Fertilizing carrots with bokashi
These carrots look completely unreal! Some of you might think they will taste bad because of their large size. But this is actually not the case! Fertilizing carrots with bokashi compost seems to do the trick.
A long time ago, I remember reading that carrots don't grow very well in horse manure. I don't know why this random fact stayed with me, since I don't use manure in my garden (except for in my hotbeds.) The reason why horse manure and carrots don't go too well together has slipped my mind now. This was long ago when I had just gotten started and was trying to figure out what kind of fertilizer I should use.
I started thinking more about what kind of fertilizer might suit my carrots, and experimented with bokashi compost in the beds where I was planning on growing my winter varieties. Winter carrots are quite hardy and cold-resistant. I decided to go for bokashi compost and mulch as fertilizers. And the results were great! The carrots turned out to be huge and really tasty too! Contrary to what I thought in the beginning, fertilizing carrots doesn't have to be harder than this.
A slow start
This year's winter carrots grow in soil that I prepared in spring, when I started digging down my bokashi compost. I sowed the seeds in April and had some issues in the beginning because of the drought. It doesn't seem to have mattered that much though, the beds are basically overflowing now and it seems like my pantry will stay full all winter.
These large carrots are actually very good, despite their large size. As you might know, large carrots can taste a bit woody, but not these ones. We eat a lot of shredded carrots in winter, but they taste absolutely delicious when thinly sliced too. Simply serve them with some rapeseed oil and herbal salt. I probably don't have to mention that you don't need to harvest many of these carrots to get full...
Read more about bokashi: Using bokashi compost in your garden
Right now, I have a large bed (20x13 feet, or 6x4 meters) overflowing with winter carrots in different colors. I also have another two rows of purple winter carrots in one of my polytunnels, and another purple variety in one of my pallet collar beds. We will harvest half of these carrots before it gets colder, and store them somewhere frost-free in buckets and/or crates with unfertilized peat. I'll leave the rest of the carrots until late winter/spring. This way, we actually manage to be completely self-sufficient in carrots.
Fertilizing carrots with bokashi worked surprisingly well, give it a try!