This vegetable was once a completely different kind, unsightly, less tasty, and not everyone would have dared to eat it. Now the carrot is a beautiful and literally indispensable vegetable, which is used, from the nutrition of children, to the food for the elderly. And, it would seem, what is easier? Prepared a bed, sowed the seeds of carrots, even planted onions nearby, so that the onion fly was not a thing, but the harvest - well, just no. What is the reason and what to do? In this article we will consider 12 possible reasons for the poor growth of carrots and tell you what to do in this or that case.
1. Vagaries of weather
It is known that carrot seeds germinate well already at three degrees Celsius, and carrots grow perfectly well if the window is from +18 to +24 degrees above zero, but if it is hotter, its growth slows dramatically.
How to help? I would advise in the evening to cool the soil, watering it from a hose, but not by sprinkling, but by gravity, so that the soil cooled down at least a couple of centimeters, of course, it will lower the air temperature, it sometimes helps.
2. Dry, too wet or dense soil
The carrots will grow best in soils that are light and moderately moist. If it is dry, the root crop will not grow, on excessively damp soil also no chance, if the soil is dense, it may grow, but bizarre and crooked.
How to fix dense soil? By a bucket of river sand per square meter (that's kg 12 or 13), until the soil is loose and fluffy, that's when the carrots will just be very comfortable, and be surprised how perfect they will be.
Those who think that carrot seeds can be sown directly on the surface of the turf, are also greatly mistaken. Contrary to the opinion from somewhere that carrot is practically a weed, it needs prepared soil. So before sowing the seeds of carrots be sure to deeply dig the soil to the full bayonet of the shovel, loosen it, and then advise to go more and rake, that the bed for sowing carrots was softer than the featherbed at grandma.
3. Location of beds with carrots in the shade
Continuing the theme of soil, root crops will grow well only on soils fully open to the rays of the sun, even a brief shadow they can no longer tolerate and will slow their development.
Ideally, the grower should have beds with carrots so that each plant was illuminated by the sun and not shade each other. Of course, the location near large crops such as corn is not allowed or allowed only if these plants (tall) will be located on the north side of the carrots, that is, it will not create any shade.
4. Too acidic soil
Carrots - crop capricious, and if the soil of your plot is too acidic (pH 5.5 and below) then in the fall before the spring sowing of carrot seeds be sure to add a glass of dolomite flour to the soil per square meter.
Ideally, for carrots soil should have pH equal to 6-7. You can check the pH with a simple litmus paper, dissolve the soil in a glass of water, dip the paper into it and then compare the color of the paper with the scale on the package.
5. Loosening the soil
And, in general, how do you feel about soil? Do you know that the most responsible moment for carrots is the period when the seeds germinate, sprouts appear? So in this period it is extremely bad if there is soil crust on the soil surface.
Ideally, after every rain or watering it should be as carefully as possible, but destroy it. If you have carrots in the cottage, so that the soil crust does not inhibit its growth, it is necessary after each watering, before leaving, to cover it with a thin (a couple of millimeters) layer of wood ash (it is a good potassium fertilizer, and contains microelements too).
It is important! Always try to water the soil or wait for rain and then loosen the soil, not the other way around.
6. Wrong seeds
By the way, few people know that the length does matter. So, the shorter and shallower the carrot root, the faster it ripens and vice versa. So when choosing seeds, read what is written on the package, and do not chase gigantism, it is of little use.
Lirical digression for those who are not satisfied with the speed of growth of carrots: carefully read the package, early maturing varieties have a maturity of 55-65 days. You can not say that yesterday you sowed, and today already picked. And do not store such varieties at all - convinced of my own experience.
Please also read this.
7. Incorrect crop rotation
Predecessor? Have we forgotten? The first and, I think, the most basic requirement is that on the bed where there was a carrot, re-seed carrots, at least silly, wait two or three years, and you will see that the result will be completely different.
And the second rule is that carrots grow best only after tomatoes, cucumbers, potatoes, cabbage, onions, garlic, greens, but here after leaf lettuce and parsley better not to plant, here everything is simple - there may be common pests.
8. Thickened crops
Carrots have pulled through, at all? Did you know that the optimal width of row spacing when planting carrots should be 22-23 cm, and the width of the bed is not more than one and a half meters?
Dense crops, by the way, pulled in the phase of a couple of true leaves, and after some time (usually two or three weeks) one more time to between each carrot was 4-6 cm of free area. And before thinning, first water the bed, and then pull up the desired bush. If the bed is not watered, you can affect the neighboring plants, and this is just what will affect their poor growth in the future.
9. Incorrect planting depth
That's what beginners do, for some reason they try to put in deeper, but why? The optimal depth of carrot seeds in dense clay soil can be only a centimeter, but if the soil is loose and sandy, you can push deeper - up to four or even five centimeters. Of course, it depends on the moisture content of soil, or it may be planted deep, but then watered so shallowly that the moisture will not reach the seeds.
And a personal secret, if you see that the spring is dry, if the rains are minimal and the water dries up, getting right to the surface, and besides the soil looks like a desert, it is possible to sow the seeds to a depth of five centimeters, but if the soil and rains are frequent, then make the seeds almost not at the surface.
10. Mowing carrots
Didn't you forget about mowing? It seems to be a simple operation, but for some reason few people do it. The reason is that during the growth period the small, but nevertheless part of the carrot root, located on top, is sort of sticking out of the soil, it becomes bare and does not have the usual carrot color, but less pleasant - green, and amply begins to accumulate albeit not very dangerous, but still the poison that is called solanine. At the same time the growth of carrots stops, stops.
It is therefore necessary to monitor the plantation and in time to perch it, which is especially effective after irrigation, rain or on cloudy days when the carrot fly is minimal or not at all.
11. Well, and about watering
If the carrot is a complicated thing, then many are just beginning to panic, asking questions about why the root crops do not grow. In fact, carrots like the golden mean: plenty, but not too much moisture.
The carrot also has its biological subtleties, which the real gardener should know, for example, root crop growth actively begins after the growth of the leaf mass, and there is no need to pluck the tops from the soil and shout "where is the root crop?".
Usually, the growth of the root crop comes in the last quarter of growth of the above ground leaf mass. So you should as much moisture as possible during the active growth of carrots and if you moisten the soil when the roots are finishing growing you can hamper their development or make them crack.
Of course, you must not forget the norms of watering carrots, so that the root crop does not stop its development. For example, in hot weather, when the evaporation of moisture, you can water the carrots three times a week in the evening, using for the young plants only four liters of water per square meter. But already in the middle of the vegetation of carrots, you can water once a week, pouring out a bucket of water per square meter, and reduce again near the end of the growing season, as we mentioned earlier.
12. Correct Feeding
Carrots can also fail to grow for the simple reason that you are feeding them incorrectly. Fertilizers do not need to do a lot, otherwise angry reviews about the amount of nitrates and that in the air, too, a lot of useful things. On my plot, I conducted only three feedings and it was enough.
First feeding and I, and many gardeners did after the appearance of sprouts - three weeks later. For this purpose we used liquid fertilizer - usually a tablespoon of nitrofoska per bucket of water. The second time we fed carrots after 15-18 days, already used two, but teaspoonfuls per bucket of water, also in the dissolved form.
The carrot responds very well to the introduction of potassium sulfate solution (literally 6-7 g per bucket of water at the rate of consumption per square meter). It turns out - this is the third fertilizer, it has a positive effect on the growth of carrots, and on their taste (will be sweeter).
Decided to fertilize the soil with manure? Good, then apply it in the spring of 5-6 kg per square meter of soil. During the season before planting carrots let the manure decompose, dissolve, go into a plant-accessible form, then in the fall bring in 500 g of wood ash per square meter and you can safely plant carrots. The result will be wonderful.
Well, we have tried to answer all questions about why the carrots do not grow, and what to do about it. If you have questions then ask them in the comments. If you have your own secrets for getting a good carrot crop, we would also be happy to hear about them.