Beginners SectionContainer Growing

How to Grow Carrots In Containers

How to grow carrots in containersHow to grow carrots in containers. Growing carrots in containers or patio planters can be more successful than you would expect and it is a great way to begin growing your own at home. Urban planters / Containers make the perfect entry level vegetable garden for the beginner, as well as offering some valuable growing space on balconies, patios, rooftop gardens or anywhere with limited space. While alot of containers may not suit carrots as well as planting them in the ground or in raised beds, there are many things you can do to ensure growing success and an easy crop of your own fresh carrots.


Choose the right container
First of all choose a deep container, like a carrot planter bag, to facilitate the carrots long roots. As the roots need plenty of space to grow, a planter of about 1.5ft high is perfect. It doesn’t matter what type of planter it is just as long as there are plenty of drainage holes. The patio planter is made from polyethylene and can be folded away for storage when not in use, all you need to add is 40 Litres of compost and your plants or seeds. It is reusable, so just wash properly before use to remove bacteria.

Choose the right variety of carrot
Not all carrots have to be the “Bugs Bunny” type, I learned this after growing plenty of misshapen, wierd looking, stunted roots. A nice round variety will grow much better in growbags. A variety like ‘Early Nantes‘ or ‘Chantenay Red Cored‘ are ideal, they have the classic tapered shape but are shorter and wider and taste as good as any carrot you will grow.

Choose a good soil or compost for your container
A loose, light soil or compost is always best for carrot root growth. Loosen the soil and make sure there are no stones or hard bits, if the carrot root meets any obstruction it will grow misshapen and hard. Fill the container to within 1 inch of the top. Some huge benefits here over growing in the ground, there are no soil pest problems, no weeding to be done and no need to worry over poor soil conditions if using a bag of shop bought stuff. Fertiliser can be added on a weekly basis, but is purely optional. Our carrot growbags require only 40 litres of soil/compost to fill it. We recommend a bag of 40 Litre Living Green Organic Compost or for larger beds a mix of vegetable compost and envirogrind.

Sowing Your Seeds
Make 3 inch planting holes about 2.5-3in apart and put 3 carrot seeds in each one then fill over with your soil mix or compost then thoroughly water. Keep the soil or compost wet going forward to ensure the roots get enough water to maximise growth. The drainage holes will expel any excess. Carrots are best planted in March in partial sun.

Care of carrots in a planter
Once your seedlings have reached about 1 inch high, (they should be growing in groups of 3), trim 2 out of 3 down to near the soil level, leaving only one per planting group standing. After a couple of days if the stems start to lean, mound up a little bit of soil to straighten it back up and ensure the root is completely submerged. If the orange root is exposed to sunlight it will turn green and taste bitter. Your delicious container grown carrots should be ready after 2.5 months, they can be harvested a week or two beforehand if you prefer them sweeter.

Click here for our specially selected range of carrot seeds, and click for our Carrot Containers.

Further Information
Here is a video tutorial on how to grow carrots and here is a text version.

  1. Andy

    Just set up raised beds with the SFG plans…needs some advice on watering and feeding…I have the enviromesh over the beds…if it does not rain how often should I water?

    Also have some strawberries in containers and they came on good for a week or two but now looking a bit limp and leaf growth has slowed down? any ideas

    1. Andrew

      Hi Andy. Good to hear from you. Watering depends on how hot it is but if your have no rainfall I would water at least every 2 days. Bear in mind the surface of the soil can look dry but still be moist underneath so worth checking with a trowel. I am presuming you are watering the strawberries in the containers? If you are the first thing I would try is cutting back on water as you may be giving them too much. I hope this helps. Andrew

  2. Ellen

    Hello, I love the Quickcrop website. My carrot question is that I sowed Autumn King seeds in a large, deep container on the 1/07/16 and some of the carrots are showing above the soil already. The carrot heads showing are only about 3cm in diameter but my main worry is that according to the seed packet, the carrots shouldn’t be ready to harvest until approx December. I am worried the tops will turn green and/or attract carrot fly. Should I cover the heads with compost to prevent this?
    Thanking you,
    Ellen (first time carrot grower )

    1. Andrew

      Hi Ellen. The green tops on your carrots are not a problem and won’t attract carrot root fly. Carrot root fly is attracted to the smell of the foliage especially if damaged during thinning. Green carrot tops make no difference to the carrot (they are not like potatoes where green parts are poisonous) so covering with compost won’t make any difference. I hope this helps. Andrew

  3. Susan

    Hello, can you please tell me if I plant in containers do I need to protect them from carrot fly? And if so how is this done? Thanks Susan

  4. Paul

    Hi, Thanks for all the info and videos, in the Klaus video on growing carrots he said the best time to sow carrots is 31st May/beg June. In the article here it says to sow in March. Is the difference because it’s in a container?
    Many thanks

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *