The Q&A Archives: White film on carrot skins

Question: When I began harvesting my Touchon carrots, I noticed a white film on the carrot skin and some of the skin came off when I pulled the carrots. What's happening? Bill Smith Midwest City, OK

Answer: This is most likely bacterial soft rot ( Erwinia carotovora ). It attacks carrots and many other vegetables, including onions, potatoes, and cabbage. In poorly drained clay soil, as is common in many parts of Oklahoma, periods of rainy weather create theperfect environment for soft rot bacteria. A rotten, sulfurous smell is another symptom of this disease in addition to the white film. Control soft rot by improving soil drainage. Try growing your carrots in raised beds. Add compost to your soil and rotate carrots with less susceptible crops, such as beans or corn. Finally, harvest carrots as soon as they're mature.

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