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Lucky Carrots

Scarlett Nantes Carrots
Need a lucky start to your garden? Certain foods symbolize luck and prosperity. Carrots, said to resemble lucky pennies when sliced, are on the list and a Bay Area garden favorite.

Sweet, fine-grained ‘Scarlett Nantes’ heirloom carrots are small to medium-sized and cylindrical in shape - so they’ll do well in containers and in less-than-perfect soil. They originally hail from Nantes France, a coastal city with a mild Mediterranean climate similar to our own. And ‘Nantes’ are not usually grown commercially, so they’re a good choice for the home garden.

February is a great time to begin planting carrots in Alameda County gardens. Because seeds can be direct sown from February through August, succession planting for summer and winter harvests is easy. This particular Berkeley bunch was direct sown in loose, well-drained soil in early August and harvested on December 1. A floating row cover, removed 6 weeks after planting, helped to ward off hungry birds and carrot rot rust fly.