Carrots & turnips left in frozen ground - ruined?

aubadeJanuary 10, 2010

Sorry if this question has been answered before - I couldn't find anything.

I put rowcovers over my fall planted raised bed of carrots (napoli hybrid) for the 1st time this year. I last picked them on thanksgiving. They were still pretty small (see blog post for pics) so I left most of them in.

However as soon as it got into the lower 20's at night, everything under the agribon died.

Now of course the ground is frozen hard since we've been having such cold weather, so I'm wondering - are my carrots total goners?

Or as soon as it warms up, can I dig them up and still eat them?

I have the same problem with turnips too.

Here is a link that might be useful: carrot blog post

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justaguy2(5)

Nut sure about turnips as I haven't grown them, but yes, the carrots are mush, or will be when the ground thaws. They don't tolerate freezing soil in my experience.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2010 at 3:29PM
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glib(5.5)

The parsnips get better after the soil thaws (here, the soil is frozen from Dec. 15 to Feb. 15). I only have experience with carrots under hoophouses, where the soil never freezes for long (one sunny day and it unfreezes). In that case, my carrots have survived several freezes while keeping good quality. No experience with turnips, but maybe they are more parsnip-like.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2010 at 5:54PM
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barbe_wa

I thought my carrots would be compost after we had a rather (for us) prolonged deep freeze. The ground in the yard was frozen solid, but I had about a foot of straw on the carrots and they came through just fine. We pulled about 6 today and they look and taste great.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2010 at 8:48PM
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farmerdilla

Turnips are much more susceptible to freezing than carrots. In the final analysis tho, you will not know until you try.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2010 at 10:06AM
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aubade

OK well I guess I'll just have to bundle up and get out there to dig them up. I think we're supposed to have a couple days in the 40's towards the end of this week so I'll try then. Here's hoping!

    Bookmark   January 11, 2010 at 3:49PM
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cyrus_gardner(8)

I know the answer to radishes/ turnips first hand; They may survive dwn to 20sF or so but will be perishe beyond that(in teens). I have some that are frozen right now. We had freez down to 15F for several nighs in the past week.
Carrost will become soft and mushi, like potatoes, I think.
My radishe lasted all winter last year but not this year.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2010 at 8:34PM
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aubade

Great news - my carrots are fine! I pulled them all up today (in only a sweatshirt, no less - it really got warm outside!) They taste just as good as they did in the summer.

I think the plants were actually still alive - although the green tops were damaged, today they definitely perked up and parts were bushy and green.

The turnips I'm still not so sure about - they seem just a tiny bit softer than usual. I'm still going to try cooking them and see how they taste.

Next year I'm going to add another layer of poly on top of the agribon and I think I'll be good to go.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2010 at 5:02PM
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vgkg(Z-7)

Carrots are great here in Z-7 winters and I'll just toss an old blanket over them when temps hit the lower 20s or lower and uncover during the warmth of the sunny days. Turnips are best picked beforehand and stored in the fridge. They will get frozen since they tend to sit on top of the soil, not good. Carrots will be picked as needed until mid-Feb, leave a few carrots to bloom next spring as they will attract beneficial insects. Turnips will do the same if they survive the cold.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2010 at 10:10PM
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laceyvail(6A, WV)

I pile hay on the turnips and carrots and after temps below 5 degrees they're just fine. But radishes have way too much water in them. I pull the big Asian radishes in the fall.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2010 at 6:26AM
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cmpman1974(Zone 6 MI)

Carrots are done here in MI after freezes.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2010 at 10:58AM
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luke_oh(zone 5 NE Ohio)

Well, I just checked my carrots that were in frozen ground for about 3 weeks and they are fine. Very surprising.

Luke

    Bookmark   January 24, 2010 at 11:03AM
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erlyberd(Z5 CT)

Once the ground freezes around here your done. Only mush left in the spring. Only made that mistake twice. This year(lazy) once many years ago.

Normally i just cover with 12" leaves and I'm good to go. One year in January it was zero degrees out with a foot of snow. Carrots were fine, in fact there was some type of grubs still alive.

Today, took some soil out of my coldframe to start some spinach and low a behold a slug hitched a ride! Can't believe it.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2010 at 12:07AM
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