This is the journal of my endeavours to grow a range of fruit, veg and flowers from seed, grow organically, and my attempts to create a personal paradise with 1/2 acre of maintained gardens and 1/2 acre wild meadows. Northern Ireland's average daily high temperatures are 18 °C (64 °F) in July and 6 °C (43 °F) in January. Soil type: Clay

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Veg Update (Carrot, Courgette, Cucumber, Tomato)

I was harvesting carrots this week I'd sown back in May. I've sown two types of carrot this year and not completely sure what's what. They were grown in various containers like the one pictured.

Carrot Varieties:

  • Carrot 'James Scarlet Intermediate', Mr Fothergill's seeds,
  • Carrot 'Early Nantes 2' Thompson & Morgan seeds. 

These must be Carrot 'James Scarlet Intermediate' if my tag is correct. Sown in May and only just harvested.

This one came out split - not sure if it has something to do with carrot fly or not? Wasn't sure if I should eat this one??
These carrots (Early Nantes 2) are young, sown in an old wheelbarrow.

It's quite cold at night this week so I've covered them with a plastic sheet. Hopefully I can get them harvested next weekend. I'd say they'll be finger size.
The courgettes have really suffered from blossom rot this year, however, I've managed to harvest quite a few.
Variety: Courgette (yellow zucchini) 'Soleil F1', Mr Fothergill's, 10 seeds, £2.39. Sown 3 April 2011 indoor (50% germination). Outside in pots from June.
I also grew Courgette (zucchini F1) - they didn't do great this year either.

Monday night (being very cold) I popped out into the garden and harvested a few baby courgette to put in  a chicken-veg stew for dinner.

The yellow courgette have a nice cooking texture; they aren't quick to go mushy like most green courgettes I've experienced.
Looking out the window I saw a cucumber sitting on a bench - I'd forgotten to bring indoor. I had a 'bitter' experience with cucumber in early summer so I decided to try Ann's recipe (Welcome To the Garden Spot) and pickle it. As I was slicing & putting into vinegar I decided to take a bite. Wow, gorgeous! I stopped pickling and sliced it to eat!

Left: photo taken circa July. As of this week, the plant is gone. I put it outdoor in Sept and it only produced one last cucumber. Harvested about 3 in total. It produced lots of tiny cucumbers but they never matured.

VarietyCucumber (bush variety), Plant Hart's Seeds, US$2.29. Sown 3 April 2011 indoor (good germination). Gown in small pot. Bitter tasting if picked early. Sweet if fully matured.
I almost pulled all the tomato plants out over the weekend but decided to let them go on for a bit longer. I want every last cherry tomato!

VarietyTomato (Red Cherry), Mr Fothergill's, 50 seeds, £1.89. Sown 3 April 2011 indoor (75% germination). Grown in sun room throughout summer.


  1. I just planted some carrots yesterday i tried in the summer here but it was too hot.I cant wait to be harvesting carrots they look so good

  2. I'm envious of your carrots Kelli after this years crop failure.

    The splitting is nothing to do with carrot fly or disease - it's all linked to watering either irregular watering or as maybe your case heavy rain after a dry period. It causes the carrots to suddenly grow really quickly! Should be fine to eat though.

  3. My courgettes have just started producing again, only baby sized courgettes, but I'll take anything this late in the season. Your carrots look great.

  4. Kelli, it looks as if you had no problems with carrot root fly. Those carrots look really clean. I echo what Sue says about the reasons for splitting. Split carrots are often the first ones to go bad or to be attacked by slugs, because their outer defences are already "breached".

  5. Beautiful carrots, Kelli. That is correct, what Sue said about the split carrot. Mother always said they were fine to eat. Your yellow squash looks really nice and I am glad you tasted that cucumber before pickeling it!

  6. We've only grown the yellow zuchini in recent history. The green ones just don't measure up flavour or texture-wise.

  7. Your carrots look fabulous! Mine came out as skinny as a pencil! hahaha But we ate them anyway! I can't believe you're still getting so much produce this late. Love that tomato plant that just won't give up!

  8. You have such good luck with the garden in pots. The carrots are so straight and large. I hope the pickled cucumbers were good, too. I often get carrots that are spilt. I just cut around the split.

  9. You had some nice looking carrots there. I have more success growing them some years than others.

  10. Handsome carrot harvest! Looks good!

  11. Nice carrots - bifurcated ones really annoy me just because there is more wastage.