Do you love carrots and want to grow some? Well, there are a few things you need to do before you start. One of them is how to avoid short and fat carrots.
Long, straight and thin carrots don’t only look great, but they taste wonderful too. But issues like misshapen carrots can happen even after you follow the best ideas and grew carrot seeds in your best garden.
The carrots you see in supermarkets are specifically chosen as they look ‘perfect’, but home growers know carrots will grow in all shapes and sizes.
Today, we will explain why these root vegetables may grow wrongly and how to avoid them.
Why Do Carrots Grow Short and Fat
There are several reasons for stubby carrots. Consider the following when growing carrots anywhere:
There are several carrot seed options on the market. Some homegrown carrots are long and orange, but others are short and fat. You can also specifically pick straight carrots.
Different carrot seedlings behave differently in various climate conditions. Generally, the best time to put down your baby carrots is during early spring. The temperature is cool, and the carrot plant’s taproot will have the strength to grow right from the seed.
Poor climatic conditions mean poor yield. For instance, hot temperatures will cause short carrots. Due to the exceptional lack of rainfall this year, even supermarkets are saying they will be selling wonky vegetables.
Pests and diseases
Root-knot nematodes are a disease that affects carrot plants, leading to malformed, stubby, and ugly hair roots. This can make your carrots short. Try to find the best way to keep your carrot seedlings from such problems once you put them in the ground.
You can still eat carrots with root-knot nematodes. But they may not look lovely.
Poor Soil and soil preparation
Carrot plant seeds perform better in certain soil conditions. If you used fresh manure to improve soil fertility, you might have caused this effect. Such manure makes the soil hard. Also, if you plant carrots in compacted soil and a wrong growing season, you can be sure to get such results.
You can avoid it by sowing radish seeds among the carrots to break the soil surface. Also, clay soil is preferred. However, such heavy soil requires time to prepare and plant carrots that will come out well. Sandy soil is lighter and allows the carrots to grow longer, but it is not effective in water retention.
How to Avoid Short and Fat Carrots Growth
Here are some tips that can help you grow carrots that are good enough:
- Choose the right soil. Carrot roots find it easier to penetrate through lighter soil, especially during the first few weeks, making them grow longer. If you must use heavy soil, improve it by digging through properly. Heavier soil makes breaking the ground difficult, especially when not tilted well.
- Choose the right season. Carrots grow short and fat when you plant them in the wrong season. Cooler months, like early spring, are considered the best for planting. Also, your carrots should perform well during the last significant frost at the end of winter.
- Check the soil moisture and pH Balance. Moist and well-drained soil offers the best carrot growth conditions. You will get longer carrots if the pH levels are correct. Consider keeping the pH 6 to 6.5. Do not use fresh manure for this task, as it will make the soil harder.
- Thinning. Give your carrots enough room to grow by thinning them. You do this by reducing the number of carrots in an area to allow rest more access to nutrients.
Fat carrots are edible but don’t look attractive or taste good. The ideas we have shared here should help you to avoid such a give you a good harvest.
Brian Sheridan has an allotment in Edgbaston and is a competitive grower. Brian is also a keen photographer and loves cooking. Brian and his wife Mary will also be running a stall at Edgebaston artisan market this year, selling products made from the allotment, including his award-winning relish!