Why Are My Carrots Growing Multiple Roots?

Homegrown carrots are never as shapely as those from the supermarket. They don’t have to be, we think. But why do they often grow badly deformed?

If you grow your own carrots, you’ll be in for some surprises when you harvest them. Strange root shapes sometimes appear: multi-legged, crooked or twisted. There’s no question that these creatures have charisma, but as a gardener you still want carrots that are as straight as possible, not least because they are easier to clean and process.

One of the most important factors in the cultivation of root vegetables is the soil – and this is precisely the cause of misshapen growth.

Why Are My Carrots Growing Multiple Roots?

Loose soil for beautiful carrots

The soil should be deeply loosened, sandy and humus-rich so that root vegetables such as carrots can develop fully in the soil. After all, if the subsoil is compacted or stony, the root tip sometimes dies and the buds next to it begin to sprout to grow around the obstacle. The result is “multi-legged” carrots.

Prevent soil-induced deformation by clearing the soil of stones and loosening it deeply with a digging fork before sowing. If necessary, work in sand.
Tip: On unsuitable soils, sowing on small embankments heaped with suitable soil has also proved successful.

The soil is loose and yet the carrots are strangely deformed? The cause of unwanted root branching can also be nematodes, which suck on the roots and lead to puny growth.

Why do my carrots burst open?

Larger cracks in root vegetables often occur as a result of heavy downpours: After prolonged dry periods, the beets quickly become saturated, causing them to burst open. Fertilization that is too rich in nitrogen also promotes the formation of cracks. Nevertheless, the carrots can be eaten and processed normally – the “blemish” is only visual.

Tip: A high humus content in the soil can help prevent cracking. Humus stores moisture, which means that the soil generally dries out less and the roots are supplied with more evenly.