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Old 06-08-2008, 07:38 PM
 
Location: Sheridan, Wy
1,466 posts, read 3,510,240 times
Reputation: 625

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I have kind of a silly yet simple question...

I used to try to grow carrots up at 2000 feet elevation when I lived in Oregon and wasn't so successful for some reason...

Well now I live in Wyoming and it is closer to 4,000 feet.

Any tips on growing carrots?
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Old 06-08-2008, 10:46 PM
 
Location: rain city
2,956 posts, read 11,046,069 times
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Carrots are really pretty easy to grow. It's too late to start them now, they're a cool weather crop. I wouldn't think altitude, especially something so moderate as 2,000 feet would be any kind of problem.

But you won't grow much of a carrot in bad soil. Should be kind of sandy. Most root vegetables need a loose soil-- after all they form and grow underground. If your carrots had a dense clay soil before, your carrots would have struggled.

If you do have dense soil you can grow carrots of a shorter stubbier variety and don't need to push down as deep.

Soil preparation is essential to growing root vegetables. You really only need about a foot or 18 inches of improved soil for root vegetables, about the depth of a shovel.

Elevation really isn't an issue.
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Old 06-09-2008, 12:57 AM
 
Location: Sheridan, Wy
1,466 posts, read 3,510,240 times
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Thank you for answering my question I really appreciate it...

When I lived in Oregon, I found out people in the foothills of the cascades where I lived had success with some veggies and others had veggies that were small and underdeveloped, which is what happened to any radishes or carrots I tried to plant...

But now that you mention the soil ammendments, I think that is exactly what was wrong... in Oregon I had problems with rocky soil up in the foothills...

In Wyoming it is not as bad and has a bit more clay in the soil... for me it is easier to amend the soil and work with it here... so I will try ammending the soil properly here...
I am renting a place, so most of my gardening is container gardening this year...
But next year I wanted to try and grow some carrots in addition to what I already have...

Thanks again I appreciate your help
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Old 06-09-2008, 01:49 AM
 
Location: rain city
2,956 posts, read 11,046,069 times
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I spent years fighting north Texas clay, affectionatley referred to as "black gumbo". Heavy black clay that turned to sinking muck when wet, and dried to hard cracked concrete when the sun came out. High PH and no drainaige.

I did a lot of digging. But no amount of effort would produce a soil that would grow root vegetables. Not.

But I could grow a lot of other things with good amendments and a lot of shoveling. The thing to do with bad soil is add appropriate amendments--usually compost, maybe some sand--dig the area and then double dig it. Double digging will leave all the components well mixed and aerated, loose, and mounded.

Mounds are good. Leave them. They increase the depth of the soil. Sure, after you water it will level down a bit, but will remain mounded. Plant in the double dug mounds. Small enough area that you never need to step in it, you can reach into the mounded area from the perimeter. You can border the mounds to keep them more firmly in place.

It's called 'raised bed gardening'. Great method for poor soils.
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Old 06-09-2008, 05:22 AM
 
Location: Out there somewhere...
38,687 posts, read 45,060,825 times
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In Wyoming you should be able to grow most anything at 4000 ft level. And in your case container growing may be your best bet if you're a renter. The raised bed idea is great, but if your landlord won't let you disturb the soil for gardening, then use containers.
Carrots are usually planted with other frost tolerant vegetables as soon as the soil mellows in the spring. They may be planted earlier in gardens with sandy soil. The soil should be plowed and prepared to a depth of 8 to 9 inches to allow full development of the carrot roots and the seedbed should be worked uniformly to break up clumps and clods that prevent penetration of the roots. Varieties with extremely long roots (Imperator and Tendersweet) usually are recommended only for home gardens with deep, sandy soil. Excess organic debris worked into the soil just before planting also may affect root penetration, causing forked and twisted roots.
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Old 06-09-2008, 03:00 PM
 
Location: Sheridan, Wy
1,466 posts, read 3,510,240 times
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Thank you both for your suggestions...I am a big fan of Raised bed gardening... before we moved to Wyoming, I was just getting started with some raised beds and learning how to do that...
Hopefully though by fall we will be in our own place... we are trying to acquire a piece of land.

I have a nice tiller that was given to us, just needs to be reringed and a few things and it will be in working order. My husband is going to get it all fixed up for me... I am going to get into composting as well when I get a piece of land. So I am hoping I can fix up something...

Hard to describe our soil here, it is not like the "clay" down south, but has some clay in it. My husband grew up in Louisiana and has told me about the clay down south... Our's isn't quite that bad...
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Old 06-09-2008, 06:41 PM
 
Location: Out there somewhere...
38,687 posts, read 45,060,825 times
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If you can make your beds 12-18 inches deep with a mixture of equal parts soil/sand/humus, you will have ideal growing conditions, even with clay soil, which most people have, and then all you need to do is add plants and some fertilizers. And if your beds are raised you may even be able to place plastic covers over the beds during the winter months and grow something all year around.
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Old 06-10-2008, 01:09 AM
 
Location: Sheridan, Wy
1,466 posts, read 3,510,240 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nitram View Post
If you can make your beds 12-18 inches deep with a mixture of equal parts soil/sand/humus, you will have ideal growing conditions, even with clay soil, which most people have, and then all you need to do is add plants and some fertilizers. And if your beds are raised you may even be able to place plastic covers over the beds during the winter months and grow something all year around.
Thanks again... great advice I have one of those raised bed greenhouse toppers, so I will definitely have to try that.. My only fear is the temps get around zero and sometimes below in the winter...

But I want to try to build or buy a greenhouse with a heater... May take me a couple years though....
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Old 06-13-2008, 10:03 PM
 
592 posts, read 1,925,401 times
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Kristynwy, I gardened in South West Wyo for about 25 years and always grew carrots. (6000 ft ) I would rototill old horse manure in to my gardens and grow all sorts of things. One year I let my carrots go to seed . I collected the seeds and the next year I threw them into a flower bed that had not been doing very well. I just took handfulls of the carrot seeds and threw them on top of the soil, then watered them into the soil. They came up like crazy and by fall I was giving carrots away.
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