When are Carrots Ripe?

The_GrubAugust 31, 2005

I've grown these most basic of root vegetables a few times, but I have a habit of pulling them early and eating them on site. If one were to wait until their carrots were at their absolute prime how would you determine that? I can part the mulch and see the tops are the thickness of an Artline pen, but when I puill them the roots are shorter than they could be. The variety is Manchester something. Thanks, Grub, pigging out on his lush mescalun mix for days now.

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I have the same problem. Never got a ripe one, whenever the need presses is when you eat I reckon.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2005 at 6:10AM
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That's the beauty of carrots. You can harvest them at any time from baby to mature. I think your Manchester variety is one of the Nantes style - shouldn't grow to more than about 5 or 6", French, brilliant orange colour, shaped like a cigar rather than the tapering conical shape of bigger carrots. I've just started some Nantes out at the olive farm. The packet I used said they should take about 70 days. If you want them to mature, give them time, and don't keep rooting around for a look at how they're going. And don't let the top of the carrot emerge from the ground and cop any light.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2005 at 7:00AM
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Okay, the Monica Lowinska of carrots. Lol. Those with exposed shoulders go green, but they're all delish. And to think Cundall said a coupla rows will do a family for 6mths. Hardly. Strangely chooks won't touch the tops. Anyway, a success, evn at 10cm long, :)

    Bookmark   August 31, 2005 at 7:36AM
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The vegie patch at the farm has to feed two families - them and us - so my first carrot plot will produce about 60 after thinning. I'll do it all over again in about a month or so. And, gee, the Cavalo Nero looks stunning in full growth mode. We planted some seedlings about three weeks ago and they're roaring along. The first Ribollita is not far away.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2005 at 7:52AM
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Sounds wonderful Finbar. I'm sure looking forward to hearing about the noshups that follow, the repasts with bottles of pinot grigio, the pics and good times.

I was wondering if the carrots will be bitter or something if I wait till the first signs of them going to seed? If that's okay then I guess they willhave reached their peak.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2005 at 10:17PM
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If you wait till the tops are really big (nearly ready to start flowering), the carrots will just be woody.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2005 at 10:26PM
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My Cavolo nero, it's called Nero di Toscana on the seed packet but it's the same stuff, is just sitting there, barely emerged, and looking for all the world like it'll come to nowt!

More piccies please Finbar.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2005 at 12:21AM
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Ray, maybe it's just a tad cold for the little ones to grow? Maybe they'd rather slink back inside where it was a wee warmer?

    Bookmark   September 1, 2005 at 12:25AM
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Thanks Spatz,
I don't want woody carrots. I know you have grown some beaut carrots before. The tops are standing about 20-30cm tall. I'll take a pic.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2005 at 12:51AM
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The Carrots mentioned are Manchester Table and are a Nantes type...as mentioned above they are not the tapering type they tend to look more cigar shaped and usually get to about 20cm in normal soil and a little less in clay type soils
they can be eaten at any time and because they are biennial they will still be good eating right up until the soil begins to warm up in the second season when they will begin to send the nutrients in the roots up into the flowerhead to produce seeds...at this time they will become woody and loose a lot of taste...you can still peel off the outer rim (which is less woody) but eventually none of the root will become suitable to eat
If you have planted your seeds in late winter (early spring...in a cool climate) then they become big enough to eat in say 3 months so you get about 9-10 months of carrots from this one sowing (given you planted enough seed to feed your family)
In our climate we plant carrots about now and thin them out when they are about 5cm high...this continual thinning and weeding encourages the growth....crowding will result in tiny carrots twisted around each other

    Bookmark   September 1, 2005 at 1:30AM
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Thanks Peter. They are indeed Manchester Table. You have answered my queries and some. I tried Royal Chantenay and liked them alot and Yates baby things on a seed tape before that. They be Dragons next!

    Bookmark   September 1, 2005 at 2:33AM
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Have you tried mashed carrot and Parsnip together?, with butter and salt, and a dash of black pepper.
I guarantee you will never eat anything else.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2005 at 5:20AM
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Ray, like Spatz, I wonder whether it's still a bit cold in your neck of the woods for the CN to be getting a wriggle on. It's late summer here - still, officially, three weeks till the beginning of autumn - with days averaging mid-20s but still reaching 30C, but nicely cooler nights. The fave, started three weeks ago, are thriving in the conditions, too. When I'm next out at the farm I'll take a pic of the CN and add it to the online album.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2005 at 5:21AM
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Hi Grub
Are you saying that you are going to plant Dragon a carrot variety....I think they are red...have the seeds but have not planted them yet

    Bookmark   September 4, 2005 at 1:35AM
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Yes, Peter,
I'm going to source Dragon seeds form Eden and grow red carrots! Are there purple ones, too? Anwyay, the Machesters are doing very well.
CHeers, Grub.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2005 at 3:18AM
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Grub,I had wonderful success with the Yates Baby carrot tapes.
Also ,I found a packet of seed that had an expiry date of 1995.Threw them in and ended up with wonderful carrots.
Didn't see the need to thin them they all seemed quite happy growing in the plot.Strange though how the chooks wouldn't eat the tops,especially whe they will eat sour sobs all day.Looking forward to my next crop of carrots.Maybe I'll give up the wheat thingy and concentrate on carrots..........nah!

    Bookmark   September 5, 2005 at 5:25AM
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Lol. Good to hear about the tape.

Now would you believe my chooks refuse to eat carrot tops as well.

What is it with chooks today :)

    Bookmark   September 5, 2005 at 5:49AM
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My carrots have risen up out of the ground and are still green even though they were planted in July 2010 and are very big, is the problem that they are getting too much light?

    Bookmark   February 9, 2011 at 5:56AM
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