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Monday, June 20, 2011

Help With Root Vegetables

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Ok, so no matter what I do, most of the time my radishes just grow big tops and never make the bulb at the root.  Last year I tried several varieties and the only ones I that did anything are the French Breakfast.  So I planted only those this year.  I also for the first time planted beets, rutabagas, and turnips.  Only a couple of the radishes are bulbing and from what I can tell, none of the other veggies are either.  The only root I seem to be able to grow well are carrots.  Help?  What am I doing wrong?

I planted mid may which sounds late, but remember I am in Alaska, and Mid May was when the soil FINALLY warmed up to 40 degrees.  The soil is a loose soil with a lot of compost mixed in, it is not hard packed, and they are properly spaced and not overcrowded.  I have grown many other things in this soil, and it all does fine, and it doesn’t seem to matter where I plant them, the very same thing happens.  What did happen is that it warmed up to 80 degrees, 1.5-2 weeks after I planted them.  Do you think this is why? It rarely gets hot that early, and I have always had this problem. Or does it have anything to do with constant sunlight?  I’m growing varieties for AK. I’m really frustrated, these veges are supposed to grow really well in our cold climate, and I feel like I’m the only one who has this problem! Anyone else have this problem? Does anyone have any suggestions?


  1. I've found the info from my local extension office to hold true for me. I've made all these mistakes! LOL!
    1. seed planted too thickly and plants not thinned (though some roots along the outside of the row usually develop fairly well even under extreme crowding)
    2. weather too hot for the spring varieties that do best in cool temperatures (planted too late or unseasonable weather)
    3. too much shade (must be really severe to completely discourage root enlargement).

    Love your blog! My dh has wanted to move to Alaska for years. But, we're firmly planted in Texas ;)


  2. If you have too fertile of soil, it can cause lots of green growth and not lots of taproot or fruit development.

    I just came across your blog. I was raised in Homer, AK. Miss it.