September II: 7.5lbs of Sweet Candle Carrots from one polypot

Back in April, I sowed eleven triplets of Sweet Candle Carrot seeds in a vermicompost layer atop 17 litres of Multipurpose Compost containing some friendly bacteria, fungi, rock dust and a smidgen of Nutrimate in a Polypot bag, which I usually use to grow show potatoes.

I did a post about how well the seeds had germinated after about 3 weeks and then I thinned each station to one plant.

Over the summer, the polypots lived on a plastic tray in our front garden. After letting the roots develop for 6 weeks through minimal watering, I started to fill the plastic tray regularly with water, allowing the roots to swell through absorbing moisture from below.

I also fed the roots twice with comfrey tea on root days, once in July and once in August.

I harvested the first polypot on Saturday 9th September, the morning of the village show. The feature image shows the eleven roots, which weighed in at 7.5lbs.

The largest two roots had cracked, making them unshowable, so they and the smallest root were turned into carrot and coriander soup.

The other eight formed two groups of four to exhibit, winning a first prize for carrots and a second prize as part of the four vegetables class:

Given that one pot only occupies between one tenth and one twentieth of a square metre, you could in theory grow 75-150lbs of carrots on an area of just one square metre!!

For those limited in space to garden, this may be a valuable option in freeing up space for other vegetables best grown in soil.

Author: Rhys

Rhys trained as a research biologist, working for a decade in the cancer research charity sector, before completing an MBA and working in management consultancy, technology transfer and early technology investment spaces, mostly working with UK academics to turn their scientific discoveries into value for society. AS a younger man, he was fascinated with mountains, both climbing them and ski-ing down them. Whilst living in Scotland, he completed a round of (then) all 277 Munros, the independent mountains over 3000ft originally complied as a list by Munro. He also spent his holidays representing the Ski Club of GB, as a Representative and Party Leader between 1990 and 1997. During that time, he found to his bemusement that he was able to predict, without understanding fully why, to a remarkable degree of accuracy, when good snow conditions would occur in the Alps, gaining an unworthy reputation for predictive genius in 1990 when predicting the evolution of the 1989/90 winter in Wengen, Switzerland for his CEO boss. He used this skill for the next seven years to ensure that he enjoyed powder snow pretty much every time he went ski-ing. An MD student he was training in Oxford also impressed his wife by taking Rhys' advice about when to take her to Italy in the mid 1990s! In recent years, Rhys has turned his mind toward how to grow prize tomatoes, winning several prizes in local and London shows and has, in the past 3 years, moved toward taking over a 50 square metre urban vegetable patch, which he has turned into a no-dig area since autumn 2014.

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