Growing carrots indoors in pots is easy and a convenient way to produce your own fresh root vegetables if you don’t have a garden! But what is the best pot size for carrots?
Most varieties of carrots grow well in pots and raised beds, especially when they’re planted in pots of about 12 inches deep and 10 inches in diameter. Carrots also do well in small spaces, as long as they’re well cared for.
This article contains useful information on the best pot size to grow your carrots. What’s more? You’ll learn all the care tips for growing carrots in pots.
Can I Grow Carrots Indoors?
Yes, you can grow carrots indoors. Carrot, Daucus carota subsp. sativus, is one of the easiest vegetables to grow indoors. Your indoor carrot pot will be functional and attractive – a beautiful dark green, lacy foliage addition to your home.
Planting Carrots in a Pot
When planting carrots in a pot, you need to choose the right pot size and soil. Though any pot shape will work, the major concern is to ensure that the pot is deep enough to accommodate your chosen carrot cultivar.
When choosing a pot, keep in mind that longer carrot cultivars need deeper pots.
We recommend that you choose a pot that is about 8in. (20cm.) deep for short, round, or medium cultivars (like Danvers and Chantenay), and a pot that is between 10in and 12in. (25cm. to 30cm.) deep for standard length carrots (8in. carrots).
You should choose the right pot size for your chosen cultivar to accommodate the developing roots. Ideally, you’ll choose a variety that develops a short, more rounded root rather than a long thin one.
Also, select a pot with adequate drainage, or make several holes in the bottom of the pot of your choice. Growing your carrot in a pot without adequate drainage will cause the carrots to rot from the waterlogged soil.
How to Grow Carrot Plants in Pots?
Once you’ve got the pot with the best size, fill it with good, organically rich, and high-quality potting soil to about an inch from the top. You can take soil from your garden, but make sure that you have conducted a test on the soil and make any necessary amendments.
Also, ensure that the potting soil is light, smooth, and air. This will enhance optimal root growth and adequate drainage. Carrots grow well in soil rich in potassium content because potassium promotes root growth.
However, carefully note the nitrogen level in potting soil, as Nitrogen will promote foliage growth at the expense of root growth, which is not our goal.
Once, the right pot and potting soil have been put in place, now you are ready to plant carrots. The first challenge you may likely face is getting those tiny little carrot seeds into the soil – spacing them evenly around the pot.
Well, this is not necessary, you don’t need to bother yourself about spacing the seeds evenly around the pot. Simply moisten the potting soil and sprinkle the carrot seeds over the surface. Place the pot in a sunny window and keep the potted soil moist at the surface until the seeds germinate.
Once the seeds germinate, cut off the extra seedlings with a pair of scissors so that the remaining carrots are about one and a half inches (1cm.) apart. Also, water the pot when the soil is dry at a depth of 1in. (2.5cm.)
Potted carrots require regular watering. Ensure to water the potted soil at the soil level, and not over the leafy tops, to avoid problems with rot. Also, keep the soil moist, but not soaked, and never allow the soil to completely dry out.
When the seedlings grow to about 3in (7.5cm.) tall and you still notice crowding or see which seedlings are the sturdiest, you can thin them again to about an inch apart or the planting distance specified on the seed packet.
Ideally, there should be about 1.5cm to 2cm of spacing available between seedlings and the container edge. Good spacing and depth will allow carrots to grow well and fully develop.
At this point, you need to start a regular feeding schedule for your carrot. Use a liquid houseplant fertilizer mixed at full strength every two weeks. Harvest your carrots when they develop their mature color. Harvest them by pulling them gently straight out of the soil.
We don’t recommend digging around the carrots in the soil before harvesting. Doing this may disturb the roots of other carrots and cause deformities.
How to Choose the Right Variety of Carrots?
Though harvesting perfectly shaped cone-like carrots is not guaranteed when growing your own carrots. However, choosing the right variety when growing your carrots in pots would give you a good chance for a great harvest.
As stated above, short varieties of carrots like Chantaney, Oxheart, and Round carrots are the right choice when growing carrots in pots. Round carrots like Rondo and Parmex are perfect if you’re trying to avoid funny-shaped carrots.
Here are some carrot cultivars that are perfect for container growing:
⦁ Red Cored Chantenay: This variety is easy to grow and can grow up to 5in. The roots are wide at the top and narrow at the bottom – giving a short, thick cone shape. This cultivar can be grown in poor soils.
⦁ Danvers: This variety is more intense in taste. It can grow about 6in. to 7in. long. It is slender but wider at the top – than the Imperator variety but not as much as the Chantenay variety.
⦁ Imperator: Imperator carrots are the sweetest. This variety is long and slender – can grow up to about 8in. to 12in. in length. This variety requires a pot that is more than 12in. deep.
⦁ Nantes: This variety is sweet and crispy. It is more cylindrical than tapered. It can grow up to about 6in. to 7in. long and is good for pot growing.
⦁ Oxheart: This variety is perfect for pots. Its roots only grow to about 2in. to 3in. long at maturity.
Note: Though you can grow any type of carrot in a pot, short varieties are better.
What is the Best Soil to Grow Carrots in?
Carrots grow easily in loose lightweight soil (or compost) void of twigs, stones, or any other hard bits. The soil must also have good drainage. Soil or compost with obstructions like twigs, stones, and so on will cause carrots to grow hard, into oddly shaped, or with two or three legs.
You can either buy a good quality potting soil to use in your pot or prepare your own soil – ensure that the soil’s pH is between 6 to 7.
What is the Best Temperature to Grow Carrots in?
The best temperature for seed germination is between 42°F to 90°F (5.5°C to 32°C). However, the optimum seed germination temperature for growing carrot is between 55°F to 75°F (12°C to 24°C). Normally, Carrot seeds germinate within one to three weeks – but longer in low temperatures.
The best-tasting carrots are grown within the temperature ranges of 60°F to 72°F (15°C to 22°C) during the growing period.
You can adjust the temperature of carrots grown in a pot by moving the pot into a shade if the weather is warm and in more sun if the weather is cold.
The best pot size may vary according to the carrot cultivar you’re growing and its required planting depth. Ideally, a pot size of 6in. to 15in. deep should accommodate any variety of carrots you choose to grow.
Pot size of at least 13in. depth and wide width can be used to grow most of the carrot cultivars available.
If you’re planning on growing carrots indoors or in your limited space but done have pots, you can also use tubs, planter bags, window boxes, or any large containers to grow this sweet and crispy root vegetable.