I actually thought that I was crazy the other day. It is July 27...and I'm thinking about the fall and winter garden. Who in their right mind would think about winter in July? A year-round grower, that's who!!
From what I have learned, the first winter crop that needs to be planted is carrots. I prepped a bed that will have a cold frame on it so that I can plant it on August 1st. In order to do that, I had to pull the last of my baby carrots.
That's right - I grew baby carrots!
Don't believe that they are baby...take a look here:
I love these little things. Some are just your regular variety baby carrots but the purple ones are a variety called 'Dragon'. The Dragon carrots taste the same but the purple makes them a little more fun :-)
As fun as it was to pull these short carrots from the ground, I don't know if I'll ever grow baby carrots again because they take up too much space for what they give. With any carrots that I plant in the future, though, I will definitely be careful on the spacing. Some of the carrots never matured because I was not watchful as I thinned. As I plant the winter carrots, I am going to try to get the spacing correct from the beginning so that I won't have to thin.
According to Eliot Coleman who gets 12 carrots into a 30in bed (watch 3-part series), if I space my carrots 2.5 inches apart when I plant them, I should be good and not have to thin. Eliot learned this technique from studying the late 1800's market growers of Paris. Since his farm is in the same zones as my kitchen garden (USDA Zone 5/6, AHS HEat Zone 3/4, 43 degrees north latitude), I should be able to follow his guidelines.
More to come as I plant for winter...