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Growing vegetables in your garden is most definitely a rewarding experience, with the ability to eat the fruits – or vegetables – of your labour. One of the most popular choices to grow at home is carrots, seeds of which can be planted straight into the ground.
However, not everyone has the garden space to plant vegetables straight into the ground, with pots the way to go for smaller gardens.
Tomatoes, cucumber, potatoes and carrots can all be grown in containers – if you know how.
When it comes to planting carrot seeds, sowing can be done between January and July, with harvesting taking place from May to December.
If you want to plant carrots in pots or containers, read on for three top tips.
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1. Choose the best container
It may go without saying but if you don’t have the right container, you won’t have the right conditions for growing carrots.
According to garden specialists Envii, carrots can be grown in most container shapes ranging between six to 15 inches in depth.
Also, make sure to check the specific depth requirements depending on the variety of carrots you have chosen to grow.
Envii explains: “Most carrot varieties require a minimum container depth of 12 inches, with 1.5 to 2 cm of spacing available between seedlings and the container edge.
“Good spacing and depth will allow carrots to grow well and fully develop.”
Make sure you drill holes in the base of your container to allow for drainage and prevent moisture build-up.
2. Choose the right type of carrots
Homegrown carrots may not look like the iconic carrot shape bought in stores, however, they taste just as good.
That being said, choosing the right type of carrot for growing in containers is important.
Envii explains: “Shorter varieties, such as Chantaney, Oxheart and Round carrots are ideal for container growing.
“Oxheart varieties have roots only two to three inches long at maturity.
“Round carrots such as Parmex or Rondo are perfect for gardeners trying to avoid funny shaped carrots.”
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3. Make sure you have the correct soil
As with any seeds, carrots need specific conditions to thrive.
You will need to have loose lightweight soil, with good drainage and no twigs or any other debris.
If you opt for soil which is not smooth Envii explains this can cause your carrots to grow either hard, oddly shaped or with two or three legs.
A good quality potting soil is the best option for use in your containers.
Envii says you need to make sure the soil’s pH is between six to seven.
How to plant carrots in containers
Prepare your container by making sure there are drainage holes in the bottom, then add soil or compost.
Lightly water, and then create 1.5cm deep holes for your seeds, making sure to have a space of around 1.5cm away from each hole and the container’s edges.
Once you have created your holes, lightly add your carrot seeds, filling each hole with three carrot seeds.
Then, cover with soil and water again sparingly.
Should you have opted for Chantaney carrots, you may see seedlings after 14 to 21 days.
For other varieties, check the seed packet for when seedlings will develop.
Make sure the soil is well-watered and moist to prevent the roots from splitting and to maximise growth.
Baby carrots are typically ready to harvest around 50 to 60 days from the planting date.
Mature carrots need a few more weeks and are usually ready in about 75 days.
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