Can you Grow Carrots in Containers?– Yes, You can grow carrots in containers. Carrot is a root vegetable. It requires very little space across, more of a depth though. We can easily grow these in deep containers of any shape. Healthy soil with proper drainage and lots of sunlight is sufficient for carrots in containers. Not just the roots are useful but the leaf also adds a unique look to the surrounding decor. Carrot leaves are light green, fine and lacy that can easily attract eyes. So you can use these plants as a decoration on patio or decks. Once the roots are mature, pull them off the soil and eat them. It doesn’t matter whether you have a garden or not, you can grow carrots.
Just arrange a container 10-12 inches deep, fill it with light potting mix and sow the carrot seeds directly in it. Keep the soil ix moist and place it in full sun. Your carrots will be ready to consume after 95 to 110 days of germination. Carrot seed germination itself can take up to 3 weeks.
Read more about carrots: Why Are My Carrot Seeds Not Germinating?
Are Carrots easy to grow in Containers?
Yes, Carrots are pretty easy to grow in containers. Though the first part i.e., carrot seed germination is a little concern. As carrot seeds can take a long time to germinate even with the best quality seeds at an ideal temperature.
Regular watering and occasional fertilization should be sufficient for carrot plants after seed germination. Also, the carrot plant doesn’t grow as fast as radish or beetroot. So have some patience and keep the plant well feed and properly hydrated.
All it requires-
- Healthy Soil
- Big Container
- Sufficient Sunlight
- Regular watering
- A little bit of feeding
- Timely Harvesting.
That’s It. If you manage all of these then it should be real easy for carrots to grow in any location or container.
What size container is good for carrots?
A 10 or 12-inch deep container is ideal to grow carrots. You can use containers of any shape, it can be circular, square, rectangular, or any shape. The Container should have enough depth for proper root growth. It is better if you choose a wide 18 inch or bigger tub or container to grow carrots. It can help you in growing multiple carrots together.
You will get only one carrot from each plant. So growing only a few is not enough, not for the whole family. You will need at least a dozen or more carrots for a family of 4. That’s why I use a 20-inch circular plastic tub to grow 25-40 carrots together. You can use 5 or 10-gallon grow bags to grow a couple of them together.
How many carrots can you grow in a 5-gallon Bucket?
You can easily grow 20 -25 carrots in a 5-gallon Bucket or grow bag. I have noticed that 16 or 18 of these 25 get to their optimum size or girth. So probably it is better If you grow only 15 or 20 carrots in a 5-gallon container.
Similarly, if you have a 1-gallon or 2-gallon container then you can grow 5 or 10 carrots in them. It is important to understand that different carrot varieties have different fruit sizes. Carrot variety with bigger fruits will require more room than dwarf varieties. Therefore, You must consider the specifications and requirements of the carrot variety that you choose to grow in containers.
Which Soil is good for carrots in containers?
Carrots require super soft, light soil with good drainage. It should have a neutral ph around 6.5 -6.8. Amend with wood ash if it is too acidic or add compost to lower down the soil ph.
Commercial potting soil is best for container gardening. You should use it in a 50-50 ratio with good quality compost. I use 20% garden soil, with 50% Compost, 10% cocopeat, 10% sand, 5% Bone mean powder or Mustard cake powder, and 3% NPK 20:20:20 with 2% contact fungicide. This mixture works great for carrots in my Container garden.
Choose whatever soil but make sure it is soft and light with proper water retention. Carrot is a root vegetable and it will require soft healthy soil to develop properly.
When to plant carrots in containers?
Start sowing carrot seeds early in spring. You can sow carrot seeds indoors 2 weeks before the last frost. The seeds will be ready to sprout out in a couple of weeks. Move the container in bright open sunlight after the risk of frost is over.
Growing carrots in containers make it easy to shift them in and out during temperature shifts. This is a great advantage of container gardening. Although the late spring to the summer season is the right time to sow carrot seeds in containers.
The month of March to July is ideal to plant carrots in containers.
Can You Transplant Carrot Seedlings? –
No, You can’t transplant carrot seedlings from one location to another. Though the plant will survive with the transplant, the root structure will deform. You will not get a good-looking carrot after transplantation. Also moving a couple of dozen of seedlings is not a feasible idea as you may have this many carrots at a time in one container.
How much Sunlight is Sufficient for Carrots in Containers?
Carrot plants love warm sunny days. You should allow these plants to receive a minimum of 6 hours of sunlight every day. You can move the container near the east or north-facing window or an open balcony for proper lighting.
Low light can slow down plant growth. This can lead to improper root growth. Discoloration of carrots is an interesting sign of low lighting. It usually becomes orange instead of bright red. Don’t worry especially if you grow orange carrots as you won’t recognize the change.
You can grow carrots in part shade. It is helpful during summer days as direct bright sunlight can quickly dry out the soil in containers. You may have to increase watering during hot summer days. Make sure the soil never remains dry for long else the roots may get splintered.
Also read: How to Grow Pepper Plants in Containers
How much water is needed to grow carrots in the container?
You may require 1.5- 2 inch water every week to grow carrots in grow bags or containers. A drip irrigation system is very useful and can save a lot of water. So if possible use a drip system for your container garden.
Make a schedule for alternate-day watering for your carrots in the container. Increase the watering frequency to daily or even twice per day during the hot summer season. Never let the soil dry else the root may break. Also, avoid overwatering as soggy soil is responsible for root rot disease.
Special Precautions with Carrots in Containers
- Choose a short Season carrot variety to grow in the container. It can help you in getting multiple yields throughout the year. Dwarf carrot varieties are ideal to grow in containers.
- Use extra light soil with cocopeat and compost to maintain proper texture and water retention. It is not good to use only regular garden soil to grow carrots in containers. Regular garden soil is dense and gets compact with time. It will crush the root structure and you may not get the optimum results.
- Provide a minimum of 6 hours of daily sunlight to the carrots in containers. They can grow in low light, although you may not get the best yield in that case.
- Water regularly the containers and keep the soil moist. Dry or soggy soil can harm carrot plants. It can crack up or shrink accordingly.
- A carrot plant needs a minimum of 2 to 3-inch space around its root. Therefore, you must thin out leggy or extra seedings a couple of weeks after seed germination. If you let all of them grow together then none of them reach their mature size.
- Finally, Your task is to water the plants a couple of hours before harvesting. It is a simple trick that can ease your task. It is not necessary though you should try it for convenience. Soft moist soil is helpful to pull carrots without much friction. It will not disturb others that usually happen with harvesting carrots in dry soil.
How long does it take to grow carrots in containers?
Carrots can take 90 to 120 days to grow in containers depending on variety and the soil condition. Even the faster-growing carrot variety will need 85 days to mature after germination.
Therefore With my experience, It will take at least 110 days from seed sowing to harvesting carrots in containers.
How to Grow Carrots in Containers?
- Use a deep 12 to 15-inch container. A 5-gallon grow bag or bucket is also good for carrots.
- Make sure the container has some drainage holes at the bottom. If not make some according to the size of the container.
- Use a healthy Potting soil mix to fill these containers. Leave 1 or 1.5-inch space at the top for watering and fertilization purposes. You can also prepare soil mix with garden soil, compost, and cocopeat in equal proportions. Make sure the soil mix doesn’t have any debris or stones in it otherwise it can deform the carrot roots.
- Tap the soil surface to remove any air pocket. Next water the mixture thoroughly until it came out of the bottom drainage hole.
- Sow the Carrot seeds at the top of the moist soil and gently push them inward just a couple of centimeters. You can also put a thin layer of the same soil mix to cover the carrot seeds.
- Spray these seeds lightly to moisten them and then leave the container in part shade for 3 days. Most probably you will not require to water again in these 3 days.
- Move the container in full sun after 3 or 4 days and keep it moist always.
- Carrot seeds will start germinating in 2 to 3 weeks. It can take up to 4 weeks for most of these seeds to germinate especially in the early spring season.
- Feed the baby carrot plants with an all-purpose fertilizer or any balanced NPK twice every month. You can also add 1/2 inch of compost in the topsoil though it should be done carefully as too much compost can damage the carrots.
- Your carrots will be ready to harvest in the container within 100-120 days of germination. Pull them out one at a time and enjoy in whichever way you want. I like it raw in salads as well as in sweet desserts.