at the Water's Edge

Living life and learning all I can along the way!

The Truth About Carrots and Rad Radishes

I learned something interesting about carrots the other day.  Apparently, they are biennial plants, which are only supposed to flower every other year.  So, carrot seeds that you buy for your garden should not grow into flowering plants.  I found this fact particularly interesting since I planted carrots for the first time last year, and they flowered -- flowered and reseeded themselves to the point that I have carrots growing everywhere.  AND, this year's crop of carrots are also flowering. My guess is that due to the crazy weather and drought last year, the carrots went a little crazy and flowered when they shouldn't have.  What I didn't think about is that because the plants are spending so much energy producing flowers, the roots do not grow as well. This may be part of the reason I had stunted carrots last year.  This year's plants are flowering even more (so that my garden was starting to look like a wildflower field).  I decided to pull a few up and see what was beneath the ground. To my horror, most of the plants had hardly any carrot root on them.  Most of these things that have taken over my garden that I expected to harvest as carrots this fall, are basically just weeds.  

And...for whatever reason my "multi-colored"
carrots are all white this year...
I did find a few carrots, and I decided to let the ones that aren't flowering continue to grow, but I ended up pulling out all of the flowering plants.  My garden sure looked better after getting that mess out of there!

Between pulling up carrots and dismal growth from the corn I attempted to grow, I was left with some open space in the garden.  Although it was already nearly September and the growing season will not last much longer, I found the perfect solution to fill the space.  I recently discovered two things: 1) I like radishes. 2) Radishes can grow in as little as three weeks time. THREE WEEKS! Now that is my kind of plant! So, I planted some radishes, which are now growing and should be ready before the end of the month! Crazy.

In other gardening news: my yellow pear tomatoes have done great this year, but the heirloom brandywines have been awful. I harvested my first legitimate red tomato today (a few others have grown with too many bad spots, etc.).  Next year, I think I will do black cherry tomatoes (which I tried the other day at my uncle's - yum!) and whatever I grew my first gardening year -- I'll have to look it up, but it was the most success I've ever had with tomatoes to date.

The green beans have done well, once the new fencing and fortress was installed.  And, I do have lots of crazy squash and gourds growing from what I threw in last fall! I only had one actual orange pumpkin, and that grew early. I harvested it already, as the vine had died, and I couldn't let it go to waste -- so I carved it!

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Hi there! My name is Dana and I live in West Michigan with my husband, Tom and our dog Copernicus. I created this space as a place to share the things I learn along this journey I call life. I work in marketing and I'm a sort of Jane of All Trades, interested in all things nature, gardening, cooking, exploring and learning new things. This blog is a conglomeration of my interests, hobbies, life and life lessons. Thanks for stopping by!