Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Carrots Gone Wild: The Final Result

Over the last three years I've been conducting an experiment with carrots. To be honest, the first year wasn't planned but it was crucial to the result.

In Spring 2010, I planted Scarlet Nantes carrots from commercial seed in my float garden. I like Scarlet Nantes because they have short, stocky roots. By late summer, I can start harvesting, and they last in the ground through winter. But in September 2010, Mom had emergency back surgery and I didn't get back to the cabin until late January 2011. The carrots were still good to eat, so I left them in the ground.

When spring 2011 rolled around, the carrots grew tall flower stalks. I decided to let them go and see what would happen. Once the flowers started to dry, I covered some of them with cheesecloth to capture the seeds. That wasn't necessary. I was able to save lots of seed just by cutting the dried flower heads. In addition to the seeds I saved, there were lots that fell directly onto the soil.

I left the extra seeds in the empty bed and dug them in to see what would happen the following spring.

This year, the seeds grew into nice, large, crisp carrots. I would say my experiment with "carrots gone wild" and seed saving was a success.

Do you save seeds for future planting? What are some of your success stories? -- Margy

4 comments:

  1. I have some seeds I saved for the last two years. I am wondering what the shelf life of seeds? I hope to collect some from this garden to plant in my pots for next summer. How does one collect seeds from the daisy? Do you know, Margy? I love freshly dug carrots, so sweet and fresh.

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  2. Aren't you the ultimate recycler! That carrot looks yummy.

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  3. Thanks Elaine. It was fun.

    Stephanie - I would let the flowers wilt and dry a bit on the stems then cut them and let them dry completely in an open pan. Once the flower heads are completely dry, use your fingers to work out the seeds and same them in an envelope marked with the name and year of the seeds. I have used my own seeds for beans, peas, carrots, parsley and flowers. But have had the least amount of luck with flower seeds. Probably because my flower "beds" are floating stumps. - Margy

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  4. You are the green thumb woman I love!
    I am discouraged with my garden...
    bugs and beetles.

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