Carrots are easy to grow in containers; you just need good, loose soil. You don’t need a lot of space or a fancy container, either. Some gardeners grow carrots in those 5-gallon hardware store buckets. The essentials remain the same: good soil, good drainage, and good light. You might want to choose a miniature variety if you are really short on space, but there’s nothing to stop you from growing bigger carrots; check out some of the possibilities in Plant Profiles.
Carrots need six to eight hours of sunlight each day to flourish. They can tolerate some shade, but they really prefer sun. Keep them out on the deck or balcony, and move the container during the day if you need to.
Carrots need about an inch of water per week. Keep in mind that you want the water to get all the way down to the root of the plant. Carrots prefer consistent watering as opposed to a drought-and-deluge approach. If your carrots’ soil isn’t moist enough and the weather heats up, the plants could bolt, producing flowers and going to seed. The flowers are lovely, but if you’re growing the carrots to eat, don’t let their soil dry out. A little mulch around the base of the plant will help hold in moisture.
For carrots in containers or planters, use a commercial soil mix that’s formulated for vegetables and herbs; MiracleGro has a special formulation. This gives your plants a healthy head start, and you’re less likely to introduce weeds or soilborne diseases by digging up soil from your garden. The ideal soil pH range for carrots is 6.0 to 7.0.
Have you grown carrots in containers? Please tell us about your successes and challenges growing carrots in containers.