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Paul McKay

Can anyone tell me what causes carrots to curl and deform...most of my crop has turned out this way althuogh the flavour and texture is ok..



Hi Paul, what type of soil do you have?  Carrots prefer a deeply cultivated sandy soil and carrots grown on hard stoney soils or clay soils can turn out like that.  I have clay soil but managed to find a way of successfully growing them by digging a trench 10 inches deep and mixing the extracted soil with sharp sand (50:50) then refillng the trench with the mixture.  They also don't like fresh manure, but that usually causes them to fork rather than come out stumpy like yours have.  In general they don't need any fertiliser at all.

I have a deep bed with very loose soil, no compost or muck before carrots and they still end up wierd shapes.

Taste over beauty is my approach so I don't worry about it.......


I also sow carrots in a 50/50 fine garden soil and sharp sand mix - all grow straight.....not, that it makes much difference, a carrot is a carrot regardless of shape.


Mixing your carrot seeds with some sand prior to sowing is also a good sowing method. Helps you distribute the seed more evenly, stops the miniscule seeds blowing away if there's any breeze, and you can see where you've sowed.

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