Growing carrots in a winter garden

I have been having a lot of trouble with my carrots this season, with the last ones I have been pulling from the ground being stunted and mis-shapen.  They still taste great, very juicy and carroty.   Yet they had plenty of time to grow over autumn so they should be at least a bit bigger than they are now.

I am not 100% sure what has happened here.  I am not an expert at gardening and mostly fumble my way through… relying on information from books and advice from more experienced people.  Still… I know that carrots my shouldn’t look like that.

I have checked my information and apparently carrots are pretty easy to grow within certain parameters.  As long as they get enough light, water and warmth they should be OK.  I have learned that carrots are mostly at risk from disease and pests.  I don’t think that is my problem.  They also need low acidic soil… which I am sure isn’t the issue.  What I think it is the soil was too compacted.  When I planted the carrots I did loosen the soil, yet I think I only loosened the top few inches.  This lead to the carrots having trouble penetrating into the earth.  According to Steve Soloman’s Growing vegetables South of Australia, the roots from a carrot are extremely fine and have great trouble at gowing through crusty soil.

I think that is the problem.  When I plant my next batch of carrots I will have to really get into the ground with a garden fork and break up the chunks… I need to get down to at least a foot to ensure proper growth.  I think that this will assist in making for more enticing looking carrots.


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