Red Bucket Farm is an urban farm on a quarter acre property in an average residential neighborhood. We are located in Wisconsin, USDA Zone 5. We focus on chickens, bees, orchard fruit, and raised garden beds for fruits and veggies. We hope to reduce our footprint on the planet by growing some of our food, reducing our use of fossil fuels, and gardening with sustainable practices. Thanks for visiting!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Nifty Carrot Trick

When I mentioned to friends that I had started carrots by seed indoors, they laughed out loud. Why would anybody start carrots indoors? How absurd!

In her book The Zero-Mile Diet, organic gardener Carolyn Herriot describes something she calls her "Nifty Carrot Trick." She recommends starting carrots indoors in four-inch pots. When the sprouts reach four inches tall and the weather allows, she moves them outside to garden beds. Later, these carrots can be harvested in bunches rather than single rows.

I thought this technique was worth a try. After all, when I've sowed carrot and beet seeds outdoors in previous seasons, the critters manage to nibble off the tops just as they sprout. So in early February, I located old bonsai pots about four inches tall. I planted two pots with carrot seeds, another with beets, and a fourth with onion seeds. All sprouted nicely indoors. A couple weeks ago I moved the pots to the greenhouse, and then transplanted them in blocks to a raised garden bed. I'm pleased to have carrots and beets in the ground -- and it's only mid-March! It feels good to get an early start on the crops.

By the way, Carolyn Herriot lives and gardens in Victoria, British Columbia. Although some of her information is specific to the Pacific northwest, I enjoy this book enough that I purchased it for my own library. I especially appreciate her simple organic techniques. Check this book out at your library and see for yourself.

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