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How To Grow Carrots Indoors [A Beginner’s Guide]
In these increasingly uncertain times, gardeners all across the world are learning new tips and tricks to keep their produce growing. If you've moved your garden indoors, you may find yourself asking: what do you need to do to successfully grow carrots indoors? We've done the research to bring you the answer.
Follow these steps to grow carrots indoors:
- Choose the container
- Select the soil
- Plant your seeds or growths
- Water and wait...
- Harvest your carrots
Whether you're an old green thumb or just getting into the practice, it never hurts to experiment with gardening. With that in mind, let's explore the different ways you can grow carrots.
Carrot Growing Guide
Carrots are relatively forgiving, which makes them the ideal first plant for many an indoor gardener. The steps needed to grow them successfully are similar to those you'd employ in an outdoor garden. The care and keeping of your carrot growths, however, can be made all the easier depending on where you choose to grow them in your home.
Choose Your Container
First thing's first — you need a container in which to grow your carrots. Carrots, as mentioned, are fairly flexible plants. You can grow them in a pot, bin, or even in an old soda container. Make sure, at least, that your chosen container is clean and appropriately fitted for produce before you start your planting.
Most importantly, make sure that the drainage holes in your container are clear and present. If you don't allow your carrots to drain, they'll start to rot beneath the soil, and you'll lose your crop.
Read more: 10 Awesome Balcony Garden Containers
Select Your Soil
With your container settled, it's time to find soil. You'll be able to purchase the soil you need from your local hardware store or greenhouse. Alternatively, if you want to take a more homegrown approach, you can always dig up some of the soil in your yard and use it in a pot.
When it comes to fertilizer, less is more with carrots. You'll want to dilute your fertilizer with water before mixing it into your chosen soil.
Plant Your Seeds Or Growths
Once you have your soil, you'll want to fill your chosen vessel two-thirds of the way full. Then, it's time to plant your carrots. If you have seeds, you'll want to scatter them through your vessel, leaving at least half an inch between each seed. Once the seeds are scattered, cover them with an inch of soil, and dampen the soil with water.
If you're planting growths, you'll want to leave a little more room between each one. Ideally, carrots need three-fourths of an inch of space between each growth. At your initial planting, ensure each growth has space to grow, and dampen the soil after you've finished planting.
Water Regularly And Be Patient
At this point, all there is to do is wait! Carrots grow at different rates depending on their care. Make sure to water your carrots every two to three days, never over-watering but keeping the soil damp.
Harvest Your Carrots
Most carrot growths will be ready for harvesting two months after their initial planting. Be sure to test one of your growths before harvesting the rest, or else you risk compromising the whole of your harvest.
How Long Does It Take To Grow Carrots Indoors?
As mentioned, the amount of time to grow your carrots will vary based on their species. The location of your bin, the quality of your soil, and the number of times you water your carrots will also alter their growth rate.
On average, though, you'll be able to start harvesting your carrots two months after you've planted your seeds. Growths, comparatively, may be ready in a month and a half. Always check your growths before harvesting all of your carrots. By pulling one at a time, you'll be able to better gauge when your produce is ready.
Can Carrots Be Grown In Pots?
You can easily grow carrots in indoor pots. If you're new to the practice, these pots often come with pre-drilled drainage holes that'll make it easier to protect your carrot roots from rotting.
Pots like the one pictured here are ideal for indoor growth. You may not be able to grow many carrots, given the amount of room each one needs to grow. However, you can start your garden off and try your hand at the practice.
You can find additional pots like this one on Amazon.
Can You Grow Carrots In Water?
It doesn't seem like it should be possible, but you can grow carrots without planting them in soil. How? With hydroponics. Hydroponics is the process through which produce is grown in a soil substitute, usually nutrient-rich water.
The root system of plants grown with hydroponics offers the produce all of the support it needs. Some sources even say that plants grown via hydroponics grow 25 percent faster and with 30 percent more yield.
Think you want to try and grow your carrots in water, then? You'll need to find the right balance of nutrients to create your soil substitute. Perlite is a key ingredient in most hydroponic recipes. This mineral occurs naturally in the wild and normally forms near volcanoes. It's through a combination of water, perlite, and store-bought hydroponic nutrient solution that you'll be able to grow your carrots without soil.
To effectively grow your carrots in water, you'll need to:
- Allocate a bin for your carrots.
- Make sure the bin has several quarter-inch drainage holes drilled into it. You may have to do this manually, or you may be able to find a bin with the appropriate holes pre-drilled. These holes should be placed on the side of your bin, not the bottom, and should go no higher than three inches from the bottom.
- Lay at least 12 inches of perlite into your chosen bin.
- Gently water the upper inch of perlite.
- Sprinkle your carrot seeds over the dampened perlite, leaving half an inch between each seed.
- Cover the seeds with one inch of perlite and keep them damp until sprouts have formed.
- Once the carrots have started to develop a root, fill the bottom of your bin with hydroponic nutrient solution.
- Spray the carrots with the nutrient solution every two to three days.
- When the carrots have reached your desired length, harvest them, and enjoy them at your leisure. Be sure to dispose of your perlite and nutrient solution safely.
Can You Grow Carrots In A 5-Gallon Bucket?
When it comes down to it, you can also grow your carrots in a 5-gallon bucket. These buckets are easy to find at your local hardware store. They're also deep enough to be used for either hydroponics or traditional indoor gardening.
You will have to drill drainage holes in the bottom of these buckets, but they can typically hold up to several rounds of carrot harvesting.
You can find 5-gallon buckets like the one on Amazon.
Can You Grow Carrots From Carrot Tops And Scraps?
You can, in fact, regrow your carrots from what you don't eat after your harvest. The green carrot tops are the perfect catalysts for eventual regrowth. Do note, though, that you won't be able to regrow the carrot's taproot - aka, the part that you actually eat. Instead, you can turn the carrot top into a lovely houseplant for everyone around you to enjoy.
There are three ways to reinvigorate a carrot top. You can grow your tops in water, without the trouble of having to invest in hydroponic nutrients. Instead, you can balance your carrot top on the top of a glass, with the bottom just touching the water beneath it. So long as you place the glass in a sunny windowsill, you'll soon have a bright green growth to enjoy!
Alternatively, you can grow your carrot tops in a pie plate or in a rolled-up newspaper. To grow them in a pie plate, you'll need to fill your plate with marbles. Once filled, you'll need to put water into your pie plate and place your carrot tops accordingly.
When it comes to growing tops in newspaper, much the same concept applies. You'll need to lay several layers of newspaper down in a water-safe container and wet them until soaked. That said, make sure there's no standing water to drown your carrots.
Once the paper's been appropriately wetted, you'll be able to place your carrot tops. They'll develop new roots within two to three days so long as you keep the newspaper damp. Once the roots have developed, you can plant your carrots in the soil and enjoy the greenery that they produce.
Ready to move your garden indoors? Carrots are easy to grow and care for as they grow. Give your seeds and growths a month or two, and you'll be able to enjoy a fresh harvest without stepping a foot out of your door.
Before you go, be sure to check out these other great garden guides:
How To Grow Microgreens Indoors