Sunday, May 13, 2018

Deck Gardening: CARROTS

I have huge issues with holidays, I think I always have. It goes back to when I was a little girl, and had to be good on holidays. Frankly, I thought I was good all of the time, so the fact that there was a certain day that I had to be extra good was a bit stressful. Being an only child was stressful as well, particularly when my mother told me that I was a difficult baby (I never slept — I still don’t), and that, after me, she decided she had had enough. Yeah, that made me feel great. It also meant that I was the whole show, and had no one else with whom to share the joys…or burdens. Then, as I got older, and my mother expected gifts from me on every holiday, even the less celebrated ones, it became stressful as well, because back in the lean years, I couldn’t afford to buy a gift for someone who could have easily enough afforded to buy anything she wanted. So that was stressful.

Mother’s Day was the absolute worst! Eventually I became a mother myself, but that didn’t mean that I ever got to relax and enjoy the day, no, it just meant that my burden was compounded. I still had to buy a gift for my mother, only as an adult, I also had to provide a home-cooked meal. That meant that from the moment my feet hit the floor on Mother’s Day morning, I not only had two young boys to take care of, but also a house to clean, and a dinner to prepare. It was a nice day for her, but it was always a nightmarish one for me, something she never understood.

My husband Jim was always very sweet to me on Mother’s Day, giving me a lovely card, and generally buying me one of my favorite things, lots of plants for the garden. Now that he’s gone and my mother is gone, my day is mixed with anger and sadness. To compound things, today would have been Jim and my 23rd anniversary. So, today, I am ignoring it as much as I can, and focusing my attention on what I hope will be a successful deck vegetable garden.

Today I am planting carrot seeds. I bought a nice variety of
organic carrot seeds in various colors from white, to scarlet, purple, and yes, orange. I think carrots are beautiful when they grow because the lacy tops, swaying in the breeze are so tranquil and pretty. I also love carrots both raw and roasted; a variety of colors is going to make for some beautiful dishes. I have no idea what I’m doing here, I have never grown carrots before, but I’m giving it a whirl using this wonderful Guinness galvanized bucket that son Andrew gave me a couple of years ago. I love this bucket, generally it just hangs out in the garage, and I was thinking today that I really should enjoy it as a part of my garden. So, here goes.
The first thing I did with the bucket was to drill a large drainage hole in the bottom. Then, in order to keep it from getting too heavy, I wadded up a little bit of bubble wrap and put it in the bottom, probably about 2 inches up. Then I filled it with an organic indoor/outdoor soil mixture that contains both a slow release fertilizer, and moisture-grabbing medium.
I intend upon planting these carrot seeds throughout the summer, in order to stagger my harvest. They mature in 60 to 70 days, so they have to be planted early to avoid the winter frost. I love the names of these varieties, as well as the cuteness of the seed packets. I am always sucked in by cuteness. In studying the varieties, today I have chosen to begin with the carrots called Red-Cored Chantenay. According to the information that came with these seeds, these are carrots that have wide shoulders, a tapered root, a blunt rounded tip, fine-grained texture, and a red core. Don’t they sound beautiful? We’ll see.

If you love carrots as much as I do, this recipe for Amaretto Carrots is a real winner!

This post contains affiliate links.


Linda said...

Awwww Pattie, I feel for you today. If I lived close I’d come over and celebrate your carrot planting with a margarita with Meyer lemon juice from your tree. ­čśŐ I wish you lot of luck with the carrots. I have that lovely lacy foliage in my garden right now, but alas, no carrots are forming. I think I started them too late for zone 8. I also love seed packets and am a sucker for the descriptions of plants!

Pattie @ Olla-Podrida said...

Margaritas are always available at any time of the year, so keep that in mind. Mother’s Day is the day when it’s generally safe to plant pretty much anything, but today it’s already 90°, so I hope it’s not too hot for carrot planting. We’ll see what happens. I appreciate your kind comments, I did get very sweet acknowledgments of Mother’s Day from both of my sons, so I really shouldn’t complain. Sometimes though, it just feels good to get it out.

candy said...

Always nice to spend the day gardening. Found you on Over The Moon Link Party.

Gina said...

Pattie, so sorry to hear that Mother's Day has such a negative feel for you - maybe someday that will change? Mother's Day is pretty hyped up - a way for retailers to make an extra buck or two if you ask me. And it's easy to fall into that trap of feeling like we should be pampered...that said, it can never get easy to miss our loved ones and sounds you got a major double whammy. Hang in there! Gardening has always been cathartic for my mother - she was dealt a pretty crappy hand in life - and she eats quite well on the veggies she grows.

martinealison said...

Bonjour ch├Ęre amie,

Avec les carottes je n'ai pas beaucoup de chance ! Je pense que ma tentative ne fut pas bonne. J'aurais d├╗ les ├ęclaircir !
J'adore les carottes sous toutes les formes.
Un petit billet qui devrait donner le sourire et rendre tout le monde aimable ! et je ne parlerai pas des "fesses roses" ! sourire...

Gros bisous

judee said...

I'm on the lookout for some containers for my basil, sage, rosemary, and mint. I didn't join a CSA farm this summer so I know I will be wanting fresh herbs. I'm amazed that carrots will grow in a bucket ( but I'm not much of a gardener) love the idea.

Sum of their Stories said...

I'm so sad hearing what an ordeal Mother's day has been for you. I had an awful day the year one immediately after my mum had died, but generally I am able to enjoy them. My grown up kids usually turn up with flowers or chocolate, someone who is not me cooks and clears up, low key but nice. I don't think it should be about big extravagant gifts, a card the kids made is lovely enough when they are little.
I've never had much success with carrots but with your tips I think I'd like to give them a try again this year - fingers crossed!

Plano Diva said...

I hope your carrots turn out. You will have to let us know. There are so many varieties and not many are found in the stores or even farmers markets. I have thought about growing carrots before but never followed through. Good luck!!!

Pattie @ Olla-Podrida said...

I will be keeping everyone up-to-date. The carrots sprouted five days after I planted the seeds, so I was very happy about that. I will probably thin them out in another week. I will keep posting pictures, big changes in the deck garden occurred today, stay tuned!