Carrots for show

Growing great carrots that stand a chance of  winning  at shows is quite straightforward although it does need a little more investment of  time than growing them normally.


First thing is to select a variety that has the potential  to do well.  For stump or ‘short’ carrots Sweet Candle is the best variety  and for long carrots   New Red Intermediate is highly recommended.


Find a container  at least 18-24 inches deep (deeper for long carrots) and remove the bottom.   Site  it on  a well drained piece of ground, I prefer well dug soil. A plastic barrel/dustbin with the base removed or  specially made beds are often used.  To get a set of  three for a show you may only need to grow 5 or 6 carrots of the above varieties  if  you use these methods.


Fill a  the container with sharp sand and let it settle for a time.  Bore out  conical holes in the sand about 4 inches wide at the top and 20 inches or so deep for stump carrots  and at least twice as deep for long carrots.    Mix some multi-purpose compost  with a little extra fertiliser and perhaps a little  fine calcified seaweed.    Use this to fill the holes tamping down carefully to avoid air pockets.


Plant 3 or 4  seeds at each station.  When they geminate select the largest and remove the others.  If you plant  in March preferably with some protection such as fleece  and they will be ready for the Ainsdale show in early July  Keep them reasonably well watered and watch them grow  away.  If they push their ‘shoulders out of the compost cover them up to stop them going green.


The day before the show carefully remove the sand from around their tops and then flood with water  and twist slightly  pulling steadily to remove them .  If you are careful and gentle they should come out with a good thin root at the end.  Then carefully cut off the leaves as recommended by the show schedule .


By the way these large carrots make good eating with a mild sweet flavour.