Last week brought lots of rain—four heavy downpours in seven days, to be exact. Most of the crops were grateful, after several days of ninety-degree heat. The new transplants were relieved, their roots being too small to find the water deep within the soil. The tomatoes were happy, too, and rewarded us with a flush of juicy fruit.
The fall carrots, however, were not pleased, or at least, their seeds weren’t. We plan on two summer seedings to ensure a steady supply of carrots in the fall. When our first seeding was slow to germinate, we were concerned. When the carrots finally did emerge, weeks behind schedule and at less than 30% germination, we realized the problem—most of the seeds had been washed away. The slope to the carrot beds is slight, but enough to make a difference in a downpour. So we doubled up on the second planting, figuring that even if the carrots were late, at least they’d be abundant.
And then? Another downpour. And another. And another. Odds were that the second planting had been washed away, too, but we couldn’t sacrifice another two weeks waiting to find out, not if we wanted carrots before Thanksgiving. So we did a huge third planting, in another field with less of a slope. We also raked extra soil over the seeded rows as added protection from heavy rains. At this point I’m reasonably confident we’ve secured the fall carrots, as much as we can secure anything in nature. I’m also grateful for a clerical error I made in January—that I accidently ordered double the carrot seed I expected to use! Who knew this mistake would work in my favor? The carrots will be late, to be sure, but we’ll be swimming in carrots by Halloween, if both the second and third plantings come to fruition.