The common misconception is that you need a big garden to grow your own carrots, but container gardening shows that you can grow your favorite vegetables right there on your balcony if you wish to. Carrots are an easy vegetable to grow if you have a sizeable planter. 30 to 40 carrots can be easily grown if you have a large planter.
Container gardens are a super simple solution for those who live in small homes and cannot afford to have massive lands to farm on. Additionally, this method of growing carrots also reduces issues such as pests and poor soil. Garden weeds can also be effectively avoided if you choose to grow carrots in containers. Container vegetables and fruits are also super convenient. Say you want to make some healthy waffles and pancakes and need fruits. Instead of going to the store, you can just go to your balcony and pick out what you need.
However, to have a successful container garden, there are a few things that you have to be mindful of to ensure that your vegetables grow well. Let us take a look at some of these tips.
Choose the Best Containers
The container you choose for your carrots must have sufficient space for the roots to grow. Hence, these containers should be deep enough. Depth is extremely important, therefore the container you choose to grow your plant in must be at least 6 to 15 inches deep. The depth required changes depending on the category you use. Thus, it is always helpful to check out the depth requirements before you grow your carrots. On average, most varieties require at least 12 inches deep containers. Along with accommodating the roots of the carrots, the containers should also be able to manage large volumes of soil, which is a necessity for growing carrots.
Additionally, the containers should provide the carrots with plenty of drainages. The lack of a drainage hole can be a bit of an issue if you are repurposing an old container, but you can always drill a hole in the bottom. Ample drainage prevents waterlogging and rotting of the carrots.
Where you place your container carrots is also of great importance. Most carrot varieties require a good amount of sunlight to grow well. The ideal amount of sunlight is around 6-7 hours because UV light from the sun is necessary for carrot growth. Therefore, you should put your carrots in a south or west-facing window. These locations are where the sunlight is the most consistent, and you can be at ease that your carrots are receiving a substantial amount of sunlight.
However, carrots are usually grown during the cooler months when sunlight is weak. Make sure to move the carrots to a slightly shadier area in warmer months. Less direct sunlight helps ensure that the carrot plants do not burn or wither due to the intense heat.
Choose the Right Variety of Carrots
When growing carrots at home, a cone-shaped carrot is not guaranteed because a lot of it depends on the variety of carrots you are growing and all the environmental factors. However, if you choose the right variety for your container garden, you can have a great harvest.
Let us look at a few of the best varieties of carrots that can grow in a container.
Atlas is a Parisian variety of carrots that has rounded roots and can be harvested with ease when they are 1 to 2 inches wide. Furthermore, you do not need to peel these carrots and can just give them a quick rinse and enjoy them as they are.
The Yaya variety is a Nantes-type carrot that takes around 56 days to grow. These carrots usually have 6 inch long roots and need a sizeable container to allow them to grow. This variety of carrots is great to plant during mid to late spring, and they usually harvest in the summer.
Bolero carrots are another Nantes variety that takes up to 75 days to grow. They are usually cylindrically shaped, and the roots can grow up to 8 inches long. The flavor of these carrots is probably the best as they are sweet, juicy, and crisp. Additionally, they are perfect to grow as they are resistant to many diseases that plague carrots.
Royal Chantenay carrots are the red-cored variety and are quite popular among those who indulge in container gardening. These carrots have roots 3 inches wide and 6 inches long, which make these easy to grow in a container. Additionally, these carrots take 70 days to mature are perfect for juicing carrots.
Manage Pests and Diseases
Pests and diseases are problems that usually arise when your soil is not fresh, and your plants are not thinned enough. If you have taken care of these two things, then pests and diseases will not be bothering you.
If, however, some issue arises, it could be because of aphids, flea beetles, and leafhoppers. These bugs tend to munch on the carrot leaves and infect them. This issue can be effectively solved by spraying your crops with high-pressure water using a garden hose. However, if the situation goes out of hand, insecticidal soap or neem oil is your best bet at getting rid of them.
However, diseases are more of a concern for those who grow carrots in gardens. This is because replacing soil is not so easy in a garden. It is pretty simple to do in a container, however. Some diseases that can plague your carrots are fungal bacterial diseases such as Alternaria leaf blight, carrot black rot, and bacterial leaf blight.
Watering Your Carrots
Carrots usually grow best in slightly moist soil, but if the soil gets too moist and becomes wet, it may cause issues such as waterlogged soil, which can cause the rotting of carrots. The best way to water your carrots is to water only when the soil is dry. Additionally, when watering the carrots, make sure that the watering is done an inch down. To check, you can stick your finger in the pot. This method will give you a good estimate. Checking the soil every day or every other day can greatly help you manage your root growth and ensure that it is healthy.
Choose the Best Soil to Grow Carrots
Soil is perhaps the most important when you want your container garden to succeed. Choosing the correct soil and having it in the optimal conditions is essential. Carrots need soil that is lightweight and has good drainage. Additionally, you should ensure that the soil is clean and does not have any twigs, stones, or hard bits that can obstruct the root growth. It can also cause hard or even oddly shaped carrots. Your best bet would be to buy high-quality potting soil and use it in a container. PH is also super important, so try to keep the pH of your soil between 6 to 7.
How to Plant Carrot Seeds in Containers
Now, we know all the tips on how to grow the best container carrots. We should now take a look at how to plant these seeds.
The first step is to add soil or compost into the container you have chosen. Lightly water the soil beforehand to make the soil lightly moist, as the carrots need.
Next, create a planting hole that is 1.5 cm deep and 1.5 cm apart. This gives the carrots enough room to grow.
When sowing your seeds, do it thinly and add 3 carrot seeds in each hole. Cover the seeds with soil and water lightly again.
Now, all you have to do is wait for the carrots to grow. Be sure to keep the soil watered enough.
How to Harvest Carrots in Containers
Harvesting container carrots is pretty simple. Let us see how it is done.
First, ensure that the carrots have had enough time to grow. If you are unsure, the best way to check is to pull out a root and check how long and wide it is. They don’t have to wait till they are mature. If the roots seem long enough, then you can pull them out.
Ensure that you do not harvest the entire pot at once. The best way is to pull out roots as needed. Leave the rest of the roots as they continue growing in the pot.
Container gardens are a super-easy way to grow vegetables and have them at your disposal whenever you need them to be. Carrots, especially, are great vegetables to grow in containers because they are simple to grow and do not require a lot of extra care or attention. All you need to have is adequate sunlight and ideal soil. The only thing you have to keep a close eye on as the carrot grows is the water. If you water the carrots correctly and keep in mind all the tips mentioned above, your carrots will grow perfectly.