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It's my first time growing carrots and the leaves don't seem to have grown in the last fortnight.

I'm worried that there's something wrong but there're no obvious problems as the leaves are still green and there's no wilting.

The soil is mostly loose and sandy with no stones so the only potential issue there may be nutrients but I read that adding some would cause forking if I wasn't careful.

The plants are about 9cm apart from each other, which I'm told is enough (and I've read that transplanting them can cause some problems at this point anyway).

Is it possible that all the energy is going into the roots? Can I check for pests attacking the carrot itself without digging it up?

Edit: It has indeed been hot for quite a while here.

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up vote 8 down vote accepted

I can think of a couple of possible issues that could cause otherwise healthy carrots to not grow well or to appear not to be growing well. One, carrots prefer cooler temperatures for maximum growth. Not cold, but cooler as it is in the spring and early fall. If it is hot where you are right now, they may simply be "on pause" while they wait for better weather to finish up.

Second, carrots often are larger under the soil than the greens above the soil would lead you to believe. Many popular carrot varieties are "short top" carrots, and these especially can be deceiving. To find out how your carrot roots are actually doing, using your finger, gently scrape a bit of soil from around the area where the tops meet the roots and see how big the root appears to be. Depending on variety, you can pull carrots for eating any time the top of the root is 1/2 to 2/3rds of an inch (12-16mm or so) on up. If your carrots were a bit too thickly planted, it's actually a good idea to thin some of them out and use them for early snacks to give the rest a bit more room to grow.

You really should never transplant carrots, btw, or pretty much any other plant with a huge tap root - they almost always never do well after that kind of disturbance. If you have to do it, do it in the early seedling stages and transplant clumps instead of individuals to give the greatest chance of at least one plant per clump making it through the process.

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Transplanting always disturbs the root hairs and is pretty much deadly to carrots. –  Fiasco Labs Aug 4 at 21:57
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+1 All good advice. I think the problem is because it's summer in Belgium (OP's location). –  J. Musser Aug 5 at 1:30

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