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9 messages
10/08/2012 at 07:37

I have a raised bed comprising a mix of sieved soil and spent compost. I have grown various things in it this year: lettuce, brassicas (to plant out elsewhere) and carrots. The carrots were ok, but not great (one crop failed, others have produced just short carrots). Any ideas what I can do either now or later to improve the bed for a better carrot crop next year?

Thank you

10/08/2012 at 08:15

All you can do is make sure the soil is extremely friable down to about 12" (depending on the variety you're growing) with no lumps or other impediments for the carrots to run into. Fresh manure or fertiliser is a no-no, too, though it doesn't sound like that's your problem. Plenty of sun and warmth helps too.

What variety are you growing? I very highly recommend Amsterdam Forcing. They're early, very reliable, beautifully sweet, and harvested at roughly 4-6 inches, so you can get away with a shallower bed.

10/08/2012 at 11:01

This year is a write off for many vegetables and not something you did.
Carrots like a nice loose sandy soil with no lumps or stones. Dig the bed over let winter work its magic then when sowing you carrot seed make sure the bed is soft  down to a decent level, no need for added feed.

Frank.

10/08/2012 at 13:06

I have never had success with carrots in beds and now grow them in tubs where  I get good results. They are easy to protect from carrot fly as well. This year I had excellent results leaving a tub in the greenhouse where they were started earlier that would have been possible sowing out side.

10/08/2012 at 13:20
Nick, did you add any feed? The sieved soil and spent compost sound a bit short on nutrients. Did you dig deep, as palaisglide says, and of just your moisture to the top? Even in my good sandy loam I add fish blood and bone. Can't let your raised bed dry out though
10/08/2012 at 13:22
Sorry nick, I meant to say did you dig deep or just add your mixture on top of the soil?
10/08/2012 at 20:37

We created a purpose built raised wooden bed with around 18-24 inches of mixed sieved soil and spent compost, so no lumps or stones. The first sowing failed completely. I subsequently sowed early nantes and red samurai, sowing at intervals. The latest crops seem to be about the best so far. I just want to give the bed the best prep ready for next year.

10/08/2012 at 23:53
Hiya nick, well I would add organic fertiliser two weeks before sowing, lay some multi purpose compost on top and scratch this in the top couple of inches at sowing time. I sow early, cover with fleece and keep moist until germination and growing well. Here in Cornwall I sow in early march. I have a feeling your bed may dry out a bit too much
11/08/2012 at 07:33

Thanks Christopher and to everyone else who has posted. I shall follow your advice next season

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