Growing Early Carrots for the Hungry Gap
A quick video talking about growing early and late carrots. The focus though is on making sure you have plenty of carrots for the hungry gap.
The key to success is to get enough heat for the carrots to germinate in a reasonable time. There are four ways to do this that I know of:
- Germinate in October and over-winter under cover – easy, but needs space
- Germinate with bottom heat, for example on top of a hot bed – hard, expensive and needs space
- Germinate indoors in containers in January for a week and then move to under glass or poly – fairly quick and easy
- Germinate under cover in Febuary, I’ve also tried watering the gound prior to sowing with hot water – really quick and easy, no over-wintering space needed
Alternative wait until March/April and go hungry!
If you are new to my allotment videos you might find a bit of context useful. We live in the north west of England, in Lytham St Annes, which I believe is the equivalent of USA Zone 8.
We have three allotments in my family, mine (Steve), my wife’s (Debbie) and my middle daughter’s (Jennie). We also have a small kitchen garden at home. They are all managed in an integrated fashion, so don’t expect to see the usual mix of veg on each plot. I do most of the planning and seed starting. We each have our own plots, but we all help each other out.
On Jennie’s plot, we focus on fruit trees, beans, squash, alliums, and brassicas. This video provides an overview https://youtu.be/q1k-2vIoSQ8. I do an update of the allotments, roughly one a week, you can find the tours here https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLFhKoRR-NiCJn5Y6rZf0RCCqycu3xvofX.
Our approach to allotment life is to: grow as much as we possibly can, to be self-sufficient in veg all year round and in fruit in season, to give away our huge surplus to friends and family, and to have as much fun as possible.
My wife and I spend about 4 hours a day, 4 days a week on the plots (on average) and we keep nudging that down as we eliminate non-productive work: like grass cutting, weeding and watering as much as practical. We are both newbie gardeners, only starting the allotments in 2016.
I’m a bit obsessive about the nutrient density of the veg that we grow and making the plots easy to work because it’s through this allotment lifestyle and food that I’ve overcome a debilitating auto-immune disease.
I’m always aware though that it might not last so I make sure that I don’t work too hard, eat as much organic fruit and veg I can and design the plots so that I can still work them if I flare up again.