Growing carrots in a container is probably not the first idea that springs to a gardeners mind when planning for the 2013 harvest. In fact it is easy and fun to do, and quite rewarding. Also, it can give the gardener a real head start on the season since the containers will be started indoors.
Materials are elementary. If you lack a proper planter five gallon buckets available at deli’s and construction sites free for the asking are ideal. They are also frequently found by the side of the road. Just be certain that the containers originally held nothing toxic and a quick wash up is all that should be required.
Drainage is important so drill a number of holes in the bottom of the buckets. Add an inch to an inch and a half of gravel, and fill the remainder of the container with potting soil and compost, if the latter is not frozen solid in your garden. Fill the containers all the way to the top but do not compact the soil.
To prevent water from running out of the holes in the bottom of the pails place a pan of some sort beneath each bucket to capture excess water. If no readymade pan is available, cut the sides from a cardboard box of the appropriate size. Line the tray just formed with plastic sheeting, perhaps from a plastic garbage bag and spills will be prevented.
Chose short to medium carrot varieties and sow them generously in the containers. You can reasonably expect 30 to 35 carrots per pot so sow twice as many seeds. Locate a sunny window or patio door and position the buckets to capture all the sunlight possible. Seeds will emerge in to 14 days.
Water the plants enough to keep the soil slightly moist, but not sodden. If desired a single application of a liquid fertilizer rich in potassium and phosphorous but not in nitrogen may be applied once after about one month.
Once the weather is such that frost is unlikely, the buckets, carrots and all may simply be moved outdoors to a bunny proof location. From that point on it is simply a matter of continuing to water the plants and wait for maturation date, which with carrots can be anywhere from 70 to 110 days depending on variety.
Who says you have to wait until July for the first batch of carrots? Start yours indoors today and enjoy them in late May or early June!
Like what you see and want to come back? Just click “+ subscribe”, it’s easy and anonymous!