You can easily grow carrots in a container, window boxes, and planters for your kitchen. This is good news for those who are facing the problem of limited space or have no proper growing area.
If you are using a large round planter then you can get 30 to 40 carrots per harvest. But it depends on the climate and the variety which you are growing.
There are many advantages of container gardening. You can control the fertility of the soil and maintenance of the plants will become much easier. If you are facing any physical issue but are interested in gardening then you should prefer growing in containers.
The Best Container For Growing Carrots
You can use any shape of container for growing carrots but make sure the container which you are using should be deep enough. As carrots are deep-rooted vegetables so they need appropriate space.
The depth of the container should be 6 to 15 inches. In large containers, they need more soil. The large volume of soil needs more water and will not dry out very quickly.
After making your mind about the size of the container, the next step you should think about is the material of the container. If you use containers made from porous materials such as clay, in that case, you have to increase the frequency of water.
But if you use containers which are made from plastic, metal or fiber then they need less quantity of water. I prefer plastic containers for growing vegetables and carrots.
Fabric pots are another option for growing carrots; they come in different sizes and shapes. You can use 10-gallon fabric bags for deep-rooted vegetables.
Recycling is another better option for your clean environment. You can use plastic buckets for growing carrots and other vegetables. The size of the bucket should be 5 gallons.
Before filling the buckets with potting mix make sure they are clean and have drainage holes. Drainage holes are very important, otherwise, your plant will be affected by root rot. With the help of a drill, you can make drainage holes at the bottom of buckets.
Filling Of The Container For Growing Carrots
The most important benefit of container gardening is that you can control the fertility of the soil which is not possible when you grow plants in the ground.
You can use a potting mix that has all the basic nutrients according to the requirement of your vegetable. Make sure you are using loose and well-drained potting mix. A lightweight potting mix is perfect for growing straight roots.
You can also use a mixture of potting mix with compost with bone meal to make the growing medium perfect. Bone meal contains phosphorus which is very important for deep-rooted vegetables.
You can apply all-purpose organic vegetable fertilizers and fulfill all the essential requirements of carrots. Avoid using those fertilizers which have a high quantity of nitrogen. If you do so then it will encourage healthy carrot tops and you will get smaller roots of carrots.
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When To Plant Carrots?
Carrots like to grow in cold climates so you should plant them from mid-spring through mid-summer or from early summer to late autumn. If you want to get a non-stop crop of sweet fruits then you should sow a new container of carrots every three to four weeks.
You can sow the seeds 2 weeks before the last expected spring frost. You can get all the information about the dates of the last frost from your local nursery.
Cultivars To Select
Different types of carrots can easily grow in containers. You should choose which are best for planting small spaces. If you are using a container that has a depth of 12 inches then 8 inches carrots can easily adjust. Hair we are going to give you some options.
1- IMPERATOR 58
This is a classic and flavourful variety. If you choose this variety, you will get 9 inches large carrots. This type of carrots is commonly found in stores. The seeds of imperator 58 should be shown in the loose soil so you will get better production. This variety is ready for harvest within 68 days.
If you choose this variety, you will get five beautiful colors of carrots such as yellow red purple white, and bambino. The length of the roots will be 8 inches which are perfect for containers. The carrots will be ready for harvesting within 75 to 80 days.
3- LITTLE FINGERS
The maturity period of this variety is very short; the crop is ready for harvesting within 55 days. The size of this type of carrot is very small but it gives you full flavor and sweetness. If you are planning to plant carrots in a container then you should choose this type. Little fingers like to grow in sandy and well-drained soil.
4- LUNAR WHITE
The name shows that the color of this type of carrot is white. The maturity time of this variety is 65 to 80 days and you will get 6 inches long carrots. This size is perfect for container gardening. You need sandy and well-drained soil for growing lunar white.
This variety has a rich and attractive red color. The flavor of this type of carrot is sweet and likes to grow in sandy and well-drained soil. The length of the roots can be reached up to 6 inches. The maturity time is 65 to 80 days after sowing the seed.
6- SHORT ‘N SWEET
If you have a smaller pot or container then you should choose this variety. This type of carrots can easily adjust to any type of soil. This retreat can be ready for harvest within 68 days and the size of the root is 4 inches.
7- TENDER SWEET
This variety is perfect for juicing and preserving. You can also freeze it for a longer time. The size of the root is about 7 inches and the maturity time is 75 days. This variety likes full sun exposure, sandy, and well-drained soil.
8- SOLAR YELLOW
The color of this variety is bright yellow and the flavor is crunchy, juicy, and sweet. The maximum length of the roots can be 7 inches and maturity time 60 days after sowing the seeds.
Sow The Seeds Of Carrot In Container
The seedlings of carrots cannot be transplanted well so it is suggested that you should sow the seeds directly in the containers.
You need a packet of seeds from any gardening store or local nursery. You will get all the information and instructions in the packet. These steps are very important during planting.
- Your container is ready for sowing the seeds. Make 3 inches deep holes in the soil. Each hole should be 2.5 to 3 inches apart. Put at least three seeds in each hole.
- Now cover the seeds with soil. Now your seeds need water, keep the soil moist by regular watering.
- Place your container in that location where it gets maximum sunlight.
- Soon the seedlings will appear within 14 to 21 days. The number of days of germination depends upon the variety in which you are growing.
- When your seedlings reach about one inch high. Now carefully examine the three seedlings as you are growing in a group of 3. Discard the weak seedlings and keep the strong ones. But during this process make sure the roots of other seedlings should not be disturbed
- As the seedling grows they need more water for developing the roots stronger. The containers dry out much faster as compared to the ground. So you should examine the soil regularly whenever you see the soil is dry and water your plants. Avoid overwatering because it will make the soil soggy.
- With time, the seedlings grow taller and then need all the basic nutrients. At this stage, you can apply general-purpose vegetable fertilizer. This is best for carrots because it contains low nitrogen. If you use a fertilizer that has a large amount of nitrogen then you will get much foliage and few carrots.
- You can also use compost ti which contains rich nutrients after the addition of search supplements your carrot plants produce sweet and crunchy root vegetables.
- If the weather is very hot then you can change the location of the container, place it in a shaded area. The most important advantage of container gardening is that you can move it according to need.
Pests And Diseases
If you use fresh soil, give an adequate amount of water, and thinned your plants then you will not face any trouble with pests and diseases. Sometimes flea beetles, aphids, and leafhoppers can affect the leaves of the carrots.
In that case, a heavy flow of water can help to get rid of these little monsters. Insecticidal soap and Neem oil also help to deal with this problem.
It is suggested that you should thin your seedlings but if you don’t do so then It will create a humid environment for fungal growth. Fungal and bacterial diseases can affect your carrot plants. In container gardening, your carrot plants can be protected easily from many diseases.
- Generally, the roots of carrots can be ready for harvest within 2.5 months.
- You will get all the information about harvesting on the packets of seeds. It is suggested that you should keep the packets around through harvest but keep in mind that you should not depend on the days to maturity which is noted on the packet.
- When the tops of the carrots are visible above the soil line then this is the perfect time for harvesting. For harvesting, the diameter of the exposed crown should be at least ½ inch across.
- Before harvesting, first, you should loosen and that’s why around the roots then gently pull out the roots from the soil.
- In case, if you are growing a spring crop then high temperatures can cause your carrots to bolt. You should prefer fall harvest because the last frost can heighten the flavor and you will get sweet carrot roots to eat.