of your readers sent in a picture of cockeyed carrots (WG, Issue
194). In my first lot of carrots and parsnips this season I had
the same problem, but not quite as bad. I make a lot of compost
out of household scraps, camellia and rhododendron leaves mulched
up and added to bins, together with layers of horse manure. I spread
barrow loads of this on my garden then Roto-Hoe it in prior to sowing
seeds. Do you think this could cause the problem even though I do
get some conventional carrots and parsnips?
simple answer is yes. Root crops like carrots, parsnips, turnips
and beetroot frequently produce misshapen and forked roots if grown
in soil to which large amounts of relatively undecomposed organic
matter has been added. Stones or hard, lumpy clods of soil can also
cause similar problems. Fine, sandy soil or soil low in organic
matter produces the best-shaped carrots and parsnips.
After adding compost
to the vegetable garden, plant leafy vegetable crops like tomatoes,
broccoli, courgettes and beans. Wait until the compost has broken
down into fine particles before sowing root crops.
Gardener, Issue 197, 2006, Page 28
Reproduced with permission from the former Weekend Gardener magazine. The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the RNZIH.