The humble carrot can be used so much in our kitchen. Carrots can be enjoyed both cooked & raw. They add sweetness and crunch to a salad,roast carrots with your Sunday dinner are heavenly & carrot cake is one of our favourites.
So let get carrots in the garden.
Carrots are available in loads of shapes and colours other than the well known orange, long narrow one. Keep an eye out for round carrots, they also come in different colours. They can come in yellow, purple and even red.
How to growing, they can be grown in containers if space is an issue. An extra bonus is they freeze and are easily stored.
So we're ready to grow and sow our carrots. Carrots grow best in open ground, with short-rooted types suitable for growing in containers or growing bags.
Drought resistant, carrots seldom need water, but in dry spells, they will benefit from a soaking.
Fast growing weeds can crowd out carrots, so hand weed between rows.
Be careful when weeding or thinning that you don’t crush the foliage, as the smell attracts carrot fly. Cover with fleece tunnels or erect barriers to prevent these pests flying in and laying eggs.
To Carrots require an open, sunny site and fertile well-drained soil. If your soil is stony, shallow or heavy clay, you may end up with stunted or forked carrots, so try short-rooted types. These also suit containers.
Early cultivars can be sown in February or March under cloches or with similar protection. The main outdoor sowing season is from April to early July. Seed packets will state whether the cultivar is an early or maincrop type.
Sow 1cm (½in) deep in rows 15cm-30cm (6-12in) apart. By sowing thinly you can avoid thinning out. Aim for plants 5-7.5cm (2-3in) apart. Thin if needed at the seedling stage.
Mrs. Joly's Advice & Notes:
Carrots can go green on top if left exposed to the light. We recommend to cover over any exposed tops with extra soil.
If your soil isn't great, stony or shallow, try growing the short-rooted Chantenay. If your soil is really poor try growing in containers or an elevated bedding table.
Drop into our Garden Centre to get advice off our experts on how to grow your perfect Salad and Garden,
What's better than making your own side salad to accompany your main dish or as a quick and tasty lunch.
The first thing we recommend is choosing the right varieties for you, plus you'll get to have fresh lettuce almost all year round! Always a win!
There are so many types of lettuce, all with different coloured leaves, textures and flavours. Your homemade salad never needs be boring.
There are two main types of lettuce. We have the hearting lettuces, that you guessed it.. have a dense hearty centre and there is also loose-leaf lettuces have open leaves and no heart .
Let's Grow :
So we're ready to sow & grow our lettuces. It is recommended to grow your lettuce in full sun and in moisture-retentive soil. Depending on early or late sowing will probably need extra protection against cold. You can use cloches, poly-tunnels or a garden fleece tunnel. All these types of protection will be available at our garden centre & our online shop.
So lets talk types of lettuce, first up:
Cos type lettuces grow upright . Cos lettuce also known as "Romaine Lettuce" it grows in a long head of sturdy leaves with a firm rib down the centre.
Butterhead aka Boston Bibb forms loose heads. It's leaves have a tasty buttery texture. Butterhead type lettuces grow quickly and can handle poorer growing conditions.
Crisphead type lettuces have large hearts of tightly overlapped, crisp leaves and are more resistant to going to seed early. Sometimes also known as 'cabbagehead' lettuce.
Looseleaf types of lettuce are delicate, tender and mildly flavoured. Perfect for a summer salad.
Don't have a garden?
You can also grow lettuces in growbags or containers – follow the sowing timings and spacing & your ready to go. (Apartment living doesn't mean no Veggies!)
Time of sowing :
For a summer/autumn crop:
Ms Joly's Advice & Notes :
In the summer we can have higher soil temperatures and this can prevent some cultivars from germinating & growing .
Top Tips :