I have discovered yet another universal truth about gardening: no matter how many carrots I plant in my garden, it will never be enough.
It sure looks like enough. All of those feathery green tops fill whole sections of my garden, and I think surely, when I harvest, I'll have more than enough for cooking and snacking.
And they are all gone within a few days. No one can resist a sweet, crisp garden-fresh carrot. Or ten.
So I've started planting carrot seeds in containers, because I can always fit another flower pot or planter box in somewhere around here, and I can plant a few more seeds every week or two to guarantee us a fairly continuous harvest well into fall.
Containers for Growing Carrots
Any type of container will do, as well as it is at least eight, and preferably 10, inches deep. Flower pots, window boxes, plastic buckets -- any of them will work just fine. Just make sure it has adequate drainage so your carrots don't rot.
Varieties of Carrots for Containers
Generally, you want to look for either "round" or "Nantes" type carrots for containers. Round varieties are like little golf balls. Nantes are tapered, but shorter and thicker than other carrots.
- Thumbelina' -- little orange, round carrots that are wonderfully sweet. 60 days.
- 'Danvers Half Long' -- tapered, crisp orange carrots, very good flavor. 75 days.
- 'Parmex' -- round, orange, very sweet flavor. 60 days.
- 'Chantenay Red Core' -- very stocky, short tapered carrots, great for juicing, cooking, or eating raw. 75 days.
- 'Little Finger' -- 3 inch long carrots, great for snacking. 65 days.
- 'Parisienne' -- small round carrot. 65 days.
- 'Shin Kuroda' -- tapered, 3 to 5 inch Japanese variety, very tender. 75 days.
In general, the trickiest thing about growing carrots is getting them to germinate. You can't let the soil dry out at all before the seeds germinate. If you do, you won't have much luck. To keep the soil moist, you can even cover the surface of the soil with damp sphagnum moss, burlap, or even a towel. As soon as you start to see green sprouts, remove the covering and continue watering. Your container-grown carrots will need to be fertilized every couple of weeks with either fish emulsion or liquid kelp. Thin the carrots so that they're about an inch apart, and enjoy harvesting these yummy, healthy little snackers all season long.