[Market-farming] Thoughts on carrots

Firefly Mountain Produce FireflyMtn at msn.com
Sat Oct 24 14:11:07 EDT 2009

Hi Everyone,
Thanks for all the good information on this list--I learn something new every day!

I have a question about carrots. I planted three separate beds of 2 varieties this year (Parisienne, Little Finger) and, although they all germinated in about 4-5 days, the carrots never got more than one or two tiny frilly leaves and the roots were no thicker than a string and barely orange. It's like they sprouted, but then just stood still for the rest of the season. The Parisiennes, which are a small round type, weren't even balling up. I am wondering what was missing, what they needed that they weren't getting and what I can do differently next year to get carrots to grow. Any thoughts?

Here's a little background. Everything else in the garden--numerous types of greens, beets, Asian greens, spring turnips, flowers, herbs--all grew really well. We have sandy loam soil. I just recently got soil test results back that I took at the end of the season: the organic matter is high, all major nutrients are adequate except potassium and magnesium are a little high. 

Although we have a pretty short growing season (last spring frost on June 15, first frost on September 7), I planted the first batch of carrots on June 12, as I mentioned they germinated within 4-5 days, and when I pulled them at the end of September, they were minute! Same goes for the other beds--I planted them at the end of June and beginning of July, and they were similarly sprouted but tiny at end of September. It gets intensely hot and dry over the short summer, and these (as were all the other veg) were under 40% shade when it was hot, and under lightweight row covers at the beginning and end of the season. I even mulched one bed of carrots, but that did not seem to make a difference.

Does altitude affect carrots? We're at about 8000 feet...

Any thoughts or ideas you all might have will be greatly appreciated! Thanks!
Christina Yeager
Firefly Mountain Produce
Clark, Colorado 
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