Some questions in reply to the best potting mix

Ask Bill a question

1. Carrots. Seems they don’t grow that well for me. Forked carrots seem to be all i get. I thought maybe it was because the potting/compost mix i am using has lots of bark and stuff in it so have sieved it all to remove all that hard and big bits. Is that a good idea?

2. When growing broccoli, i notice that there are lots of roots after the crop is done. So to plant another crop, do i need to remove all those roots or just the bigger pieces and turn the mix over to break it up and then refertilise and replant, leaving the smaller roots tin the mix to rot?

3. What is the best mix to use? I get mine from kings garden centre usually so which one from their range?

ask bill

I assume that you have read the recent article I posted about growing carrots. There are several possibilities.

1. If your potting mix has large chunks of bark that can certainly lead to deformed carrots. Try putting the seeds in a layer of seed raising mix on top of the potting mix.It can also be caused by heavy recent fertilisation. Try using potting mix that was fertilised prior to the prior crop. Keep in mind that when the small carrot plant has a thread-sized root you need to try to ‘force’ the plant to send its root deeper to bring up water so you don’t want the upper soil to be too moist as the root will not want to go deeper.It can fork in these conditions too.

2. After the crop is finished, tip out the potting mix, turn it over to aerate it and pull out the bigger roots then replant the pot with your next crop. as you suggest, the smaller roots will break down in the potting mix.

3. I use Dalton’s potting mix – about $7 at Bunnings. Kings don’t have stores in Wellington so I am not familiar with their potting mixes.