My carrots and parsnips have grown all squify. I’m pretty sure this is because of the way I propagated them in the greenhouse. I started the carrots, if you remember, by sowing them into lengths of guttering full of compost. Waiting for them to grow and then, when the time was right, simply sliding the entire crop out of the half pipe and into a shallow trench in the raised bed. I noticed then that the roots of these young carrots were surprisingly long and had probably already reached the bottom of the guttering. These young roots were then naturally forced sideways. I sort of assumed that this would sort itself out one I put them in the ground. But I’m not so sure now.
The problem may have been made worse by the fact that I had also created a shallow trench of nice soft compost sitting above what was much harder and very stony ground.
I should mention that the guttering system worked well for other crops, especially pick and come again salads. The system also worked for my brasicas like cabbage and broccoli. But now that I’ve also learnt to space these out much more and to sow less seeds the advantage of being able to quickly slide out lots of densely packed seedlings is negated.
But for me at least using guttering it’s a definite no no for root vegetables. I’m still keen to start things off in the greenhouse however, so I guess I’ll just have to use root trainers and transplant each seedling individually.