Back to Basics

The best of the best from the 2011 OG Test Gardens.

By Doug Hall

Photography by Christa Neu


scarlet nantes carrotCarrot

‘Scarlet Nantes’

This is the carrot to turn to where the soil is heavy with clay or shallower than ideal. Not as fickle as longer varieties, ‘Scarlet Nantes’ is a reliable producer of sweet, crisp roots.

Seed Source: Nichols Garden Nursery

Growing tip: Carrots are worth the extra effort they require in clay soil, says test gardener Linda Crago, of Wellandport, Ontario. “After I’ve tilled my soil as finely as I can, I take my hoe and draw a good deep trough 6 to 8 inches in depth. I fill this trough with finely sifted compost and seed my carrots quite thickly,” Linda says. She waters as often as twice a day if the weather is dry while the seeds are germinating. “I find the carrots germinate very well in the compost and they grow long and straight. Another bonus is that because the compost is so light, I do very little thinning, because they can push each other out of the way as they grow.”