jksimpson
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Harvest Questions

How do you know when carrots and purple cabbage are ready to be pulled and eaten?

pd
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I would simply go by the size - some people like the tenderness of baby carrots and others will prefer to grow them on to the size normally purchased in the stores and markets

The red cabbage is usually grown as a summer cabbage and havested in the early autumn but there is no reason why you cannot cut earlier if you don't want to wait for the maximum size heads.

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hendi_alex
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I agree with the previous post. A very personal thing with no right or wrong answer. Carrots are a biennial, so they can be harvested anytime this year if the size suits your fancy. Later in the season, the carrot tops will die, if you have the row or bed marked, you can harvest the carrots anytime during the winter - at least is the case here in zone 8. Next year the remaining carrots will resume growth but then will be seed making time. As the flower shoots get larger, the central portion of the carrot gets more woody/stringy therefore woudl recommend harvest prior to the flower stems shooting up.
Last edited by hendi_alex on Sat Jul 12, 2008 6:58 pm, edited 3 times in total.

jksimpson
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How would I know how big the carrot is without actually pulling it up? Once it's out, I cannot replant it, right? It has been there since February.

pd
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Again - comes with experience. Look at the shoulder (top of the root) which should be just below soil level. That will give you a reasonable idea of the carrot diameter. You know it will taper of in its length.
Not to sound flippant - if its smaller than you would like - eat it. I'm sure you will be growing many more than 1 carrot.
If you want large carrots be sure to thin them to 4-5 inches apart and leave them till the end of summer.
I can only base advice on experiences and practices here in the UK. If your carrots have been in the ground since February!! perhaps they are already mature.

[url]https://www.raffia.plus.com/gn/8vgcarrot.htm[/url]

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hendi_alex
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I have not grown carrots here in several years. Mine never developed the sweetness that they do in the great growing conditions of California. But when I planted carrots, I did like with radishes and would oversew, then later thin and toss into the compost, and still later at some point the thinnings are large enough to eat, and will be the most tender carrots that you eat from the patch or row. The last carrots to be harvested will have adequate spacing to have gotten quite large.

pd
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hendi-alex

I don't know if carrot fly is a problem with you but here in the Uk we have to thin very carefully or the sap from the leaves will attract the flies. Late in the evening is best followed by a good watering to settle the soil back around the roots. I always net my carrots, it helps greatly; also keeps the rabbits off.

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