Growing carrots indoors
Growing carrots indoors in containers is easier than you might think. Carrots are one of my favorite things to grow indoors. They are super easy and don’t take very long.
A fresh carrot right from my garden tastes so much better than the ones I get in the market. So if you are not a fan of carrots, try homegrown. Garden fresh carrots may turn you into a carrot lover.
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The days of the traditional orange carrots are long gone. Today there are lots of different sizes and colors of carrots.
Varieties of carrots: what works best in a container?
For people in the US carrots of different colors might seem weird, however, most of the world has been eating yellow, purple, white and red for a long time.
Different colors do have different nutrition values;
The answer is yes! All carrots are healthy however color does matter.
Orange carrots are highest in beta-carotene which is an antioxidant.
White carrots are high in fiber
Yellow carrots have lutein which can protect your eyes
Purple carrots are being studied for there ability to treat inflammation and obesity by researchers at NCBI
Carrots are easy to grow in containers not matter which variety you choose. The carrot will grow within the limits of the container.
The basics: what size container do you need to grow carrots?
Regardless of the variety, your pot needs to be deep. Remember that carrots grow down. The more depth the bigger they can grow. Obviously type and varieties determine the size potential.
Check the size of your favorite carrots. Make sure that your pot is at least a couple of inches deeper than the expected length of the carrots. Most carrot we’ll do well in a 12″ deep pot or planter.
You will need about 2″ of space all around your carrots. So if you are using a longer narrower planter make sure it is about 2″ wide and you place the carrots 2″ apart. If your planter is round pot, it is good to place a seed within a 2″ circle. Put as many carrots in the pot as you can make circles without overlapping.
If you want to know more about how to pick the best recycled containers for you carrots check here
Type of soil that works best for carrots
Since carrots are root vegetables a light lose soil is the best. It is good to take a nice high organic potting soil and mix it with sand, perlite or coco fiber to keep it airy.
The key is to allow the carrots to grow easily through the soil.
Soil temperature should be above 70 degrees.
The PH level should be between 6.0 and 6.5
For a great understanding of potting soil check here
The best light for growing carrots
Carrots do best in full sun. If you don’t have a sunny window that gets at least 8 hours of full sun then you can supplement with a grow light.
I like to put some of my plants in a sunny window with a grow light that is on a timer to kick on when the window goes to shady. That way I am maximizing the sun and minimizing my electric bill.
Check out this link find more about indoor grow lighting
Water and fertilizer
It is important to keep your carrot soil moist but not wet. Make sure that the soil is well-drained. Remember that the soil is really the home of your vegetable so make it a warm moist place, not dry or muddy!
Start with a good organic potting mixture. If you start with a good mixture, your carrots will not need to be fertilized.
Check out more about potting soil here
How long from seed to harvest?
Seed to harvest will differ a bit with varieties.
Most germination will be in the 6-day range.
You will be able to harvest and enjoy in about 70 days
Fun facts about carrots
Are carrots really good for your eyesight?
Well yes because as part of a healthy diet carrots add good nutrients. However, they are not the way to perfect sight we grew up believing.
During WWII the British Ministry of Food started a propaganda campaign to encourage people to eat locally available vegetables because of food shortages. The British were told that their Air Force pilots were so much better than of the country’s pilots because they ate lots of carrots. The British Air Force did have an impressive record. So the myth that carrots give you great eyesight was born.
It turns out that the British Military was not just eating lots of carrots, they had the benefit of new top-secret radar technology!
This information is for Scientific American. Check it out.
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