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Container carrot, short and stout varieties are the answer!


When you don’t have much space in your garden or you live in city, you can absolutely grow carrots in a pot. Container growing is quite easy, provided you select the right varieties, an appropriate container, and a fine, moist substrate.In the following lines are 5 keys to successfully grow container carrots.

Select the right varieties

To successfully grow carrots in a pot or container, you should first choose suitable varieties. Common carrot varieties are far too long for this type of growing. Opt for very short, stout-rooted varieties.

Varieties for growing carrot in potAmong them, you will find the round carrot of Paris which yields near-perfect round, orange, sweet-flavored mini-carrots.

Paris market carrot is also perfect for pot cultivation, with its roots barely 1.6 inches long (4 cm). It’s also very tasty and sweet.

Nantes half-long carrot can also be considered here, provided you harvest it before complete maturity to get mini-carrots.

Select the right pot

Container-growing carrotCarrots grow great in wide pots or planters, with a minimum depth of about 1 foot (30 cm). Obviously, deeper is better. Likewise, more veggies can fit in a wider pot.

Choose a pot that has a hole in the bottom to ensure substrate drainage and prevent water stagnation, which can cause your carrots to rot.

Round or rectangular, plastic, terracotta, or stone, you’re free to choose, considering the weight of the pot relative to your balcony’s capacity to bear it.

Choose the right substrate for potted carrots

How to grow carrot in a containerCarrots need a well-draining substrate to grow properly. Fill your container with a substrate composed of 2/3 potting soil and 1/3 river sand, along with a little mature compost.

With this very fine soil, you should fill the container or pot up to about 1 inch from the top (2-3 cm). You can also use a special soil mix for seedlings or potted plants sold in garden centers.

Sow your carrot seeds in rows in this substrate, making sure to space rows about 10 inches apart (25 cm). Press the soil down with the back of your hand and moisten it with a drizzle-like watering can. Thin to one carrot every 3 inches (8 cm) when seedlings reach the 4-5 leaf stage.

Choosing the right exposure

Carrot balconyCarrots are vegetable plants that love sunlight all day long. So go for a spot with ample daytime sunshine. Light is vital for perfect carrot growth.

Be careful, though, as carrots fear scorching sun. Balcony, terrace, courtyard, or patio… it doesn’t matter where, as long as it’s light enough.

Do make sure the carrot varieties you pick enjoy these conditions.

Taking good care of potted carrots

Here, the most crucial thing is to keep the substrate consistently moist. It’s much harder to do this in a pot than it is in the open ground.

Water your potted carrots daily in hot weather. In case of prolonged drought, these root vegetables might need watering twice a day. You can mulch the pot’s surface to limit water evaporation.

Carrots grown in pots are generally less susceptible to diseases and pest attacks. Do keep an eye out for the carrot fly, though. To deter this pest, push a peeled garlic clove into the pot, which will drive these tiny flies away.

Want to know more? Check this out: how to grow carrots well.

Images: 123RF: denisnata, CC BY 2.0: rome.dome; Pixabay: Alexandra, René Bittner, Omar
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