Carrots and chillies.

Around a month ago  a big Air-Pot container of carrots sown in January was opened up; the perfect roots weighed in at 3kg. Sowing in a container is a good way to produce a clean crop of early carrots as  carrot root flies skim the soil surface and do not find carrots raised up in a big pot. The same pot was immediately sown with another crop of carrots and should yield a late crop. At both ends of the year it is easy to tie a clear polythene cover over the pot creating a mini-greenhouse and extending the active growing season. The 25cm depth of soil in the Extra Large Air-Pot give plenty of space for developing roots.

Chillies are beginning to ripen and I made a batch of Thai style sweet dipping sauce; mainly using the Jamaican Red Hot chillies which have produced lots of their distinctive mushroom shaped pods, even in a tiny 1 litre Air-Pot ‘prop’ pot. I also included some very early ripening Yellow Piripiri. The dipping sauce used 800g windfall apples (cores and pips included) boiled for an hour in 1 litre of water and strained through a jelly bag overnight to yield 500ml liquor. This high pectin liquid will thicken up 1 kg sugar to a good dipping sauce consistency, when heated to jam setting temperature. Before heating with the sugar I added about 200g chillies to the apple liquid in a pan together with a couple of tablespoons each of soy sauce, fish sauce, vinegar, lemon juice plus a few shallots, garlic and ginger.

2 thoughts on “Carrots and chillies.

  1. I’m imprest with the carrots,I’m going to sow some tomorrow in one of my large air pots to see what I can achieve, can I try beets as well?Nina,


  2. Hi Nina
    Carrots are one of the most successful Air-Pot crops, beetroot are also very worthwhile. I try to firm & tamp down the compost well then carefully space the seed over the flattened surface, cover gently by sifting a thin layer of compost over the seeded surface using a coarse soil sieve. Lightly water very gently with a fine rose so the seed is not disturbed, some people do the watering before sowing the seed. If lots of seedlings emerge it is best to pull out some where they look overcrowded, as the plants develop you can thin again & may get some useful early baby carrots & beetroot, this will leave remaining plants space to really bulk up. Depending on the season & your location you may run into colder conditions before really big roots can develop but should get a useful crop soon. Beware of critters! Squirrels & other unwelcome wildlife sometimes dig around in newly sown pots, I try to lay a bit of wire mesh or some twigs on the freshly filled pots to deter digging creatures. Good luck.


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