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Best soil for carrots

Discussion in 'Edible Gardening' started by Notty1975, Oct 10, 2017.

  1. Notty1975

    Notty1975 Apprentice Gardener

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    Hi all made a few raised beds 12" high mainly for carrots and root veg for m going to fill them with soil from another part of the land that's been sifted to 1" is this ok or should it be finer I'm also planning on mixing in well aged manure will this be ok
    Many thanks
     
  2. Verdun

    Verdun Passionate gardener

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    Hello Notty
    Carrots? I live on them from April to October. Love 'em and grow them well :)
    Soil is fine..... 1" ? Does it feel or look stoney still? No harm in sifting further.
    Manure? No. Carrots will "fork".
    You can manure the year before and grow something else there before then growing carrots.
    You can add some fertiliser but again best not to do that either.
    12" should be fine too
    Remember raised beds dry out quickly so try to keep a reasonably constant moisture content throughout. Fatal to allow to dry out, rewet, dry out, etc. Carrots will split.
    Be aware of carrot fly.....the main pest of carrots. Sow carrots then cover with fleece. When you thin them cover with fleece asap.
    Enjoy your carrots notty:)
     
  3. redstar

    redstar Total Gardener

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    I believe that soil leaning toward Alkaline rather than Acid also would be better, to produce a sweeter carrot.
     
  4. Verdun

    Verdun Passionate gardener

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    My own soil is neutral....absolutely fine. Could not be sweeter tasting carrots.
    if soil is too acidic carrots may not grow well. Notty , have you done a ph test or do you know what soil type you have? Or do you grow ericaceous plants there, a good indicator of Ph level.
    Carrots prefer a soil slightly on the acid side if anything I think :)
     
  5. BeeHappy

    BeeHappy Total Gardener

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    :sign0016: to GC @Notty1975
    as @redstar mentioned acid soil is not desirable ....hope the link below helps ...
    happy gardening :carrot:

    How to Fix Your Soil Check the pH of your soil to build a good carrot soil profile. Carrots don’t produce well when soil is acidic. If you need to sweeten the soil, do so the fall prior to planting. Garden lime is the usual method of changing the pH to a more alkaline level. Follow the usage amounts on the bag carefully. Use a tiller or garden fork and loosen soil to a depth of at least 8 inches. Remove any debris, rocks and break up clods so the soil is uniform and soft. Rake out the bed smoothly after all the larger chunks have been removed. While you are working the soil, incorporate 2 to 4 inches of leaf litter or compost to help loosen the soil and add nutrients. Add 2 to 4 cups of all-purpose fertilizer per 100 feet and work that down into the bottom of the bed. Growing Healthy Carrots Once the seedbed has been improved, it is time to plant. Space seeds 2 to 4 inches apart and plant under ¼ to ½ inch of soil. Carrot seeds are tiny, so spacing can be achieved with a seed injector or just thin them after the seeds have germinated. Keep the surface of the soil lightly moist so it does not crust. Carrot seedlings have difficulty emerging if the soil is crusty. Side dress the rows with ammonium nitrate at the rate of 1 pound per 100 feet of row once the plants are 4 inches tall. Your nice, loose soil for carrots is also favorable for many weeds. Pull as many as you can and avoid deep cultivation near your plants, as the roots may become damaged.
    Read more at Gardening Know How: Carrot Soil Profile: How To Fix Your Soil To Grow Healthier Carrots Growing Healthy Carrots – Best Soil For Carrots In The Garden
     
  6. NigelJ

    NigelJ Total Gardener

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    I grow very tasty carrots; given the liking of carrot fly for them. I do find that slugs and pigeons are a problem when the carrots are just germinating, have had whole rows disappear in a couple of days.
    Carrot fly find carrots by scent and also fly relatively close to the ground.
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
    • Verdun

      Verdun Passionate gardener

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      It must be difficult for Notty to decide now what to do. :dunno:
      Completely opposite advice to my own :noidea:(bee happy)
      No matter, we clearly both grow carrots well, don't we? which shows how adaptable carrots are :)

      Try whichever method appeals Notty and let us know how you get on. Feedback on advice is always welcome, encouraging and informative:) Without feedback the forum will never know how suitable or effective any advice is :noidea:

      (To clarify my position on acidity, a ph test is always a sensible thing but dont get bogged down on the technicalities of this too much; a soil reading of 6 to 7.5 which is quite wide, slightly acid to slightly alkaline is fine)

      My soil for carrots is high in organic matter but nothing added to it prior to sowing carrots. Organic matter well broken down in previous year. Basically a sandy loam, free draining, stone free and deep......a soil I suggest is aimed for when growing carrots. BUT, for other crops compost etc. is added but I do this in the autumn prior to the spring sowing. Notty suggests more than one raised bed so a good rotation plan to grow a wide range of crops could be established.:)

      Here kids love carrots; better than sweets, healthier than sweets and sweeter than, er, sweets, especially when picked young and fairly small. :rasp: I sow 3 batches for summer use a couple of weeks between each batch to ensure this

      Finally, although more expensive try F1 hybrids like Mokum or Sugarsnax. On a smallish raised bed the extra cost would be minimal. I grow Early Nantes, Amsterdam Forcing and other well established favourites too but for sheer taste these newer hybrids are excellent.:yes:
       
      Last edited: Oct 11, 2017
    • silu

      silu gardening easy...hmmm

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      My soil is pretty acidic being able to grow the likes of Rhododendron. Meconopsis etc but have never bothered to Lime the soil for Carrots (do Lime for Cauliflowers and Broccolli tho). I have always been pretty successful growing Carrots altho they wouldn't win prizes in a beauty contest as they always fork despite not getting the manure treatment prior to sowing. However, the beds will have had manure on them in the preceding season so perhaps that's the cause. It really doesn't bother me as it's the taste and crunchy texture, far superior to shop bought which is why I grow them.
       
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      • Steve R

        Steve R Soil Furtler

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        A lot (or too much) has been written or passed on over the years about carrots, manure and forking.

        As a test a few years back I grew a good bakers dozen of carrots in well roted manure in a new filled bed, one forked only because it wrapped itself around a lump of sh...

        This does not mean though that carrots will NOT fork in manure, it just means it did not for me.

        But, how old was the manure? It was well rotted so ready to use, let it stand a bit longer and is it then ok? Where is this magical cut off point?

        Verdun suggests (not picking on you Verdun, using your text as example) Manuring the year before and growing something else there instead for a year, but what do you grow, somthing heavy feeding that might deplete it or something less so? Or is the idea to further age the manure or allow rain to wash nutrients from it through the soil and away.

        Growing carrots in compost, surely this is a good feed and would make carrots fork too, yet exhibition growers grow in compost and then add feed to that too.

        My own personal thought is that carrots fork when the tap root gets redirected, and possibly when feed content in the soil is far too high, so overly rich, although I have no proof of the latter.

        I grow carrots every year in tubes 4ft high to avoid carrot fly, I fill with sand or soil and hollow out a core with a pipe, then fill up with fresh sieved compost with small ammount of BF&B. Last forked carrot I had was 2 years ago, and before that 3 years.

        The best advice I think that could be given, is to try it for yourself, from a blank canvas and learn as you go along, but sieved growing medium, whatever you grow carrots in is the way to go as a start point.

        Steve...:)
         
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        • Verdun

          Verdun Passionate gardener

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          Good points Steve :)
          I learned an awful lot by talking to old guys on their allotments initially......stuff not available in books yet priceless.
          Despite my "knowledge" , pruning skills and modern day techniques I can never grow the gooseberry crops my old mum did. She simply grew them, hacked back any branches in her way and gave buckets of gooseberries away.
          We all have our unique ways of growing......mine is outlined above :rasp:
           

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