Growing carrots and parnips root crops

 

Other Vegetables
CARROT AND PARSNIP Facts
 
LIGHT
Full sun
SOIL
Well drained
WATER
When soil become dry
SPACING
Sow seeds 1 inches apart; thin to 4 inches apart
HARDINESS
Cool weather vegetables
TIP
Both crops can be left in the ground for several weeks and dug as needed provided the soil is cool.
 
TURNIP AND RUTABAGA Facts
 
LIGHT
Full sun
SOIL
Well drained
WATER
When soil become dry
SPACING
Sow seeds 1 inches apart; thin turnips to 6 inches apart. Thin rutabagas to 15  inches.
HARDINESS
Cool weather vegetables
TIP
Store mature turnips and rutabagas in a cool place for several weeks after harvesting them.

ROOT CROPS

Crisp, sweet carrots are just the beginning of delicious roots from the vegetable garden. Parsnips are back in style, quite possibly because of their sweet nutty flavor when lightly grilled. The new appreciation for vegetarian cuisine has also caused a surge of interest in turnips and rutabagas, two root crops long known only as stock-up foods for hard times.

Because they grow below the ground, the quality of all root vegetables is enhanced by loose soil rich in organic matter.  A sandy loam type of soil is best, but you can certainly grow any root crop in clay soil that has been amended with organic matter. If your soil is especially rocky, heavy, or compact, consider creating a raised bed for carrots and other root crops. Fill it with soil that has been mixed well with plenty of sand and organic matter, such as Nursery Blend Planting Mix.

Carrot seeds are especially sensitive to hot weather. If you are sowing them in late summer for a fall crop, cover the seeds with a sheet of cardboard, such as an unfolded packing box. This will shade the seeds and help keep the soil cool. Check under the cardboard daily and remove it at the first sign of seedlings pushing through the ground.

Because they grow below the ground, the quality of all root vegetables is enhanced by loose soil rich in organic matter.

FERTILIZING ROOT CROPS

Carrots and parsnips often become forked, twisted or misshapen when grown in soil that contains pockets of fertilizer, so it is important to mix fertilizer thoroughly into the soil before planting. Use a Vegetable Food that contains timed-release fertilizer. When these crops are grown in very sandy, porous soil, you may hear or read in another source that they'll need additional fertilizer when the plants are about 4 inches tall. However, this step is not necessary when you grow carrots in normal to heavily textured soil, or if you used timed-release fertilizer when planting the seeds in any soil because timed-release fertilizer lasts longer than commodity fertilizers typically recommended in most publications and state-issued bulletins. Turnips and rutabagas also benefit from a Vegetable Food containing timed-release fertilizer worked into the soil before planting. This single fertilizer application is usually sufficient to meet their needs. Provide extra water if needed as soon as the roots begin to swell. Plenty of water close to harvest helps make turnips and rutabagas large, sweetpea and tender.

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