Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Lily and I planted a bunch of carrots a couple of weeks ago, at least four rows of about twenty each.
She very meticulously dug the shallow rows with her finger and planted each seed. Then she watered them in and helped me place some small wire hoops over the area to prevent Dizzy from destroying her hard work.
Jasper also dumped a gazillion carrot seeds in one big pile in his special gardening place. I was expecting a good carrot crop for the fall.
Lily's little rows were looking awesome and promising. I took no pictures of the precious sprouts, of course because I thought I had plenty of time. One day they were there, stretching their tiny green fronds up to the sun; two days later and all we had left was one struggling sprout.
The next day, this...
Our entire crop was gone.
I know other people have success with carrots. Gardeners all over grow delicious, healthy carrots. Lots of gardening books and guides suggest it as a good crop for kids to grow, plus my kids love to eat carrots. But no matter what I try, I have yet to have success with them. For years I have tried, in different zones, at different times of the growing season, in different soils, in pots, raised beds, in the ground. Last year we harvested a tiny bundle of four or five carrots. A few years ago they grew up out of the cracks between the cement patio pieces in the backyard, (I must have dropped some seeds in the yard.)
I have a feeling this year it was slugs or snails or some minuscule night creature that chomped its way through and over and around Lily's carrot sprouts. What can I do differently? Do I need to spread egg shells all over? Will oyster shells do the trick? Will either of those even matter?
Lily was bummed and confused. Me too, I thought, me too. And she's such a cute gardener, a cute gardener who's wondering when she's going to get to pick her carrots. Perhaps Yoda could explain it better to her. Apparently Star Wars and gardening go hand in hand at our house. I'm not sure what this says about us.