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Crooked dealings

Crooked dealingsONE 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?

 

THE 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.

Weekend 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.

Andrew Maloy Weekend Gardener


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Last updated: November 29, 2006