Why does carrot grow poorly?
This vegetable was once a completely different kind, unsightly, less tasty, and not everyone would dare to eat it. Now carrots are a wonderful and literally irreplaceable vegetable that is used, starting with the nutrition of children, and ending with food for the elderly. And, it would seem, what is easier? He prepared a garden, sowed the seeds of carrots, even planted onions nearby, so that there was no trace of an onion fly, and the harvest was simply no. What is the reason and what to do? In this article, we will consider 12 possible causes of poor growth of carrots and tell you what to do in this or that case.
1. The vagaries of the weather
As you know, carrot seeds germinate well already at three degrees Celsius, and carrots grow well, if the window is from +18 to +24 degrees above zero, but if it's hotter, then its growth slows down sharply.
How to help? I would advise in the evening to cool the soil by watering it from a hose, but not by sprinkling, but by gravity, so that the soil cools down at least a couple of centimeters, of course, it lowers the air temperature, this sometimes helps.
2. Dry, too damp, or dense soil
Carrots will grow best on soils that are light and moderately moist. If it is dry, the root crop will not grow, on excessively moist soil there is also no chance, if the soil is dense, it can grow, but it’s bizarre and clumsy.
How to fix dense soil? A bucket of river sand per square meter (this is 12 or 13 kg) until the soil becomes loose and fluffy, then the carrots will be just very comfortable, and be surprised how perfect it will be.
Those who think that carrot seeds can be sown directly on the surface of the turf are also very mistaken. Contrary to a popular belief that carrots are almost a weed, they need prepared soil. Therefore, before sowing carrot seeds, be sure to dig the soil deep into a full bayonet of a shovel, loosen it, and then I advise you to go with a rake too, so that the bed for sowing carrots is softer than the featherbill of my grandmother.
3. Arrangement of beds with carrots in the shade
In continuation of the topic of soil, root crops will grow well only on soils completely exposed to the rays of the sun, even for a short time they can no longer tolerate and slow down their development.
Ideally, the grower should arrange beds with carrots so that each plant is lit by the sun and does not obscure each other. Naturally, the location near large crops, such as corn, is unacceptable or permissible only if these plants (tall) are located on the north side of the carrots, that is, they will not create any shade.
4. Too acidic soil
Carrots are a capricious culture, and if the soils of your site are too acidic (pH 5.5 or lower), then in the fall, before spring sowing of carrot seeds, be sure to add a glass of dolomite flour per square meter into the soil.
Ideally, for carrots, the soil should have a pH of 6-7. You can check the pH with a simple litmus test, dissolving the soil in a glass of water, and dipping a piece of paper there, and then comparing the color of the piece of paper with the scale on the package.
5. Loosening the soil
And, in general, how do you feel about the soil? Do you know that the most crucial moment for carrots is the period when seeds germinate, shoots appear? So, during this period it is extremely bad if there is soil crust on the surface of the soil.
Ideally, after every rain or watering, you need to be as careful as possible, but destroy it. If you have carrots in your country house, then so that the soil crust does not inhibit its growth, it is necessary after each watering, before leaving, cover it with a thin (a couple of millimeters) layer of wood ash (this is a good potash fertilizer, and it also contains trace elements).
Important! Always try to water the soil or wait for rain, and then loosen the soil, and not vice versa.
6. Incorrectly selected seeds
By the way, few people know that length does matter. So, the carrot root is shorter and smaller, the faster it ripens and vice versa. Therefore, when choosing seeds, read on the bag what is written, and do not chase gigantism, it is of little use.
Lyrical digression for those who are not satisfied with the growth rate of carrots - we carefully read the packaging, early ripening varieties have a ripening period of 55-65 days. It cannot be said that he sowed yesterday, but today he has already gathered. Yes, and such varieties are not stored at all - I was convinced from my own experience.
7. Wrong crop rotation
Predecessor? Really forgot? But, fortunately, carrots are not so complicated and, choosing a previous culture, you can focus only on a couple of main requirements.
The first, and, I think, this is the most basic requirement, is that at the bed where the carrots were, re-sowing carrots is at least silly, wait a year or two, and preferably three, and you will see that the result will be completely different.
Well, the second rule is that carrots grow best only after tomatoes, cucumbers, potatoes, cabbage, onions, garlic, greens, but after leaf lettuce and parsley it is better not to plant, everything is simple - there may be common pests.
8. Thickened crops
Was carrots pulled, in general? You know that the optimal row spacing when planting carrots should be 22-23 cm, and the width of the beds is not more than one and a half meters? On such a - just a row of four carrots breaks, but no longer needed.
Thickened crops, by the way, are pulled in the phase of a pair of real leaves, and after a while (usually two or three weeks) one more time so that between each carrot there is 4-6 cm of free area. And before thinning, first water the garden, and then pull up the desired bush. If you do not water the garden, then you can affect neighboring plants, and this will just affect their poor growth in the future.
9. Incorrect landing depth
So beginners do it, for some reason they try to shove it deeper, but why? The optimum depth of carrot seeds on dense clay soil can be only a centimeter, but if the soil is loose and sandy, you can push it deeper - up to four or even five centimeters. Here, of course, it also depends on the moisture supply of the soil, otherwise it can be planted deeply and then watered so superficially that moisture will not reach the seeds.
And the secret is personal, if you see that the spring is dry, if the rains are at least and the water dries, falling immediately to the surface of the soil, and the soil, on top of everything, looks like a desert, then it is quite possible to sow seeds to a depth of five centimeters, and if the soil dense and often rains, then close up the seeds almost at the very surface.
10. Hilling carrots
Do not forget about the hilling? It seems to be a simple operation, but for some reason few people do it. The thing is that during the growth period, a small, but still part of the root of the carrot, located on top, as if bulging from the soil, it is exposed, it becomes not the usual carrot color, but less pleasant - green, and begins to accumulate with might and main a very dangerous, but still poison, called solanine. At the same time, the growth of carrots stops, freezes.
Therefore, it is necessary to monitor the plantation and to cultivate it in time, which is especially effective after watering, rain, or on cloudy days, when the age of the carrot fly is minimal or not at all.
11. Well, and about watering
Watering carrots is a complicated thing, and here many people start to panic, asking questions why root crops do not grow. In fact, carrots love a middle ground: wealth, but not excess moisture.
It has carrots and its biological subtleties, which a real gardener should know about, for example, the growth of root crops begins actively after the growth of leaf mass has ended, and you do not need to remove the tops from the soil and shout “where is the root crop ?!”.
Usually, the growth of the root crop occurs in the last quarter of the growth of the aerial leaf mass. It follows that during the period of active growth of moisture of carrots, a maximum is needed, but if you moisten the soil when the root crops finish growing, then you can slow down their development or lead to cracking.
Of course, we must not forget about the norms of watering carrots so that the root crop does not stop its development. For example, in hot weather, when moisture evaporates, you can water the carrots three times a week in the evening, spending on young plants only four liters of water per square meter. But already in the middle of the vegetation of carrots, you can irrigate once a week, pouring a bucket of water per square meter, and again reduce closer to the end of the growing season, as we mentioned earlier.
12. Proper feeding
A carrot may not grow for the simple reason that you are feeding it incorrectly. You do not need to do a lot of dressings, otherwise angry reviews about the amount of nitrates and that there are a lot of useful things in the air will also pour. At my site I spent only three top dressings and that was enough.
The first top dressing, and I, and many gardeners did after emergence - about three weeks later. For this, top dressing was used in liquid form - usually, a tablespoon of nitrophosphate in a bucket of water. Re-fed the carrots after 15-18 days, have already used two, but teaspoons in a bucket of water, also in dissolved form.
Very well, carrots respond to the application of a solution of potassium sulfate (literally 6-7 g per bucket of water at a rate of consumption per square meter). It turns out - this is the third top dressing, it has a positive effect on the growth of root crops and on their taste (they will be sweeter).
Decided to fertilize the soil with manure? Well, 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 form accessible to plants, then in the fall, add 500 g of wood ash per square meter and you can safely plant the carrots. The result will be wonderful.
Well, we tried to answer all the questions about why 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 of getting a good harvest of carrots, we will also be happy to learn about them.