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Growing Carrots in a Container

 
 

If you are a gardener that loves carrots but never seems to be able to grow straight, long roots, a container garden is the answer.  Planting carrots in soil that is not rock-free and well drained can cause problems, such as forked roots.   While this problem does not affect the taste of the carrot, it does affect the looks and acceptability of the vegetable.

Container for Carrots

The type of container really does not matter as far as carrot production but it does need to be deep.  A good design for a carrot container is one that is at least 2 inches longer then an average carrot.  Another approach is to buy carrot seeds that are compatible to your container size.  As an example, do not plant carrot seeds in a 2-inch deep container that will mature into 6-inch long carrots.

Soil

Soil used for carrots is very simple and only requires two ingredients.  These ingredients are all-purpose potting soil or seasoned compost and sand.  Mix equal part of both ingredients.  As you mix the soil, remove any stones or sticks that may be in the mix.

The Planting Process

The planting process starts with cleaning the container with a solution of bleach and water.  Once the container has been cleaned, lay out in the sun to dry completely.  After the container has dried, place drainage material in the bottom of the container.  Do not skip this step and if your container does not have a drainage hole create one or choose another type of container.

Fill the container with soil until you are about 2-inches from the top.  Now, you can begin to plant.

Planting can occur in several different ways but the two easiest ways is through a grid format or trenching.  The grid method consists of dividing the space into a grid.  The grid size will depend on the container size.  Once the grid is created, simply plant several seeds in each grid space.  This technique is great to use if you are going to plant several different crops of carrots at different times.

The second approach just requires one to draw a trench in the soil, sprinkle the seeds and then cover up with ¼ inch of soil.

Regardless of which technique you use, mist with water or water from the bottom through capillary action.

Once the seeds germinate, thin the seedlings so that there is a 2-inch separation between each plant.  Do not transplant the removed seedlings.  While they grow, they will have forked roots.

Several crops of carrots can be grown in a season depending on the area you live in.  If you live in a cold climate, simply move the container inside when it gets extremely cold or cover with a layer of straw.

In general, carrots are ready to harvest when they are ¾ inch in diameter.

Problems

A few problems exist as far as carrots but to control the problem harvest carrots when mature and cover with a floating row cover.

Aster Yellow

Aster yellow is a plant disease that is carried by the aster leafhopper.  It causes hairy roots and yellow tops.

All Tops

All tops are a condition where no roots or very little roots are produced.  This is caused by not being thinned correctly.

Carrot Root Flies

This plant disorder is caused when flies lay their eggs on the vegetation of the carrots.  When these eggs hatch, the maggots feed and destroy the plant material.  Once the maggots appear, harvest all the carrots.

Carrots are an easy vegetable to grow for any gardener and are made easier by simply growing in a container.


 

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