Any cure for bitter carrots?

steve22802(7a VA)August 14, 2008

I planted my carrots on April 9th and they have grown to a nice size and are not woody but they are also not sweet. Will they get sweeter if I leave them in the ground until cooler weather? Should I wait until after frost to harvest them? Maybe I've already waited too long? My soil is rather alkaline (limestone based) maybe that is part of the problem. And is there any way to sweeten the bitter carrots I've already harvested? I may just have to compost them since they're not edible in their current condition. This is one crop where the supermarket variety tastes much better than my home grown varieties. Very disappointing. :( Do you think I would have better luck planting carrots for the cooler fall?

- Steve

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Frost is 99% of the cure. Then wait two weeks. You can leave them in really, even through the winter if the soil does not freeze. So long as they are watered regularly, they will not turn woody (no water needed after Oct. 15). Next year plant them later, typically in the same plot as lettuce, after you pull lettuce in July. But that is only so you get two crops out of one plot, it does not affect carrot quality.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2008 at 12:06PM
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laceyvail(6A, WV)

"Not sweet" carrots is not the same as "bitter" carrots. Frost will sweeten carrots, but if they're really bitter, frost won't help. If they're bitter, you may be missing certain soil trace minerals. Try side dressing with Root Crops Alive, from Gardens Alive. It helped tremendously in the early years of my garden before the soil improved.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2008 at 6:24AM
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Hey all,

To piggy back Steve's question - my carrots taste fine, but aren't sweet either. The problem with me leaving them in the ground is they're starting to split. If I leave them in any longer, they will split completely and be useless. I don't water very much and figure uneven watering is part of the problem. Any other ideas?

    Bookmark   August 15, 2008 at 9:25AM
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steve22802(7a VA)

Well, my carrots aren't splitting or woody so I guess I'll just leave them in place until after frost and see if they sweeten up. I also just planted a new crop of carrots for the fall/winter and I'll see what they taste like in comparison.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2008 at 1:12PM
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