Carrot is a sweet tasting vegetable, it is grown all over the world thanks to its adaptation to temperate climates and the simplicity of its culture.
Originally this vegetable was only used for medicinal purposes, then it made its way into dietary habits thanks to its richness in vitamin A (beta-carotene), B, C, E, which make carrot an ideal vegetable against infectious diseases and intestinal disorders.
Let’s find out together how to grow carrots in pots on your own balcony so you can always have this particularly versatile vegetable in your kitchen, even if you don’t have a piece of the garden to dedicate to your vegetable patch.
What are the varieties to grow in pots?
The carrot ( Daucus carrota sativus ) is a vegetable of which we eat the root, the size of which varies according to the different varieties. On average, the vegetable has a diameter about 2-3cm and an 15-20cm in length . To grow the carrot in a pot in the balcony garden, it is advisable to choose a short-lived variety, such as the Heart of beef Is Little finger Is Nantes .
At the expense of its characteristic elongated shape, one could also choose to grow round varieties. as the Miniature the parmex Hello parisian red (Parisian).
The concept is that having a necessarily limited space in the container this will make it easier to obtain good results with plants that tend to grow less, especially at depth.
Selection of soil and pot
After choosing the variety of carrot you want, we have to decide which jar to use grow the carrot on the balcony then s to fill the soil .
The perfect pot must be 40-50 cm deep to give space to the roots that grow deep, the width will vary depending on the space available on the balcony.
always use Saucer to avoid the dispersion of water, especially in summer, and do not forget to insert in the bottom of the pot fragments, pebbles or perhaps expanded clay, which can promote drainage some water.
At this point, we just have to put our soil in the pot and maybe add some homemade compost to enrich the soil with nutrients. The carrot prefers loose soil and little subject to compaction, in this sense, the addition of a good percentage of sand to the substrate can promote root swelling and also aid in the drainage of excess water.
Planting position and period
The best time to plant carrots from the end of February in more temperate climates, until around August for more information you can read the text devoted to the planting of carrots.
As for the climate, the carrot prefers a temperate climate and does not support intense cold, especially when it germinates. the best place growing carrots on the balcony is a place that always receives sunlight, north-facing balconies can be very poorly lit.
sown and thinned
Once the right period has been chosen, the best way to plant carrots is to make small holes in the ground a distance of 3-4 cm the other and insert up to 3 seeds in each hole, then cover them with a thin layer of soil . Carrot seeds are small, just think that one gram can contain up to 1000 seeds which, stored in the dark and cold, have a germination time of more than 2 years.
Do not be discouraged if the seedlings are slow to come out, the carrot is known to have slow germination which can be extended up to 20 days in case of cold and less than optimal soil conditions.
After 7 days of sowing we will move on to the phase of thinning of seedlings then we will carefully remove the excess carrot plants, leaving only the best for each “position” where we had made the hole.
After sowing and germination, our balcony garden will see the outer leaves of carrots grow until their harvest in a period that can range from 70 to 120 days depending on the variety chosen.
pot culture irrigation plays a key role. We regulate the water so the soil is never too dry but we avoid water stagnation which could generate mold and give problems to our carrot plants.
The root of the carrot is always edible, obviously it is better to wait until it grows a minimum, otherwise there will not be much to eat. By observing the plant at the neck, or at the limit by gently digging with the finger one can easily get an idea of the diameter reached by the root, it is better to wait until it is more than one centimeter. If too big, the carrot might be more stringy and even a little bitter, so don’t expect too much.
Smart Pots Fabric Vase
The adversities of the potted carrot
The carrot is a hardy vegetable, but we can guarantee you more security by growing it shallots or a Garlic on the edges of our pot, plants that help repel insects such as the carrot fly, Psila rosae.
Other problems for carrots can be represented by mushroom such as Scletorinia sclerotiorum and Rhizoctnonia solani or aphids ; in these cases we could experiment with a macerate of horsetail or garlic and, above all, pay attention to avoid water stagnation the main causes of mold and disease.
To learn more about the diseases of this plant, you can read the article on the adversities of carrots, while the article on pests is about pests.
How to use carrot
The carrot is p jointly appreciated for health eyes and skin . thanks to its antioxidant substances and its richness in vitamins, such as beta-carotene which stimulates tanning and reduces the appearance of wrinkles.
To take full advantage of the qualities of the carrot, it is advisable to cook it briefly and then try it with a dash of fat, for example extra virgin olive oil, which multiplies by 5 the assimilation of carotenoids .
The advantage of growing carrots on the balcony is to have them close to the kitchen, it will be very easy to eat them as soon as they are collected preventing them from losing nutrients and useful substances over time.