Carrot Plan (part 1)

Last year my carrots were an embarrassment. Most were stunted, all were invaded by carrot fly and consequently none of them made it to the dinner table. This year will be different because I have devised ‘The Carrot Plan’. Armed with information garnered from many sources I have put together a watertight plan designed to fool the enemy (carrot fly) and enable mtp to produce long, straight, sweet, whole carrots. Here’s the plan. Choose a spot that is the most free from stones (on mtp that is the middle diamond). Dig in some sharp sand (carrots like drainage). Plant garlic, shallots and onion sets all around the chosen site. Cover intended carrot patch with black polythene to warm the soil for 2 weeks before planting. Secure with heavy stones after black polythene attempt number one is swept away by weekend tornado (dur…). Up to now my plan is on track. Part two will deal with germination issues, and fly guards.

7 Comments on “Carrot Plan (part 1)

  1. Hello

    I am new to the allotmenteering business and discovered your site – which is lovely by the way! I picked up the keys to my allotment and it looks like yours did when you first started! My problem is I have no idea how to start…what goes were etc etc.. any tips would be most appreciated..ktd x

  2. Hi

    Love your site. Beautifully designed and super photos!

    Carrots are a bitch (as we say on our plot). Carrot fly a major problem. I’ve given up all the companion-planting stuff (it just doesn’t work – ever) and now simply cover all my carrots with Environmesh (you can get it from the organic catalogue). No more carrot fly, no more problem. It’s a pain, but it works.

    I’ve had germination problems, too, but I discovered that was because of the drainage on my plot’s soil: it’s very sharp, so the carrot seeds wouldn’t stay wet enough for long enough to germinate. I simply have to water them every other day. Also, unless you’re in Cornwall or something, it’s a waste of time sowing carrots much before April. They simply don’t like cold soil and won’t germinate. Or at least, they never have for me!

    Best of luck, and I hope you get a bumper crop this year!

  3. Thanks Jess I will take that on board. I’m going to wait until at least mid March but keep and eye on the weather for sure!

    Katie – well done on getting your plot, whatever state it’s in, it’s better than not having one at all. First things first – make a plan. You need four distinct areas that you can rotate the crops in (potatoes, roots, legumes, brassicas). Also an area for permanent crops such as herbs, artichokes, fruit etc.
    That’s primarily how I came up with the design for mtp. The four corners rotate plus the diamond in the middle serves as a permanent bed.
    After that you’re free to start the big dig.

  4. Hi MTP,

    Just been looking at your site, very interesting read. Your photo’s are excellent, very skilled!

    Thanks for the carrot tips, i’ll be taking them on board as this is also my first year on my allotment.

  5. I can’t grow carrots in the soil worth tuppence on my plot. Have tried several varieties and they all end up stumpy and small. I think the soil is a bit to heavy and lumpy for them perhaps.
    Last year I grew early carrots in old buckets (well old fertilisers tubs from B&Q actually) with holes in the bottom for drainage. A mix of compost, soil, and sand did quite well.
    The female carrot fly is said to be unable to fly higher than 18″ off the ground, so I just put a curtain of fleece around then on held up on sticks.
    Overall was quite succesful, but number of carrots was limited.

  6. Last year our carrots were a dissaster. This year, we planted french marigolds around the carrots. These attract hover flies etc which feed on carrot fly and the smell of the marigolds also disguise the carrots.
    This year we have had a bumper crop of fantastic sweet carrots, not a stunted growth anywhere.
    Its a pity they don’t do “English” marigolds.
    P.S a 25% mix of sharps sand works wonders as well.