A gardener without a spacious kitchen garden or a person embarking on growing carrots for the first time and who does not want to grow them large scale has the option of using grow bags or containers for this purpose.
Advantages of growing carrots in containers
There are advantages that come with growing carrots in containers.
- It helps to avoid garden weeds.
- It helps to maintain healthy soil.
- It helps to avoid pest invasion.
Carrot growing method
To grow carrots, make holes into the bottom of your container. Put in soil and compost or manure and water it lightly to ensure it is moist.
The holes should be 1.5 cm deep with a spacing of 1.5 cm to 2 cm from the edge of the container to the holes and in between the other holes if the container is wide enough.
Fill each hole with 3 carrot seeds, cover with soil and lightly water the soil again.
Implements for use
You can use a trowel for digging the holes if you do not wish to use your fingers. You can also use gardening gloves if you so wish thou this is optional.
Initial watering during planting
When planting your carrots, water the container of soil thoroughly and let the water drain through. Sprinkle the carrot seeds over the moist soil if you do not wish to bore holes.
Add a little soil to cover them. The added soil should be about a quarter inch high. Press it down gently and wait for germination.
Initially, carrots require about an inch of water every week while young, but as they mature, more so for the long carrot varieties, they demand more water so increase the water supply to a depth of two inches.
Best soil type for growing carrots
Sandy loam soil is the best for growing carrots. Make sure it is loose and well-drained.
Avoid use of heavy soils such as clay because they delay the maturity of the carrots and also cause them to develop a rough surface texture whereas they should be smooth.
Avoid rocky soil as well when growing carrots because it leads to the development of poor-quality roots.
Do carrots grow well in containers?
Some plants like carrots and tomatoes do grow well in containers so long as the right procedure is followed. For instance, it is important to thin out your carrot crop once the seedlings are about one to two inches long.
This ensures adequate flow of air and helps to prevent diseases caused by overcrowding. It also guarantees you a healthy crop. Grow your carrots outdoors because they do best under full sunlight.
Growing carrots in containers
Although carrots can be grown in any type of container, the container used must be deep enough to accommodate the roots of your carrot variety. A container with a depth of 12 inches is ideal for most carrot varieties.
Maintaining good depth and spacing is critical for the successful growth of your carrots. The length of the roots usually ranges from 2 inches to one foot and sometimes beyond. This necessitates the use of right size of containers and make it better by using biodegradable growing pots.
How deep should a carrot planter be?
When choosing a container or pot for growing carrots, consider the depth. Different varieties of carrots require different depths, but overall, any depth of 6 to 15 inches is good enough. Always check the packet of seeds you buy for instructions to ensure you stick to the stipulated depth measurements.
Depth of carrot planter
How deep a carrot planter needs to be depends on the carrot variety you choose to grow. Typically thou, you will need a container that is twice as deep as the mature variety of your carrot crop.
For longer carrots, select a deeper and larger tube-type planter. One large round planter has the capacity to produce up to 30 to 40 carrots depending on the carrot variety, amount and type of nutrients used in planting and weather conditions.
How big of a container do you need for carrots?
The container you use should be as wide as possible and with drainage holes to guarantee proper drainage. Ensure the soil is light-weight. 2 inches layer of compost tilled into the soil before planting ensures good drainage.
Carrot varieties that are shorter are best suited for containers as compared to the longer varieties.
Spacing of carrot seedlings
As stated earlier, ensure your carrot container has a spacing of 1.5 cm to 2 cm between the seedlings and the edge of the container for the purpose of guaranteeing maximum yields.
The size of the container you choose will also depend on the amount of carrots you want to grow. Where the output needed is beyond what your container can allow you to grow, use more containers.
How long do carrots take to grow in containers?
For most carrot varieties, the seeds begin to sprout at around 14 to 21 days. Look out for the sprouting of your seeds as per the sprouting time indicated for your carrot variety.
The length of time carrots take to grow in containers depends on the variety. However, most carrot varieties are ready for harvesting between two to three months after sowing, or more specifically, 75 days from the date of germination.
Carrot picking time
You will know it is time to harvest carrots when you see the top of your carrots become visible just above the soil. Pick one or two at first from different parts of your container to ascertain they have fully matured before proceeding with full harvesting.
Every variety of carrots has its recommended time of harvesting, therefore it is important to check the seed packaging to ensure that you harvest at the right time.
Carrot picking method
When harvesting carrots, you may need to loosen the soil a little using a trowel before pulling them out. Shake the soil off the carrot roots and wash them.
Put them out to dry immediately and then store them well. Cut off the tops before storing as leaving them on causes the carrots to soften and go bad prematurely.
This is so because the leaves draw nutrients from the roots. Store them in sealed plastic bags inside your refrigerator’s vegetable crisper.
How often should you water carrots in containers?
All vegetables grown in containers require frequent watering including carrots. The purpose for this is to ensure the soil remains well-watered or sufficiently moist to avoid a situation where it can dry out.
Avoid making the soil soggy with too much water. It is advisable to water carrots in containers whenever about one inch of the top soil has dried out.
Poke your finger into the soil, about an inch deep near the plant without disturbing the developing roots to determine whether you need to add water. Keeping the soil well-watered prevents the roots from splitting.
Handle the challenge of leaching of nutrients
It is important to note that frequent watering has the adverse effect of leaching nutrients from your soil, therefore you need to fertilize the soil every four weeks.
Go for organic liquid fertilizers because they are the best for carrots grown in containers. Carrot fertilizers should always be low in nitrogen but high in phosphate and potassium.
Both phosphate and potassium promote root growth and the overall growth of your carrot crop. A ratio of 0-10-10 or 5-15-15 of the three minerals in carrot fertilizers always works best for the crop.
Deal with carrot root exposure from the topsoil
If or whenever you notice the roots of your carrots poking above the soil, create a mound of soil around them to ensure they are fully covered. This helps prevent them from turning green in color. The green parts usually have an unpleasant taste and can also be poisonous depending on the carrot variety.
Don’t also forget to find ways to keep away rodent that can eat your carrot plants. This include devising ways to get rid of squirrels and of cause gophers.