Growing Vegetables/soil


This year my toms, heritage, are at record crop...Next door are carrots and then parsnips........ Carrorts and parsnips are all tops and no  bottoms  Roots are very long but not expanded  into harvestable condition...{soil well dug}

This is in a 5/6 area   Soil well fed  with compost from old plants and kitchen waste, mixed with ash from the wood stove and
aged horse manure.
Help.... Thanks  Ed


Sorry for not getting back to you sooner.  I am thinking your soil needs more phosphorus and possibly potassium as well.  The kitchen waste is adding in nitrogen, the wood ash a little phosphorus but not enough.  The manure does not have much nutrient level however it is great for adding in organic matter to help with soil structure (drainage, air circulation)so keep adding that.

I would suggest amending your soil each spring with some bone meal or rock phosphate for phosphorus and greensand for potassium.  2.5 lbs per 100 square feet is what I would suggest of both. Plants use up most nutrients in the soil each year, so it is important to fertilize every season.

I hope this helps.  If you have any further questions please let me know.


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Catherine Abbott


I am confident I can answer any questions about planting, growing and harvesting vegetables and culinary herbs. I am very knowledgeable and experienced in garden site planning and design, propagating, soil preparation, transplanting, pest control, disease management, watering, fertilizing, and composting.


I have been growing vegetables organically since 1993 first in my small backyard, then moving to a 2 acre plot where I grew vegetables for sale at our local farmers market and through a CSA (community shared agriculture). I started a popular website in 2007 and have answered questions from all over the world through that site. I have 3 published Everything series books on gardening as well as several self published books for sale on my website.

I volunteer and assist teaching disabled adults how to grow their own vegetable gardens. I have set up raised bed gardens in the front yards of their group homes and the gardens help to feed the households. I am very involved in our local farming community and am the treasurer and a garden mentor for a local society called One Straw, which promotes organic and sustainable practices for growing local food. I am a board of director for a government committee that is involved in keeping our ALR (Agricultural Land Reserve) safe.

I have 3 published Everything series books: The Everything Grow Your Own Vegetables Book published in 2010. The Everything Root Cellaring Book published in 2011. The Everything Small Space Gardening Book set to be published Jan 2012. I have 3 self published garden design books: Vegetable Garden Plans for your Raised Beds. Vegetable Garden Plans for Square Foot Gardening. Vegetable Garden Plans for Row Gardening. I have a self published book on soil building: Why is Soil so Important? Tips on Amending and Fertilizing I also publish a yearly journal promoting garden planning and planting by the moon cycles. The current one is called "My 2012 Vegetable Garden Journal" I write articles that are published at EzineArticles.

I teach gardening classes on propagating, pest and disease management, and soil fertility at our local community center. My education came from my mother, mentors, and growing my own gardens.

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I write a monthly newsletter for my gardening website and send it to a email list of over 1200 gardeners. I write articles for EzineArticles. I have had numerous local clients through gardening classes and mentoring.

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