Hi, I started a new garden plot this spring, and had mixed results. I have a few things I will be trying next year, but I am wondering why my beets and carrots did so poorly. Not that there was anything wrong with the flavor, they were just.....so tiny! I passed the days-to-harvest mark on both eons ago. Just today I pulled up the last of them. Beets (detroit) were not half the size of golf balls. Mainly, grape sized. The carrots-hardly half of my thumb. I can't remember the variety I planted, but they were supposed to get to a decent size. They were planted from seed, at the suggested time for our area. As I said, the days to harvest passed long ago! My garden is a series of 5X5 square beds, divided by grass paths. It was formerly turf grass lawn. There are and have been no chemicals used for quite a long time..... I wouldn't say it gets FULL sun, but frankly it is the sunniest part of our yard-morning and day it is full sun, around 4/5pm it is then partial shade. There ARE black walnut trees not far from the garden. I have read they can affect how plantings do. A few possibilities I have come up with. #1. My soil. I have mainly clay soil, enriched with well composted chicken manure. Perhaps it was too compact for them to grow well? I thought I would mix sand in the plot-should I do that this fall, and next spring, or just next spring? #2 There ARE black walnut trees not far from the garden. (50-75 ft away) I have read they can affect certain plantings. Are carrots and beets one of those? #3 The carrots and beets were planted in the same plot. Along with green and yellow bell peppers. The peppers did exceedingly well! Are they possibly not compatable? #4 The seeds were from a national brand seed carrier; marked for 2006, purchased at the local hardware store. Is it possible they were bad? #5 Fertilizer? That particular bed was wintered with composted manure atop it; pine shavings. Which was then worked on by hand several weeks prior to planting. Our soil is certainly dark and rich to begin with, as we are along a very old creek and our yard was probably creek bed 200 years ago! Thank you. Our family likes nothing more than sweet fresh from the garden carrots! We hope to have a better crop next year for sure!