We have been digging carrots for a few weeks now. This variety is called ‘Nelson’ and is considered an early variety.
We started harvesting our Nelsons when they were big enough to make it worth all the effort of digging and washing. Now, they just keep getting bigger and better tasting as the weeks go by.
To help the carrots come out of the ground more easily, I use a garden fork to loosen the soil next to the row. Just a little leverage with the fork does it without damaging the carrots in the process. You don’t have to lift the carrots out with the fork, just ease their grip on the soil and they will pull right out.
A quick rinse with the garden hose and these carrots are ready for the ‘fridge. If you take the tops off, they seem to stay fresher longer in storage. Kids however, like to leave the tops on and eat them like Bugs Bunny!
We also staggered our planting this spring so as to be able to dig carrots over a longer period of time.
I always like to leave the last carrots in the ground without digging them. The cold soil seems to sweeten them up even more and they get so crunchy that they “snap” when you bite into them.
Every day I dig a fresh carrot or two to eat for elevenses and lunch. You can’t get any fresher than that!