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Carrot Plants

Q.2nd Opinion On Growing Carrots

Zone MA, zone-6b | jeffd added on July 4, 2021 | Answered

Hi there, I’d like to try to get some clarity on information about growing carrots in my area, MA zone-6b. Basically, I’m wondering if I should be feeding my carrots a general fert in general. I seem to be coming across conflicting info about not giving carrots any Nitrogen for some reason. I started my 3 diff varieties this year on April 11 and the weather was quite adequate for them. I am experiencing, what seems like stunted growth, but not sure what to really think. Their germination time seemed to be ok, but after that all three varieties seemed to grow to about 3″ tall and have stayed there ever since. Watering is regular when they are showing sings of drying and I have only give a general fert (Miracle Grow for veges, water soluble) once as a test to see if it helped. No noticeable effect. We are now coming up on near the 60day mark for them, after germ, and they are definitely not ready for harvesting. Last season we waited long past the Scarlet harvest time before they actually started to grow considerably. Last years tops got to be at least 8-10″ tall when I harvested them. This season I chose 3 diff varieties of carrots to grow to see how they do. 1) Scarlet (Nantes type), maturity 60 days (last season I grew just this type and am experiencing the same results this year with all three varieties) 2) YaYa (Hybrid), maturity 60 days 3) TenderSweet, maturity 75 days I put them all in their own large containers (17W X 24L x 12D) Drilled holes in bottom for good drainage. Soil is a mix of peat moss and sifted bag compost, to keep the soil loose. Did not amend with any fert Am only watering when finger test reflects dry 2″ down, and give enough to soak down about 4-5″ Am not covering with any cloth. This year our weather has been on/off heat spells in June so far. But I don’t think that should be stopping them from growing? I originally was noticing some mild rust streaking on some of the leaves, but was just figuring that it is probably from the heat possibly. And streaking does not appear to be spreading. Since the temps have been in the high 90’s for a week, every other week. Thanks in advance,

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Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on July 6, 2021

Feeding carrots improperly will cause the root to form, improperly. feeding them should be done with a 12-20-10 feed, as this will have the phosphorus necessary to produce the root, while having, only, half of the nitrogen. Too much nitrogen will not allow for root growth.

Your other issue will be heat. In your area, you will need to grow them over the winter, or at the very least, during the spring and autumn. They will not do well in temperatures that go above 80 for extended periods, but they don't mind the cold at all. In fact, it is one of the few things that are still green in my garden through the winter! (You will find garlic to have the same preferences for cold temperatures.) There is a preference for carrots, though. They like very mild temperatures to perform their best.

This article will help you to grow carrots:


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