Soil Problems - Knowledgebase Question

Onatrio, CA
Avatar for Narf101059
Question by Narf101059
March 2, 1998
I grow a garden every year, but I can not seem to get some
veggies to grow correctly. For example, the carrots look pretty scary., and the onions never really get large. Any idea why? Should I have a soil sample looked at?

Answer from NGA
March 2, 1998
Sounds as though a soil test is in order, just to find out what you're working with. If the carrots you grow are misshapen, I'd suspect that your soil needs to be loosened up a bit. How about working some organic matter into the bed prior to planting this year's garden? Start by spreading 4-6 inches of compost, aged manure, leaf mold or peat moss over the garden area and tilling or digging it in. Root crops, like carrots and onions, need lots of room to grow so work the organic matter in deeply (8-10 inches). After you've planted, and the seedlings are coming up, put a layer of organic mulch over the top of the bed to help retain moisture and to help suppress weeds. At the end of the season when you've harvested your veggies, you can dig the mulch material into the bed, to add more bulk and nutrients to your soil. After a few years of this care and attention, you'll have terrific garden soil!

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