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Growing carrots?

IlikeplantsIlikeplants W Mids Posts: 769
I’ve never grown carrots before but I had some seeds so I sowed them maybe in April? What should I be expecting now? Lush top growth? Or in my case weedy looking growths that are browning and dying. No hope for these then is there? 


  • nick615nick615 SW IrelandPosts: 998
    Difficult to grow successfully.  Prone to disease and pests.  Maybe the quality isn't the same but they're so cheap in supermarkets, I concentrate on easier things.
  • barry islandbarry island Posts: 1,469
    I've never had any trouble with carrots I guess its the soil that they are grown in, the only problem that I have encountered is carrot root fly so they have to be covered more or less from start to finish.
  • IlikeplantsIlikeplants W Mids Posts: 769
    yes I wouldn’t normally grow them so I wasn’t sure if what I’ve got means they’ve failed and I should just pull them out now. They were the purple type of carrots. When I pulled out a couple they are as small as a finger nail in length and as thin as a twig.  Should I just weed them out now or leave them be?
  • IlikeplantsIlikeplants W Mids Posts: 769
    My soil is clay so definitely not ideal for them.
  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 11,336
    @Ilikeplants I have clay soil and have found a way to successfully grow them over the years.  I use a border spade to make a trench about 20cm deep and as wide as the spade then mix the removed soil well with roughly same amount of sharp sand (from wickes) mixed 50/50 with multi-purpose compost (used stuff from last year's pots fine as your clay soil has all the nutrients a carrot need.)  Re-fill the trench with the mixture (I use the left-overs for earthing-up spuds or general potting.)  Water the row, then sow the carrot (or parsnip) seeds and cover with about 1.5cm of the remaining soil/sand/MPC mixture.  Keep an eye on the row and don't let the ground dry hard.
    Having said that, my carrots are not doing as well as usual this year, but there have been long periods of drought and they were late to be sown due to the weather at the time.  Interestingly, I had much better germination of the parsnips and those seedlings are now larger than the carrots, despite germinating a couple of weeks later.
    If that doesn't work on your ground, then a 50/50 mix of sharp sand and MPC in 25cm or deeper pots or containers is fairly foolproof.
    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • barry islandbarry island Posts: 1,469
    My soil is predominately clay but it is dug over in the winter/spring and not compacted and carrots grow just fine, I'm not saying that they are all show bench standard but they are edible and that's all I care about.
  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 SomersetPosts: 9,271
    My carrots aren't doing very well either this year, so you re not alone @Ilikeplants.
    We have clay soil as well in raised beds which we've tried to improve with manure and lots of sand in the case of the carrots. That does seem to work but they do take an awful long time to mature if last year was anything to go by, at least another couple of months I reckon. Lots of watering helps.
  • tui34tui34 Béziers, Herault, FrancePosts: 1,986
    I always try and grow carrots.  Hot and dry down here but I water them regularly throughout the day.  Some grow -  Most don't as do the parsnips.  C'est la vie!!
    A good hoeing is worth two waterings.

  • bertrand-mabelbertrand-mabel Posts: 1,515
    Over the years we gave up sowing carrots in the garden as we had nil germiantion.
    Yes we are on clay soil.
    Then 3 years ago we decided to have a go at sowing in our polytunnel.
    BRILLIANT SUCCESS. We were able to sow at different times and were able to harvest for carrots for Christmas.
    This year?
    2 have germinated from 4 rows of seeds.
    Not sure why but going to have another go.
    When we do harvest there is such a fabulous carrot smell that cannot come from supermarket carrots.
    We wont give up.
  • IlikeplantsIlikeplants W Mids Posts: 769
    edited June 2021
    Good to hear all your experiences and that it might not just be me. I think my soil is definitely not great for it and the top growth looking so poor means that it’s not going to improve so I might as well get it out. 

    I do have some more seeds so I might sow those just to use them up when I have space in the garden.
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