Tips for Growing Carrots in Pots
Growing Container Carrots
Container grown carrots are a great option for both gardeners short on space or beginners alike. In fact, beginner or not, growing carrots in containers is a lot easier than growing carrots in the ground or in a raised bed. A container garden approach to growing carrots means gardeners avoid common issues such as pests, poor soil or garden weeds.
So, if you’re looking for a simple method for growing carrots and you’re not looking to harvest huge amounts (a yield greater than 40 carrots) then continue reading these tips for growing carrots in pots…
What is the Best Container to Grow Carrots?
When choosing the best container, depth is the most important factor to consider. Carrots can be grown in most container shapes ranging between 6 to 15 inches in depth.
Check the specific depth requirements according to the variety of carrots you’re growing.
Most carrot varieties require a minimum container depth of 12 inches, with 1.5 to 2 cm of spacing available between seedlings and the container edge. Good spacing and depth will allow carrots to grow well and fully develop.
If you’re recycling (or ‘repurposing’) a pot or container to grow carrots, make sure it provides plenty of drainage by drilling holes into the bottom. Growing mediums without efficient drainage will cause carrots to rot from the waterlogged soil.
How to Choose the Right Variety of Carrots
Perfectly shaped cone-like carrots are not a guarantee when growing your own. However, choosing a suitable variety, especially when growing in containers, should give you a good chance for a great harvest.
Shorter varieties, such as Chantaney, Oxheart and Round carrots are ideal for container growing. Oxheart varieties have roots only 2 to 3 inches long at maturity.
Round carrots such as Parmex or Rondo are perfect for gardeners trying to avoid funny shaped carrots.
- Chantaney carrots are the best choice, with ‘red cored’ varieties being a popular cultivar. They have the classic carrot characteristics, broad fat shoulders with a tapered triangular yet blunt tip. Growing between 4 to 5 inches, their short length is perfect for growing in container gardens. Ideally planted in spring, Chantaney carrots are best suited to containers between 12 to 15 inches in depth.
What is the Best Soil to Grow Carrots in?
- Carrots grow easily in loose lightweight soil, with good drainage and free from twigs, stones or any other hard bits. Soil or compost that is not smooth, but rather, has obstructions such as stones, will cause carrots to grow either hard, oddly shaped or with 2 or 3 legs. It’s best to buy a good quality potting soil to use in your containers, or alternatively make your own. Make sure the soil’s pH is between 6 to 7.
How to Plant Carrot Seeds in Containers
- 1. Add soil or compost to the chosen container and lightly water to create moisture.
- 2. Create planting holes, 1.5cm deep with spacing 1.5cm apart from other holes and the edge of your container.
- 3. Sow your carrot seeds thinly, filling each hole with 3 carrot seeds. Then, cover with soil and water again sparingly.
- 4. If you are growing Chantaney carrots, seedlings should appear after 14 to 21 days. Otherwise, check the sprouting time for the carrot variety you are growing.
- 5. As the seedlings develop and the plant grows, keep the soil well-watered and moist to prevent the roots from splitting and to maximise growth. However, do not soak or make the soil soggy.
What to feed your carrots
When your seedlings reach an inch tall with their first set of true leaves, we recommend feeding them with Deep Rooter. Deep Rooter stimulates root growth, which in this case happens to be the vegetable itself. Longer roots means a stronger plant.
Wait a week before adding a fertiliser as to not overload the plant. SeaFeed Xtra is a fertiliser that contains essential plant ingredients that will improve the general health of the plants.
Seafeed Xtra and Deep Rooter should then be used weekly on separate days.
Ground grown carrots may be subject to pests like carrot fly or plant diseases such as powdery mildew or root rot. However, carrots grown in pots benefit from container growing protection.
Advice for growing carrots in pots or containers. From the most suitable carrots, the ideal soil condition, which containers to use and more…
How to Grow Carrots In Containers
Andrew – February 13, 2015 January 18, 2021
How to grow carrots in containers. Growing carrots in containers or patio planters can be more successful than you would expect and it is a great way to begin growing your own at home. Urban planters / Containers make the perfect entry level vegetable garden for the beginner, as well as offering some valuable growing space on balconies, patios, rooftop gardens or anywhere with limited space. While alot of containers may not suit carrots as well as planting them in the ground or in raised beds, there are many things you can do to ensure growing success and an easy crop of your own fresh carrots.
Choose the right container
First of all choose a deep container, like a carrot planter bag, to facilitate the carrots long roots. As the roots need plenty of space to grow, a planter of about 1.5ft high is perfect. It doesn’t matter what type of planter it is just as long as there are plenty of drainage holes. Our patio planter is made from polyethylene and can be folded away for storage when not in use, all you need to add is 40 Litres of compost and your plants or seeds. It is reusable, so just wash properly before re-use to remove bacteria.
Choose the right variety of carrot
Not all carrots have to be the “Bugs Bunny” type, I learned this after growing plenty of misshapen, wierd looking, stunted roots. A nice round variety will grow much better in growbags. A variety like ‘Early Nantes’ or ‘Chantenay Red Cored’ are ideal, they have the classic tapered shape but are shorter and wider and taste as good as any carrot you will grow. For shallow containers you can also grow round varieties like ‘Paris Market Round’ pictured above, these are well worth growing and are absolutely delicious roasted in a little oil and balsamic vinegar.
Choose a good soil or compost for your container
A loose, light soil or compost is always best for carrot root growth. Loosen the soil and make sure there are no stones or hard bits, if the carrot root meets any obstruction it will grow misshapen and hard. Fill the container to within 1 inch of the top. Some huge benefits here over growing in the ground, there are no soil pest problems, no weeding to be done and no need to worry over poor soil conditions if using a bag of shop bought stuff. Fertiliser can be added on a weekly basis, but is purely optional. Our carrot growbags require only 40 litres of soil/compost to fill it. We recommend a bag of 40 Litre Living Green Organic Compost.
Sowing Your Seeds
Make shallow (2cm) holes about 2.5-3in apart and put 3 carrot seeds in each one then fill over with your soil mix or compost then thoroughly water. Keep the soil or compost wet going forward to ensure the roots get enough water to maximise growth. The drainage holes will expel any excess. Carrots are best planted in March in partial sun.
Care of carrots in a planter
Once your seedlings have reached about 1 inch high, trim 2 out of 3 down to near the soil level, leaving only one per planting group standing. After a couple of days if the stems start to lean, mound up a little bit of soil to straighten it back up and ensure the root is completely submerged. If the orange root is exposed to sunlight it will turn green and taste bitter. Your delicious container grown carrots should be ready after 2.5 months, they can be harvested a week or two beforehand if you prefer them sweeter.
For growing carrots outdoors please see our video tutorial above.
How to grow carrots in containers in a few easy steps. Growing your own carrots in planters or pots is ideal for urban gardeners with limited space.