18

Well, it is so easy, it will probably surprise you: Beets and carrots grow partly above the soil, especially when they mature. Especially beets - you may assume that about half of the thick, fleshy part remains exposed. See this picture and note how only the lower part shows traces of soil: (Source) Similar for carrots, but you may have to wipe away a ...


14

Most root foods don't actually "ripen" and can be harvested at any time. If you're looking to maximize the size of the root, some things like carrots and beets will start to show the crown of the root above ground giving you some indication of their size. Other roots like potatoes is pretty much going to be a trust with timing depending on what size you are ...


9

I can think of a couple of possible issues that could cause otherwise healthy carrots to not grow well or to appear not to be growing well. One, carrots prefer cooler temperatures for maximum growth. Not cold, but cooler as it is in the spring and early fall. If it is hot where you are right now, they may simply be "on pause" while they wait for better ...


9

The wood at the bottom of the bed looks pretty dark in comparison to the rest of the side. It's most likely that the woodlice are feeding off a decaying box, rather than anything in the bed. They'll only be recycling nutrients from the wood into the bed. They'll cause very little damage if any, mainly to soft fruit or seedling. If anything, they're highly ...


9

There are two possible problems that could come from using manure on root vegetables, one of which only applies to fresh manure and the other is more applicable to fresh manure also. The first, and the most obvious, is the potential for contamination. If you're putting the manure into the soil, the part of the vegetable you eat is growing in direct contact ...


9

There is a big difference between manure from ruminants (e.g. cows) and non-ruminants (e.g. horses, chickens, etc). Non-ruminant herbivores produce poo which is relatively bulky and contains a lot of undigested plant material. This material is degraded rather quickly by bacteria, but until that happens the manure is traditionally described as "hot", and ...


9

We get 30 litres of coffee grounds once a month from the local deli. We're on a list of people who take the stuff to stop it going into landfill. It just goes straight into our compost pile. Newly cooked grounds are sterile enough so can be used for growing some mushrooms, and they don't then get competition from other fungi. Some people use coffee ...


8

Your idea of green manure in winter is a good one, beans help put some nitrogen back into the soil. Otherwise the most simple rule for rotation is to leave it a while between plantings of things in the same family. Some do yearly rotation, some do seasonal. I just have 2 beds for veggies, so my rotation this year looks something like this, I've also included ...


8

Just wash them all in clean tapwater - the hardest are the leafy greens, so the way to do that is immersion in a sink full of water, then picking out the leaves and running them directly under the tap, at the same time as inspecting for eggs and caterpillars. Then a salad spinner if you've got one, or just leave them to drain down in a colander. You may need ...


7

It had to be dry and not fresh (out from soil one or two weeks). Put in plain light but not in sun, nor partial. In a clay pot, wide and deep, typically from 5-10 liters, with this root in the center and in depth, taking care to cover it with universal soil. The watering must be regular and especially whenever the soil is dry, but avoiding stagnation of ...


7

I grow carrots and I don't believe roots branching off has anything to do with manure.i use kelp for manure. I sift my soil and mix it with sand and I have perfect 16 to 18in carrots every time with no roots branching off. Prior to doing this I didn't sift my soil or mix with sand and my carrots had branches everywhere. I think the branches on carrots are ...


7

For carrots it depends on the type. The seed packet will give the best idea on how many days it will take, but here are some general guidelines: Baby carrots: 50-60 days Mature carrots: around 75 days In most cases, you can look for the tops of the carrot to be about 1/2 - 3/4 of an inch in diameter. For beets, again the seed packet will give you a good ...


7

Chop the carrots up, just to make sure. They're most likely holes left by larvae of the carrot fly, and they may long have left and turned into flies. Even if you do inadvertently cook one in the soup, consider it an extra bit of protein, it won't harm you, although if you're vegetarian, you might want to slice them quite finely to make sure.


7

If the soil temperature is adequate, the seeds are good, the depth is correct, then likely the seeds are rotting in the ground or are being eaten by animal life. That's why people use seed mixes to plant seeds into, to avoid bacterial and fungal pathogens, to avoid competition from other plants (allelopathy), and for good drainage.


7

If you subscribe to the hygiene hypothesis, then there's no need to wash anything. If you're not keen on eating insects and eggs, then a good immersion in warm salty water removes insects, and inspection is needed to remove eggs. Insects are a good source of vitamin B12 for those who are strict vegetarians.


7

You should really wait till late winter (in pots if its not warm enough outdoors) or spring time to plant, but assuming it's ginger root you're after, then yes, you can buy it from the grocery store - select pieces which look plump, with as many 'eyes' as you can find. Soak them overnight, then either cut them up, making sure there's an eye in each piece (...


6

You can get the average last frost date for your area from various sources, such as this one from UC Ag Extension, or one I cannot seem to find for your area from the National Weather Service. What that means in any given year is somewhat variable. If you also keep your own records you can in some cases infer patterns from the relationship of the published ...


6

Yes, cold paired with no snow cover is hard on top growth, but garlic cloves will survive the winter in zone 6b (where I am also, incidentally). In my area, it's common for the top growth to die back completely during winter, and come back in the spring.


6

It depends when you want them. They should last until winter in the ground without bolting. Carrots are normally biennial, and will bolt during season 2. You can harvest them at any time while growing, and can leave them until a hard freeze. They take frost, but not a hard freeze. There is another thing you can try: Put haybales end to end down both sides of ...


6

For pathogen concerns, stock/standard advice often enshrined in regulations is "not less than 120 days before harvest." So if you are adding fresh steer poop (which you should not, in most cases) do so a minimum of 4 months before your planned harvest date. As an instance where you might actually do this, consider the "compost in place" approach where you'd ...


6

I think what you have here is a slightly misshapen Sugar Beet. Both Beetroot and Sugar Beets are Beta vulgaris, they're just different cultivars. The seeds are identical so telling them apart at planting would be impossible, and they cross-pollinate freely so it's no big surprise a sugar beet seed could have slipped into the mix.


6

Yes, you can, provided you have a warm and sunny spot - like where tomatoes would be happy. Currently there are ongoing promising studies from the University of Hohenheim regarding commercial production in warmer regions of Germany, but many hobby gardeners report good success in home gardens. Yes, the plants rarely bloom and stay smaller than in their ...


6

You could plant sunchockes, otherwise called Jerusalem Artichoke, earth apple, topinambour. This was widely used during WW2 in remote campaign places in France at least. And it will grow beautiful flowers. If you leave nearer to the equator (e.g. the Peruvian Andes), you may simply grow potatoes! Yams may grow fibrous when getting old, but I recon you can ...


6

While wild sunchokes may grow from a meadow, they don't produce like John Kohler's do either. For production, I'd keep the soil soft, and all other plants away. Lots of compost would help a lot. Deep, organic topsoil (the kind I wish I had) is what these will produce best in. It won't take near as much energy to push through. You can fertilize them, with a ...


6

I'm not sure it's something you should worry about for home grown vegetables. The soil will contain mycorrhizae of various fungi anyway, though unfortunately, during the planting process, you are likely to disrupt them by moving the soil around. Adding wood chips doesn't help because the majority of fungi growing on woody materials are actually saphrophytic, ...


5

The onions are planted from bulb to early April, the distance of planting should be 10-15 cm from plant to plant, and 15-20 cm between rows, each bulb will grow from a single onion. The harvest of onions is from August to September when the leaves turn yellow and bend on the ground, once removed from the ground onions can be left on the ground to dry them ...


5

As has been suggested, woodlice don't damage live vegetables. They will nicely clean up any rotting parts of a vegetable or fruit that is still growing, which prevents decay spreading. A lot of fruit and vegies are still usable with imperfections and chewed off bits, as long as any decay is removed. I have no problem eating a strawberry that had an injury ...


5

Fresh manure also can transfer E. Coli to garden vegetables, so you should always make sure your manure is well composted, for around 3-4 months. If it's still smells very strongly, it's probably too fresh.


5

When you are going to eat them. Mulch heavily over the row when frost comes to keep the ground from freezing too much, and dig as needed through the winter. Tastiest and best storage. If you have a root cellar (not a modern heated basement) your second-best storage option (or best if you have problems with them being eaten in place in the garden) is in a ...


5

Root vegetables should be just as fine as any other root plant in my mind. They will take in those nutrients and everything like any other. I say they will be fine and that is that. Maybe they were talking about fresh manure, which would burn the plant/root.


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