Why Carrots Break: Tips to Prevent Carrot Cracking

Carrots are a very popular vegetable, so much so that you might want to grow them yourself. Growing your own carrots presents a certain degree of difficulty and the results can be inferior to the perfectly shaped carrots you buy at the supermarket. Soil density, available nutrients and moisture combine to produce a twisted, malformed and often cracked carrot crop. If you see cracked carrot roots, you may be wondering how to avoid cracks in carrot crops.

Why carrots break

If your carrots crack, it is likely that the disease is the result of inadequate environmental preferences; the water must be accurate. Carrot roots need moist soil, but they don’t like to be waterlogged. Water stress not only causes carrot crops to crack, but it can also cause underdeveloped, woody and bitter roots.

Root cracking occurs after a period of lack of irrigation and then a sudden attack of moisture, such as a shower after a period of drought.

Preventing the cracking of carrots

In addition to constant humidity, the cultivation of the perfect, or almost perfect, carrot also requires a healthy, well-drained soil with a pH of 5.5 to 6.5. The soil must be free of rocks, as these will prevent the roots from actually growing, twisting them as they grow. These resilient biennial plants should be planted at a depth of ¼ to ½ cm in rows spaced 12 to 18 cm apart.

Fertilize with 2 pounds of 10-10-10 per 100 square feet before planting and dress with ½ pounds of 10-10-10 per 100 square feet as needed.

Overcrowding can also lead to root deformities. To combat this problem, mix the seeds with fine, light soil or sand and spread the mixture on the bed. Be vigilant in controlling weeds, which can inhibit the growth of young carrot plants. Add mulch around carrot plants to slow down weed growth and retain moisture.

It takes a lot of moisture – one inch of water per week – to help the carrots grow quickly, but to prevent the carrots from cracking. For the healthiest roots to grow, carrots must have smooth, almost dusty soil with a well-enriched, deeply dug layer of soil.

If you follow the above information, in 55 to 80 days you should be pulling delicious, spotless carrots. Carrots can be left on the ground during the winter and can only be dug up if necessary.

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