I planted Scarlet Nantes carrots this Spring. Not for myself, but for the black swallowtails. One of the perks is that I do get to eat some of the carrots. Knowing that I was planting them for butterflies, I didn't bother to thin them. Nor did I amend the soil with compost to loosen it up. This location was lawn until I dug out the grass this past Spring. I wanted foliage, not the actual root, so I just planted and hoped for good germination. Good germination is what I got.
This is the result of compacted soil. Forked roots. There small size, most likely due to drought and neglect. The largest carrot on the right was on the back edge of the planting. It had some room on all sides where other carrots weren't crowding it. Obviously it took advantage of the space. Next year, no matter how hard it is. I will have to thin out my carrots. Finding a happy medium between tons of foliage for the black swallowtails to devour and some large carrots for me. In the meantime, the carrots above will be going into a slow cooker stew first thing tomorrow morning.