought were too small to harvest, made it through the snow and below freezing temps just fine, with a light row cover on them. I used a couple of my homegrown carrots in our dinner tonight, Pasta Fagioli. Can you say, yummy?! I was even able to use some oregano and thyme from the garden, but the basil was long gone. I've just started some more basil seedlings indoors in the kitchen window. My plan is to keep some going all winter.

The carrots I harvested this month were much sweeter (and bigger) than the ones I tried in August. I read somewhere that the heat makes them bitter, and that seems to be true.


    Bookmark   October 28, 2007 at 12:07AM
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singcharlene(Zone 5)

Nice Skybird. Last year I left carrots in the ground up until Thanksgiving piled high with leaves and they were great for our Thanksgiving dinner.

I still have some carrots and beets in the ground. But some of the carrots are huge and don't taste that great; maybe I didn't harvest soon enough? I piled the last of the straw I had on top of smaller ones today.

I'm still picking lettuce, herbs, too much kale and parsley, cabbage, and broccoli shoots :) No chard this year, I didn't get it going enough before the cold snap.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2007 at 12:22AM
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Skybird - z5, Denver, Colorado

Try the Royal Chantanay, Charlene. They can get absolutely huge and still be good.


    Bookmark   October 28, 2007 at 12:41AM
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highalttransplant(z 5 Western CO)

Ooooh, I forgot to mention my favorite way to use carrots. My sister's carrot/apple/raisin muffin recipe. Think I'll make a batch this week! Another way to sneak in carrots, if your kids won't eat them, is a carrot souffle. Tastes kind of like pumpkin pie, and it is more of a dessert, so they might not even realize what they are eating.

Mmmmmmm.... the flavors of fall!


    Bookmark   October 28, 2007 at 1:03AM
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Skybird - z5, Denver, Colorado

I sure wouldn't mind having the recipes for those, Charlene, and I bet others would like them too. They both sound yummy!

    Bookmark   October 28, 2007 at 1:22AM
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highalttransplant(z 5 Western CO)

Okay, I will post them tomorrow. My pillow is calling me.


    Bookmark   October 28, 2007 at 1:31AM
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Skybird - z5, Denver, Colorado

Whoops! You're not Charlene! I'm getting really tired too. Sorry about that!


    Bookmark   October 28, 2007 at 1:58AM
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My attempt to grow REALLY big carrots this year was nearly disastrous. I've long wanted to try Japanese Kuroda. Well, what didn't split, forked outrageously.

If I can plant Nantes carrots in early June using the cornstarch gel or pelleted seed (& I can), then that's the way I should go for Fall harvest. It is discouraging to tie up space all Summer and then need to toss the plants about on the ground so that the sun and frost can kill them before throwing in the compost . . . a little embarrassing, too.


    Bookmark   October 28, 2007 at 11:40AM
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highalttransplant(z 5 Western CO)


Here are those recipes, and do you know I was soooo tired last night that I didn't even realize you called me by the wrong name? So no offense taken, LOL!

Spicy Apple Carrot Muffins

1/2 cup dry milk
1 Tbsn baking powder
1/2 tspn salt
1/2 tspn allspice
1/2 tspn nutmeg
1 tspn cinnamon
2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour (or all purpose flour)
1 cup honey
1 cup oil
4 eggs
1 Tbsp vanilla
1 cup grated apple
1 cup grated carrot
1 cup raisins
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl. Beat honey, oil and egg well and add to dry mixture. Fold in carrots, apple, nuts, and raisins. Spoon into greased muffin tins. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 - 20 minutes. Recipe makes 1 1/2 dozen muffins, or 4 dozen mini-muffins.

* Please note this recipe has not been altered for high altitude. I decrease the baking powder a little, and increase the cooking time. To make them even healthier, try adding 3 Tbsp. of flaxseed and decrease oil to 3/4 cup.

Carrot Souffle

1 1/2 lb. carrots, sliced
1/2 cup of butter or margarine, melted
3 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 1/2 tspn baking powder
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 tspn cinnamon

Boil carrots 20 to 25 minutes or until tender. Drain. Put carrots and remaining ingredients in food processor (or blender) and blend until smooth. Spoon into lightly greased 1 1/2 qt. souffle or casserole dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour and 10 minutes, or until set. Yield: 6 servings.

* This was a dish that was served in cafeterias in Tennessee where I grew up. Goes well with grilled Bourbon & Brown Sugar Salmon, or turkey and dressing.

I'd love to hear someone else's favorite carrot recipes. The only way my kids like them, is with Ranch dip, or in a soup, which is why the two recipes above work so well. They don't really know they are eating a vegetable!

Speaking of carrots... I bought seeds for a carrot called Nigel from Valueseeds. Has anyone grown this one?


    Bookmark   October 29, 2007 at 1:43AM
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I always leave my carrots in the ground. I cover them with about a foot of loose hay or straw (what ever has shed lying around). They stay sweet and stop growing but never freeze and are harvested all winter long. I even leave a few so they can go to seed the next spring. The flower stems make really nice additions to any flower arrangements (just dig the whole carrot out of the ground as soon as there is about a 1" or so of new growth and transplant in the cut flower bed). My grandmother even thought it was Queen Anns Lace. Besides, some day I may need to use the seeds.

My fall crop of carrots with the gel was as successful as yours, NOT! Maybe the fact that we are gone on the weekends all summer might have contributed to them drying out. I have a drip the works great for the established stuff but our days in the upper 90Âs are hard to keep seedlings happy and I find it hard to ask a neighbor to take the time to water my bed of carrots.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2007 at 8:54AM
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dafygardennut(5b-ish, CO)

Okay, I had to post pictures of the "mutant" carrots my daughter picked on our trip to the farm.

"The voodoo doll"

This one looks like it's been carved

    Bookmark   October 31, 2007 at 4:32AM
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cnetter(z5 Co)

Looks like someone might have a bit of a nematode problem:

    Bookmark   October 31, 2007 at 9:18AM
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I believe you've uncovered the Halloween Carrot Slasher, Cnetter. In fact, these critters are broadly vicious - to potatoes, radishes, onion, tomatoes, weeds, etc., etc.

Chemical control is hugely problematic: how deeply do you treat the soil (3 inches, 3 feet?), restricted-use fumigants, some only for ornamentals . . . delay reentry . . . ugh!

There's solarization - middle of Summer - or Summer fallow. Then we've got no gardening that Summer.

So we can do things like crop rotation with corn, a more-or-less non-host. It's not a fail-safe and for small gardens, can be tough. I've got room but also terribly rocky soil and only in the little veggie garden is the soil deeply cultivated.

Nematodes are little guys and, IME, the effects are usually on the small roots first. Of course, the small roots grow into big roots and the nematodes can work their way inside. My best idea, other than planting our carrots where we had corn, is for us to plant short-season varieties. Get 'em out of the ground before the soil critters do much damage.

Maybe someone can talk about experience with raising organic levels or French marigolds.


    Bookmark   October 31, 2007 at 10:49AM
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cnetter(z5 Co)

In my case, I moved and that took care of the problem, but at the other house, I had carrots that looked like mandrake roots. I know heavy compact soil can also fork carrots but that voodoo doll carrot sure does look textbook. Although I would have liked to have seen the fine roots to see if there were bumps on them.
Carrot root damage can also be due to weevils, maggots, millipedes...

Gardens Alive claims to have a solution, but I have no personal experience with this product.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2007 at 11:28AM
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Skybird - z5, Denver, Colorado

That's a really old carrot thread, Joe. Here's a link to the most recent one from this fall.

Here is a link that might be useful: Root Crop Evaluations!

    Bookmark   January 3, 2009 at 2:08PM
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