Container carrots

Given the current circumstances, lots of people seem to be trying their hand at “grow your own”, and why not – it’s great fun (in our view!) And this post is dedicated to showing that you don’t have to have a big garden to be able to grow vegetables. In fact, you don’t really need a garden at all if you’ve got some containers you can get your hands on.

They don’t even have to be “official” containers – most things will do! Any old bucket, or container, spare of discarded plant pot should be fine to get started.

Our containers this time we are using to grow carrots. These ones are Ideal Red, a cylindrical carrot which are very tasty! We’ve grown them a couple of times before, and so wanted to give them another go.

First, we put a couple of inches of garden soil in the bottom of the pots to add a bit of weight and hopefully anchor them if it gets windy. There’s nothing worse than an upturned container of half grown veg! 😦

Then we filled the pot with multipurpose compost, gave it a light water to settle the compost. Then we firmed in down gently with the end of a piece of batten (see photo) to make a slightly firm seed bed for the carrot seeds. In the absence of a piece of batten, the back of your hand would do, a long as the compost is gently firmed down to prevent air pockets. Air pockets are not your friends, as if a young seedling’s root gets itself into an air pocket, it can’t easily access water or nutrients until it reaches the other side of it, which may be too late!

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Then it was time to sow the seeds! As we’ve said before, it’s very tempting to just scatter the seeds over the surface of the compost. Especially with relatively small seeds like carrots.

Although there’s no issue with this per se, we recommend placing your seeds more carefully where possible for a couple of reasons:

  1. Scattering them over the surface uses up lots more seeds, so you may not have any left over for a second sowing in a couple of weeks time!
  2. If you scatter them too closely together, they will need thinning out later down the line, giving yourself another job, and a more fiddly one! This is especially important with carrots, as they don’t take kindly to their roots being disturbed once growing. Therefore, avoiding thinning out where possible is preferable!

Therefore, here’s my attempt at placing the carrot seeds. It made it easier that these were treated seeds, as the blue shows up lovely against the compost!

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Once we’d placed all the seeds on the compost, we gently pushed them down into the compost so they laid just below the surface. Then we sieved some more compost over the top to cover the seeds and exclude the light.

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Then we gave each pot a light watering with a fine rose can to moisten the compost we’d topped the pots with, being careful not to wash the seeds away!

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