How big a stone is too big for carrots?

frival(5)April 29, 2012

I just started clearing a new area of the yard for a new garden and oh my it is full of rocks and stones. I've read that I want "rock free" soil for carrots, but around these parts such a thing doesn't exist in nature. How big of a stone is too big for carrots to develop properly - 1"? 2"? Even smaller? I've been leaving anything under about 1" in diameter alone because if I don't I might never finish clearing this area out, but if even that is too big for the carrots I might need to find another solution.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
zzackey(8b GA)

Your rock garden reminds me of my parents garden in Northern PA. Every year we would pick wheel barrows full of rocks. It seems like they came back every year. We didn't grow carrots. I would think that if they hit the rock they would just grow in a different direction. You might have a few crooked carrots?

    Bookmark   April 29, 2012 at 8:18PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
planatus(6)

I work in a mountain site, and getting craggy stones out of permanent beds is a continuous process. In the early phases, many people sift rocks out of special beds using a sifter made from half-inch mesh hardware cloth.

In my experience, if the soil is well-enriched with organic matter and cultivated prior to planting to replenish its air supply, carrots will push aside rocks to one half inch diameter. However, if the taproot runs into such a stone, it will make it fork.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2012 at 8:18AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ltilton

The other solution is a raised bed that you fill with rock-free soil.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2012 at 10:13AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
frival(5)

I had originally balked at the idea of a raised bed out of concern for the cost of that much topsoil, but now I'm thinking that would be small in comparison to the chiropractor visits I'll need to finish this current area off. How deep ought the bed to be for carrots and the like? My tomato bed is about 10" deep, I'm just not sure if that's deep enough for something like carrots.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2012 at 3:53PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ltilton

10 - 12" should do if you grow the "half long" varieties. Every year you have to top up the bed, but you can use compost for that, not all topsoil, and dig it in.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2012 at 4:03PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
scotty66(8 Hutto TX)

I fill my raised garden with compost... not topsoil. :)
which you can easily make yourself.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2012 at 8:42PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ltilton

They Say not to do it, but I add a bag or two of sand to my carrot bed. They seem to like it.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2012 at 9:02PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
tracydr(9b)

You can do a raised bed with no sides. Just mounds of sifted dirt.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2012 at 12:36AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
cozy

Just an experiment but perhaps it may spawn an idea. The one on the right is from 5-7 yr old form boards laying around. I liked the looks of the progress and built the other one.

2x12x16s on the deck at the shop. Filled with 50/50 mixture of soil conditioner and Jungle Grow potting mix. Planted in Scarlet Nantes.

Hard red clay here. Figure that I'll be happy if I can get 6-7 inch carrots. Only time will tell ... as usual.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2012 at 5:06AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
mealybugs and leaf miners
How do you control mealy bugs and leaf miners on leafy...
kyrri
Planting where dog used to poop
We haven't had a god in two years. Is it okay to plant...
Theresa24
lining bottom of raised bed for tomatoes
I keep reading advise about lining the bottom of raised...
sommardahl
Growing malabar spinach
I want to grow malabar spinach, but I do not have a...
robert2014 zone 5b
I really messed up, who can help? Tomato expert needed...
I planted beefsteak and July 4th tomatoes and didn't...
dwyerkg
Sponsored Products
Banded Aluminum Outdoor Sconce by Hubbardton Forge
$274.00 | Lumens
Set of Four Repulse Bay Outdoor Chairs
Grandin Road
Sweet Honey Onyx Mosaic Polished Tiles (Box of 10 Sheets)
Overstock.com
Travertine Links Rug 6' x 9' - TRAVERTINE/PURPLE
$1,499.00 | Horchow
Simpatico Sofa
Design Within Reach
Red Rock Cooking Stone Set
$89.95 | FRONTGATE
Miami Marlins Quad Chair
$21.99 | zulily
Brookfield Rubbed Bronze Two-Light Bath Fixture with Tea Stone Glass
$56.00 | Bellacor
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™