Twisted and forked carrots are usually caused when carrots are planted too close together or when the soil is too hard for carrots to easily grow into a long, straight root. Rocky or overly compacted soils will also deform carrots.
- Plant pelleted seed or seed tape for better spacing control.
- Seed at recommended spacing if using loose seeds. Thin carrots as they grow larger to optimal spacing.
- Mix a small amount of radish seeds with carrot seeds. The radishes will emerge first and are harvested early, which naturally spaces the carrots.
- Carrots need loose soil that has been amended with organic matter such as compost.
- If soil is an issue, grow shorter rooted carrots such as Danvers or Nantes.
- If soil is heavy clay, consider growing carrots in raised beds.
Deformed carrots are still edible and the odd one is entertaining to look at.