Growing carrots in containers is a fun and convenient way of producing your very own fresh, organic root veggies, especially if you haven’t got enough space outdoors for a garden. The best time to start growing them is in fall or early spring since carrots like cooler temperatures.
Some people think that planting carrots in containers is very difficult but the truth is, it’s not. Of course carrots can be a little finicky under certain growing conditions but once you’ve mastered how to do it, it’s going to be second nature to you. All you need to do is follow these steps, so let’s go right ahead!
1. Getting Started
First, find an area on your porch or patio that will get at least 6 or more hours of sunlight. It doesn’t matter if it’s cloudy because the carrots will still receive the UV light they need to grow well.
Next, choose the type of container you want to work with and the type of carrot you’d like to grow. It can be any type of container but it should be deep enough to accommodate the carrots you want to grow. Ideally, you’ll want to choose a variety of carrot that develops shorter, rounded roots rather than those that develop long, thin ones.
Check the information on different varieties of carrots you’d like to grow. Some carrots need more depth or less depth than others so make sure to check what type of container you need for the carrots you plan to grow.
Remember, the container needs to be at least 12 inches deep so that the roots will have enough space to develop. Also make sure that the container has adequate drainage. If it doesn’t, pierce some holes in the bottom of the one you’re planning to use.
Place the containers in the sunny area you’ve chosen.
2. Taking Care of Containers
Fill up your containers with potting soil. Good potting soil should have sand, peat moss and vermiculite to keep your plants healthy. The potting mix should also be light, smooth and airy for good drainage and so that the roots will be able to push through it and grow easily.
The best type of soil for carrots is soil that’s high in potassium since it helps the roots to grow. Watch out for high nitrogen levels in the soil because excess nitrogen will promote the growth of foliage which isn’t our goal.
Your carrots should be watered regularly at soil level. Don’t water over their leafy tops since this will cause them to rot. The soil should always be kept moist but not too moist to the point where it’s soggy. It also shouldn’t be allowed to dry out completely.
3. Plant Your Carrots
Planting seeds is a much better option than transplanting carrot seedlings later because they don’t transplant well. Sow the seeds in your prepared containers at least 2 or 3 weeks before the next frost is expected.
To speed you can plant the seeds in biodegradable pots a couple of weeks ahead of time. Water the pots well and let the water drain through completely. Then sprinkle the carrot seeds over the soil and cover them with about a ¼ inch of extra soil. Then, press down gently.
It will take about three weeks for little carrot seedlings to pop through the soil so you’re going to have to be paint.
When the seedlings start growing, they’ll start to crowd each other so when the first set of true leaves began to grow, take out the weaker seedlings. In another few weeks, thin the seedlings again and maintain a space of at least 3-4 inches between them.
Don’t forget to feed your crops with fertilizer that’s low in nitrogen or you’ll end up with very few carrots. You can also try compost tea which is another excellent supplement rich in nutrients. Buy ready made compost tea from the store, or try making some of your own.
Remember: always keep the soil moist as the carrots mature. Containers dry out easily rather than ground soil so monitor them daily. Also keep an eye out for weeks and pests.
If the weather is too hot, place your plants in a shaded area or move them indoors, especially in the afternoon when the sun is at its highest. That’s the best parts about container-grown plants. You can easily move them about whenever you want!
4. Harvesting Your Carrots
When the tops of your carrot roots are slightly visible above the soil, you’ll know it’s time harvest them. If the diameter of the carrot is at least half an inch across, then they’re ready.
When harvesting, don’t just pull the carrots out in one go or you’ll be breaking the roots. Loosen the soil around its root carefully and then pull it out gently.
5.Get Ready for the Next Crop
You can reuse your containers and soil for the next lot of carrots you’re planning to grow. However, it’s advisable to change the soil entirely after every five crops since it can get compacted and lack nutrients.
So there you have it! Now that you have all the information you need, it’s time to start working on your container carrot garden. Follow our tips and you’ll find it’s a lot easier than it looks. Remember, a little extra effort can go a long way!