Easy to grow and wonderfully sweet when scrubbed and eaten fresh from the pot, most root crops thrive when sown outdoors, the seedlings thinned, and crops watered regularly. Choose deep pots to allow space for roots to develop.
The long roots of carrots grow strong and straight in stone-free compost and their feathery leaves also look decorative in containers. Choose pots or growing bags that are at least 10 inches wide and deep, and ensure drainage is good. Sow seeds every few weeks from early spring until late summer, either with quick-cropping early cultivars (round-rooted and short types do well in pots), or larger, slower maincrops which keep well. Depending on the shape of the pot, sow seeds 1/2-inch deep, in drills 6 inches apart, or scatter thinly across the compost.
How To Plant
- Large, deep containers, such as these bags, are ideal for growing
carrots. Ensure that the compost surface is level and make a shallow
drill about 1/2-inch deep, sow seeds thinly along it, cover with
compost, and water well.
- When the seedlings have their first divided leaves, thin them to about
2 inches apart, either by pulling them up between your fingers or
snipping off the plants with scissors at soil level. Remove and compost
- Carrot flies fly close to the ground and can be prevented from reaching your crops by creating a barrier with fleece that, together with the pot, is 24 inches high, or by lifting the container the same height off the ground.
Aftercare and Harvesting
Once the first divided leaves appear, thin out seedlings to allow the remaining plants space to grow. Water consistently, but don’t overwater as this causes leaves to grow at the expense of roots. Avoid carrot fly attacks by raising containers off the ground or creating a barrier. Harvest carrots from 12 weeks after sowing by pulling them gently from the compost.