Saturday, April 18, 2009
Planting Carrots and Beets
Today, I dug up my carrot and beet bed one more time and planted the seeds (Beet seeds are in the picture above). Even though I have planted in this part of the garden before, it is still incredibly rocky. If I had known how bad it was going to be, I might have sifted the soil through a screen (perhaps I will do this for the upcoming plantings). After digging out the area, I tied a string to the fence and then staked a popsicle stick on the other end.
I planted 2 varieties of carrots ("nantes" and "little fingers" both from Livingston Seed Company). I originally wanted to plant a variety call "napoli" as a fall crop based on what Eliot Coleman wrote about them in The New Organic Grower. My wife convinced me that I should just try a couple of varieties sold in the local gardening store rather than spending extra to have a specific variety shipped to me at this point. I also decided to do a spring planting as well (obviously).
The beets are "Burpee's Red Ball" variety. I planted these since we already had them, but I am going to do by best to avoid Burpee seeds in the future. Burpee is currently holding me my potato seeds hostage because they deem it too early for me to plant them. I find this odd since every book I have about gardening says that it is to have the potatoes in the ground in the early spring, the ubiquitous seed refused to send them to me until April 20th. I called and asked them to send them to me, but they won't budge. They did however CHARGE MY CREDIT CARD for the seeds even though they won't ship them to me when I want them. Lesson learned: Burpee is a fascist seed conglomerate and no longer deserve my business. I learned this lesson for myself, but a quick web search could have told me that there are many reasons to buy seeds from companies other than Burpee.
Anyway, I decided to plant do 3 plantings of the carrots and beets so that I would have a rolling harvest (not sure why I didn't do this for the lettuce). Here is the first third.
I spaced the seeds about a half an inch apart and I will thin them in 3 to 4 weeks. I will also do my second planting in 2 weeks and and the third in 4 weeks. This should provide the family with a July full of beets, beet greens, and carrots.