Compacted carrots

unsightly but edible

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.