[Market-farming] Thoughts on carrots

Bill Shoemaker wshoemak at illinois.edu
Sun Oct 25 09:52:42 EDT 2009

Is it possible they were infected with Carrot Yellows disease? This is caused by a virus-like organism that is vectored by leafhoppers (if I remember right). It will cause the roots to become very fibrous and the taproot won't fill out properly. If infected early there won't be any sign of a healthy taproot. The tops will be very bushy too. 


>   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 
>Market-farming mailing list
>Market-farming at lists.ibiblio.org
William H Shoemaker, UI-Crop Sciences
Sr Research Specialist, Food Crops
St Charles Horticulture Research Center
535 Randall Road  St Charles, IL  60174
630-584-7254; FAX-584-4610

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