Sunday, August 11, 2013

I Planted Carrots

This was a busy weekend of tidying up, amending, and planting. The bed that got "tidied" (everything pulled out) was the one that had held the zucchini and most of the cucumbers. After pulling up the old plants, I spread a wheelbarrow load of compost over the bed and then used my grub hoe to "till" the bed. If the bed hadn't been for carrots, I probably wouldn't have worked it so deeply, but I wanted the roots to have no trouble growing long and straight.

After raking the bed smooth, I added a little of my own mix of organic amendments, then sifted those into the top few inches of soil before planting.

One of the great things about planting the carrots is that I get to use my seeder. Most of my crops aren't planted directly into the garden as seeds so solidly in the beds, but carrots are. It's always fun to roll that seeder down the row, and great to know that the seeds are planted with pretty good spacing at the depth that I want, covered up and tamped down, all in one pass!

Grub hoe and seeder help make short work of planting the carrots. PHOTO/
I planted five rows of carrots and then one row of winter radishes.

The day wasn't super hot -- only in the 80s -- but it was humid and still, so in the mid-afteroon -- rather than working out in the blazing hot sun -- I worked on the shady front porch on transplants for the beds that aren't far enough along to clear for fall planting.  I started a tray of fall greens and bumped up my cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower seedlings into larger pots.

Meanwhile, the summer crops are coming in at a good pace. I'm especially happy about the success of the peppers. We've been putting a couple of pounds of them, chopped, into the dehydrator each week for awhile now, and they will make our winter meals very tasty.

A day's August harvest in a rainy garden year.  PHOTO/

Hope everyone else's gardens are doing well!


  1. Is that Star of David okra? I tried that for the first time this year. It's just now starting to make a few pods. When you dry the peppers, how do you store them? Do they need to stay air tight or in the fridge? I freeze them but never thought to use the dehydrator.
    I'm thinking we may have an early fall. I'm ready for collards and brussel sprouts!

  2. Hi Barbara! It's not Star of David; it's Louisiana Short. Last time I grew it, the plants got hilariously tall, then fell over into the road (they were planted 10 feet away). This time, I chopped the tops off when the plants got about four feet high. The plants are branching more as a result, and I am expecting the pod production to speed up within a week or so.

    For the peppers, I chop them into pieces that are the size I normally would use for most recipes (smaller than 1/2 inch square), dry them to little crispy bits, then store them in tightly sealed canning jars in the garage. The important thing is for them to stay dry, and the jars are very good at keeping moisture out.

    I think the summer has been odd enough that a whole lot of gardeners are ready for a new season! I, for one, hope that the upcoming fall is less weird than this summer.

  3. Hi Amy, I found your site through a web search on raspberries in the south. I just wanted to let you know I am enjoying paging through your articles. I, too, grew up in the north (West Virginia) which IS almost heaven for gardening. Here in Raleigh, NC, the soil is poorer, the sun is hotter, and the skies less giving of summer rain. I have been struggling with gardening expectations, and it is nice to see how you have adjusted and how you are having success.
    Last year my husband and I bought a home (or as I think of it, we finally got a yard of our own) and we are fighting the good fight for a little food independence. We started our raised beds in the fall and planted cabbages in them (only to find that the full sun spot in the summer is full shade once the sun gets lower in the sky). We are planting fruit trees even though we know the squirrels got all but a few of our pecans before they even got ripe enough to pick (I think integrated pest management is going to involve some trap and destroy tactics). We are studying permaculture and we are going to get some chickens. And I am going to plant some black berries and maybe raspberries.

    Thanks for the good blog and the good info on the Heritage red raspberry variety.

    1. Hi Sarah, I am glad to hear that I've written something useful! I am originally from Oklahoma; we lived at Wallops Island in Virginia, near the Coast Guard base, for two years before moving to Georgia. Before living in Virginia, we lived on a barrier island off the Texas Gulf coast for four years, so my gardening experiences have been pretty varied.

      I haven't taken a Permaculture Design course, but any avenue to gaining a little food independence is bound to be useful. I hope you check back in sometime and report on your garden/yard progress; I will be interested in hearing how it's all going! - Amy


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