September Harvest

September Harvest

September Harvest 560 315 Eco Garden Systems

Carrots

September is the month of the harvest. It is that time of the year when we yearn for cooler days and warmer foods. It is the end of summer and the beginning of fall where weekend fun now entails apple orchards and fall festivals instead water parks and pools. It is that time of the year when food harvest is at its peak whether it is corn, grain, grapes or vegetables. It is the Northern Hemisphere’s time to close the door and let winter take over for a much needed break. In the gardening world it is preserving and storing your garden’s bounty for a long winter season. The harvest moon will soon appear and not long after that frost will set in and the snow will fly.

As the cool days become more frequent the gardens start to slow down and preparation begins to prepare the gardens for winter. My harvest this time of the year yields many carrots, pumpkins, tomatoes and lettuce greens. The carrots are my favorite due to the fact that once planted from seed it takes the majority of the summer to grow and mature. With much anticipation each carrot is pulled and admired with the idea that next year I will plant more and more of a variety. One of my favorite carrots to plant in the Eco Garden System is the little finger carrot. It is a smaller carrot that has a very sweet flavor and grows with ease in the garden system. I have also planted the rainbow mix carrots and enjoy the different colors they can add to a meal. Carrots are a very popular vegetable to grow and are a staple in most gardens.

Thinning carrots

They can, however, develop problems if the conditions are right. This year I did encounter a problem with some of the carrot leaves that in years past have never happened. Bacterial leaf blight showed up just recently on the carrot tops. I am not too worried due to the timing of the disease. The carrots are full grown and should yield a good crop. The carrot tops will have to be disposed of properly to ensure it won’t spread. My guess is the wet weather we had this year especially the past couple of weeks helped contribute to the spread of this fungus which shows up on wet years. The best way to prevent this is to thin your carrots early and give them enough space to get ample sun and air. There are blight diseases that can start in the seeds and then progress from there to the carrot roots. These diseases are usually rare.  Most of the leaf diseases do not affect the carrot root so getting a healthy harvest is still possible.

Bacterial leaf blight

Healthy Carrot leaf

One of the nice things about waiting for all those carrots to grow is that you do not have to harvest them all at once. Carrots can be left in the soil and picked when needed. Leaving the carrots in the soil will keep them fresh and make them sweeter. If you decide to harvest all at once they will last up to four weeks in a sealed container in the refrigerator. Carrots go bad once they develop a watery slime on the outside of the carrot. So many people throw out carrots that show drying thinking they are spoiled. This is called a white blush and is still very edible. At this point they should be eaten in the near future. Cooking the carrots with this will retain the flavor rather than eating them raw.

September is the month that reminds me that carrot harvest is soon. I look forward to the many stews, soups, and cakes that can be made with the wonderful garden carrot. The health benefits from just one carrot should be enough to encourage you to grow a wide variety of carrots in your garden. Knowing you can leave them in the soil for storage is even better!

Happy September Harvest!