Q What is forking on carrots and parsnips?
A The foliage appears perfectly normal, but the roots, though firm and well developed, are distorted and forked – often extensively.
Caption: Forked carrots are awkward to peel but fine to eat
Q What can I do to help forked carrots and parsnips?
A You can use forked carrots and parsnip for cooking, but their shape may make them
difficult to peel.
Q How can I prevent forking of carrots and parsnips?
A Forking is usually caused by unsuitable growing conditions. A heavy soil, or one containing quantities of debris or stones, are both likely to encourage perfectly healthy carrot roots to fork
as they grow. Improving the soil texture by removing debris and stones may help but, in some cases, it may be simpler to grow carrots in raised beds or large containers of good-quality soil. In addition, excessive use of high-nitrogen feeds, especially if applied shortly before the carrot seed was sown, may cause similar symptoms – so avoid over-enthusiastic manuring or fertiliser use.
Learn more about how to grow carrots.