Deformed Carrots

bobyfcmt added on September 26, 2016 | Answered

Almost all of my carrots are deformed this year. I can't find pictures like them anywhere online, and no site addresses the problem. Can you provide any insight? Thanks for your time. Bob Grace

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Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on September 27, 2016

The most common reason for carrot deformities is hard, dry, or rocky soils that carrots have trouble pushing through. These problems can be worse during drought conditions, and can be improved by digging up the soil and adding more compost or other sources of organic matter.

For your carrots, I would suspect insect, disease or nematode damage, potentially combined with hard or rocky soils. It is possible that your carrots continued growing and partially healed after the damage was done, which is why yours don't look exactly like the photos.

Root knot nematode or cavity spot are some possibilities. See these articles for more information:

Bacterial soft rot that partially healed may be a possibility:

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Answered on September 27, 2016

The Soil in which these carrots are planted has been sifted and has literally no rocks in it. My garden is on a sprinkler system that has a timer, so it gets watered regularly (possibly too much). I'm wondering if they split when they were young, and then grew more/around the split area. I also mulch quite a bit, and over the winter I leave grass or leaves on the soil so there can be worm activity. I try to get all the non-decomposed organic material off the top before I till the soil for planting. I'm wondering if maybe this deformity is caused by tilling in un-decomposed organic matter that the roots grew next to?? It seems too prevalent for this to be the case.

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