I am pretty happy with the first major carrot harvest of this season. I am taking out one bed at a time so that I have the time to clean and process all of the food before it ages and wilts too much. We took a total of 14 pounds of carrots from our stone bed.
There was a bit of difference in size on many of the carrots, but that was to be expected. This year I had planted the bed once, and then I came back in several weeks later to reseed any place that had not filled in from the first planting. With a major harvest like this where I am clearing the whole bed, I ended up clearing out both generations of plantings, so I had some quite full large carrots and some little wee ones.
There did not seem to be too much evidence of root knot nematodes in this bed, as there had been with the one next door where we had grown beets. I am still concerned about the bed, however, and since I plan to plant sweet potatoes in there which don’t go into the ground until June, I am going to clear the bed and seed it with French marigolds. Apparently growing french marigolds can help control root knot nematode populations because the little buggers cannot grow in the roots of this plant. (The Marigold roots actually produce a chemical poisonous to them) If I keep the bed weed free while the marigolds bloom, that should cover the lifespan of a couple of generations and do a serious dent to their populations. (dare I hope, eliminate it?)
If you are interested in more reading on the critters, this is a pretty good scientific article by The American Phytopathology Society.
In the Studio
I am also gearing up for my first ever art festival. I will be taking my work to the Wimberley Valley Arts Festival in April, along with some 86 other artists in all genres from around the country. I am busy figuring out how to set up my little 10′ x 10′ tent and how to run a successful festival shop. Of course, I am also working on the art itself, and here is a preview of one of my current works.
You can see more of my art on my artist website.