Monday, January 05, 2009

The best soil for growing carrots

Carrots like light, sandy loam that's fine in texture and rich in organic matter. They need a soil that is loose and free of rocks to grow straight roots. Rocky soil or too much nitrogen can cause forked roots. The ideal soil pH is 6.5 to 6.8, but 5.5 to 7.5 is acceptable. Dig in several inches of compost and some sand if you have heavy soil. Loosen the soil with a spading fork as deep as the length of the carrot variety you intend to grow.

Carrots do best in sandy soil but few of us have sandy soil. So even if your soil is healthy loam and contains lots of organic matter, if you mix a few handfuls of builder’s sand in every square foot of the soil where the carrots will be planted, you will have fewer problems with misshapen roots.

Soak seeds in warm water overnight before planting and cover seeds with sandy loam.


Make sure soil is well-draining and has a pH of around 6.5

Giant Pumpkins:

Pumpkins like nitrogen-rich soil. Start with a pH test in fall and adjust your pH to between 6.5 and 6.8 by adding sulfur to lower the pH or lime to raise it. Apply three to five yards of composted manure per 30-foot-diameter circle where you expect to plant next spring. Plant a cover crop of winter rye in fall to be turned under in early spring, broadcasting one to two pounds per 1,000-square-foot area.