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Carrot "Jaune du Doubs"

Jude Jude
29/03/2022 · 8 minutes reading time

Help your March plants grow big and strong!

Here’s what’s ahead:

Important information at a glance:

  • Germination temperature: 18-25 °C

  • Germination time: 14-21 days

  • Direct sowing in a bed or on a balcony: March–June

  • Direct sowing in a cold room: January–February

  • Location: sunny to semi-shady

  • Loose, nutrient-rich soil

  • Root depth: 30 cm

  • Row spacing: 30 cm

  • Plant spacing: 2-5 cm

  • Sowing depth: 1-2 cm

  • Type: Medium-Eater

  • Thinning: as soon as the first true pair of carrot leaves has formed; only necessary if the planting distance is too small

  • Can be overwintered to help reproduction

With its dark yellow colour alone, the 'Jaune du Doubs' carrot stands out from the crowd of standard carrots. This carrot takes his name from the historic French Doubs River and the bountifully fertile region surrounding it. The “Doubs Yellow” variety is particularly aromatic and will change the way you think about classic carrot stew. And speaking of “old”: You can keep store this veg in your cellar over the winter if you like.

Basically, there is a lot to love about the “Jaune du Doubs” carrot. So let's get cracking!

Pre-Germination

Depending on the weather, carrots can take up to 3-4 weeks to germinate. If that is too long for you, you can pre-germinate the seeds before sowing. To do this, just put the seeds in a glass of water, or in a bag with damp sand. Then set the glass or bag in a warm place. After a few days, the first white germ tips will appear. You have to react quickly and distribute the sand or water evenly in the seed rills or in your pots, then cover with 1-2 cm of soil.

Keimlinge
Carrots often take a long time to germinate in a bed, which can make it tricky to keep the seeds moist all the time. It might make sense to pre-germinate the seeds about a week before you plan to sow them.

Sowing

When the soil in your garden no longer sticks to your shoes, you can start sowing outdoors. This usually happens in March or April.

Another general note: carrots do not like to be pricked out or repotted, so you should sow them directly in the final container or location.

Sowing in a bed:

If possible, you should loosen heavy, loamy soil two weeks before sowing, remove weeds and enrich it with mature compost or sand.

Draw grooves in your bed at a distance of 30 cm (1-2 cm deep), which you then slightly moisten. Next, tear your seed paper into small pieces and place the scraps 2-5 cm apart. Cover with soil and water it.

You may be wondering why you should sow the carrots in rows in this sort of square-ish way: This will make it easier for you to distinguish the carrot seedlings from weeds later. Unfortunately, weeding is one of the most important tasks when direct-sowing carrots, since weeds that germinate quickly can otherwise overgrow the initially slow-growing carrots.

Karotten Jungpflanzen
Especially in organic gardens, carrots should be sown in rows. This makes removing weeds and raking much easier.

Sowing in a pot:

So you want to sow your seeds in a pot, but you’re too impatient to wait until spring? We get that.

For sowing in pots in February or March, you need a cool, bright room and a plant lamp. It is still best to wait until spring to sow when the sun has become a little stronger again, but you can accomplish this if you are careful to provide the proper conditions for your carrot-babies.

Here’s what you need:

  • A pot or window box with a drainage hole, depth approximately 30 cm

  • Vegetable soil

  • A fine watering can

Fill your pot with vegetable soil, then use your finger to poke holes at 1-2 cm deep, 2-5 cm apart. Tear up your paper into small pieces, each with a seed, and place them in the holes. Close everything and water the seed well.

Care after sowing:

The seeds must not be allowed to dry out during germination, so keep the soil moist throughout. Use a fine watering can to keep the soil from silting up, or the roots won't be able to grow deep properly.

Thinning

If the seeds grow too close together in your bed or pot, i.e. if the distance is less than 2 cm, you have to pluck out some of the plants. But fear not: these little carrots are not lost. If you wait a little longer and let them grow a bit, you can harvest and snack on them as mini carrots.

Geerntete Karotten mit Erde, Nahaufnahme Wurzelansatz mit Karottengrün
Carrots should not grow so close together that they touch. If this happens, you have to thin out the parts of your bed or garden that have grown too close together.

Thinning is best done in rainy weather, as rain minimises the chance of attracting carrot flies through the scent of the roots.

Location

Soil: loose and nutritious; Loosen up heavy soils with sand, improve nutrient-poor substrates with compost.

Choose a sunny but mild location. In extreme heat and drought, the green smoulders and the roots burst open.

Good and bad neighbours

Good: dill (increases the germination of carrots), endive, garlic, leeks, onion, peppermint, radish, radish, lettuce, tomato, peas (loosens the soil)

Bad: bean, beetroot, celery, fennel, parsley

Care for Your Carrots

Carrots need regular care in order to grow healthily and develop proper roots:

Water regularly in early growth phases, during root formation in summer only water when it is dry, otherwise the carrot will burst; Check the soil moisture with your finger.

Water the pot more often.

If necessary, feed with some organic vegetable fertiliser in summer.

Remove weeds by hand so as not to damage the roots and beets.

Hoe or rake regularly between rows.

Apply thin, air-permeable layers of mulch to keep the soil moist and loose.

Bund Karotten auf Tisch
For healthy carrots to grow, your plants need a lot of care. Regular raking between the rows is one of the most important parts of your carrot-parenthood (carr-enthood?).

Diseases and pests

The carrot's arch-nemesis is the carrot fly. About a week after the adult fly lays its eggs on the carrot, the larvae hatch and attack the unsuspecting beet. They eat their way from the fine lateral roots into the body of the carrot, which often causes death to the poor guy. This fly is most aggressively on the prowl from May to October and can only be combatted with the help of close-meshed crop protection nets and, if infested, by consistent rotational breaks in cultivation of 3 years. Onions as bed neighbours are said to confuse the fly with their smell and thus prevent egg laying.

Snails also like to seek out carrots to satisfy their hunger for juicy greens – the upper green part of your new carrot friend. Sometimes the carrots are eaten completely bare and cannot survive without their “headgear”, which they use for photosynthesis. A snail fence or a protective ring made of coffee grounds around the bed (this must be reset after each rain) can help here.

Harvest and Storage

You can harvest both baby carrots and large yellow carrots. If you want to wait until your carrots are fully-grown, you should not pull the root vegetables out of the ground too early. To be sure that the carrot is ready for harvest, check its size at the base of the root. Carefully loosen the soil with a digging fork. Then pierce the carrot at approximately 10 cm next to the beet and lift the soil. Just pull the turnip up by the green part.

For shrivelled carrots, cut off the ends and place in a glass of water for a few hours. They will then become nice and cronchy again.

Freezing for stews: Just wash and cut into pieces beforehand!

Take off the carrot greens after harvest to avoid water loss and process them into pesto (see recipe below). Alternatively, you can use them as a mulch protection for other plants.

Storage as a winter supply: In autumn, place in a tub filled with sand and store in a cold cellar. Remove the greens first so they don't dry out.

Enjoy

As a local vegetable, carrots are true all-purpose ingredients in any winter kitchen, right alongside potatoes. Storage varieties such as the "Jaune du doubs" are available almost all year round and can be made into delicious stews, succulent salads and even cakes. If you like, you can refer to this recipe for an autumnal pumpkin and carrot curry from last year.

Also: Carrot greens don't necessarily have to end up on the compost heap or in your rabbit's stomach either. If you really want to go all-in on your carrots, you can use this part of the plant to prepare a pesto:

Here’s what you need:

  • 100 g carrot greens

  • 50g Parmesan

  • 50 grams of pine nuts

  • 1 garlic clove, roughly chopped

  • 120 ml olive oil

  • 2 tsp salt

First, twist off the carrot greens and wash thoroughly. Then drain. Purée or blend together with the chopped parmesan, pine nuts, garlic, olive oil and salt. If necessary, add seasoning. Bottled in jars that have been rinsed with hot water, the pesto can keep in the fridge for several months and can be used as a pasta sauce when you need something quick.