How To Successfully Grow Carrots In Containers

Growing a vegetable garden ensures your family always has healthy ingredients at home. Carrots, for example, are one of the fastest-growing vegetables and provide healthy nutrients, such as vitamin C, and help balance cholesterol. They add the perfect amount of volume to any dish without highly increasing calories. That said, carrots can be challenging to grow if you don't know the proper procedure.

They're often grown in garden beds but are easier to grow in containers, which can be placed on patios, balconies, and decks. You need large, deep containers to grow them successfully. When they're in containers, they're not exposed to carrot-loving animals or insects, such as rabbits and slugs. They'll be protected on higher ground. While slugs can slowly work their way up the side of a container, you'll be able to remove them faster when tending your carrots.

Depending on the type of carrots you're trying to grow, you can grow between 12 to 24 carrots in a single container. They enjoy stone-free soil, which allows their roots to grow straight, so you don't have to use infertile or rocky soil. Using multiple containers will triple the amount of carrots you grow so that you have many varieties, from baby carrots to long, mature ones.

How to grow carrots in a container

When growing carrots in containers, you need the right-sized bucket or pot. Of course, the size of the pot will depend on the variety of carrots you're growing. For example, if you want long-rooted carrots, you'll need about an 18-inch deep container for their roots to grow entirely. In contrast, smaller carrots will do well in smaller pots.

Gardens expert for Homes & Gardens Christine Walkden claims, "You can grow carrots in pots of around 12 inches in diameter and the same depth or bigger." Moreover, you want suitable soil — carrots need "multipurpose compost mixed with a quarter part, by volume, grit or sharp sand," per Walkden.

You need a 12-inch pot, multipurpose compost, crocks, carrots, well-drained soil, and water to grow carrots in containers. Start by placing crocks over the drainage holes to aid the water and prevent clogging. Then, fill the container with the multipurpose mixture and sow the carrots a ½ inch deep and 2 to 2 ½ inches apart with a light layer of soil. Place them in a grid format to grow many carrots.

Finally, water the soil and place it in a sunny spot — they need about six to eight hours of sunlight. Giving the carrots potassium-rich liquid feed is essential as they grow. You also don't want to let their compost or soil dry out, so water when the first inch of soil is dry. Keep an eye on your carrots, especially on warmer days.

The best carrots to grow in containers

You can grow many types and varieties of carrots in your container. A few types of carrots are Nantes, Chantenay, and Parisian. Nantes grow 6 to 8 inches long and have cylindrical roots; they often grow earlier. Chantenay carrots are 5 inches long with 3 to 4 inches across the top. Parisian carrots are the stubbier carrots of the bunch — they grow 1 to 3 inches across the top and are rounded. These carrot types don't need a container larger than 10 inches, but if you use an oversized container, you'll be able to fit more inside.

To get more specific, you can grow a few varieties: Atlas, Yaya, Royal Chantenay, and Bolero. Atlas carrots stem from the Parisian type. They take about 70 days to grow, have a sweet taste, and thin skin that doesn't need to be peeled. Yaya carrots are Nantes types, which take about 56 days to grow. Yaya's have roots that are 6 inches long, and they're fast growing within a couple of months.

Royal Chantenay comes from the Chantenay-type — the perfect carrots for juicing since they grow 6 inches long with a 3-inch top. It takes about 70 days for Royal Chantenay to grow. Bolero is also a great Nantes carrot type that grows within 75 days at 8 inches long. It's similar to the Atlas variety in its sweet, juicy taste.