How to Grow Carrots in Containers - Backyard Boss
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How to Grow Carrots in Containers

Did you know there are more than 40 different varieties of carrots?

Carrots come in all shapes, sizes, and colors, and are an incredible addition to any menu. Want to grow your own, but lack the space or don’t have accessibility to garden beds? There is a solution! For those with limited gardening opportunities, simple containers give anyone the chance to grow their own vegetables.

Containers are a low-cost, space-saving method that will help you attain healthy, juicy, home-grown vegetables. Whether you are hoping to pickle, cook, or even grill carrots this season, you can create a garden of any size to grow these beloved orange veggies. All you need is a vessel to put them in.

Take a look at how to grow your own carrots in containers, and look forward to the unlimited potential they bring to your plate!

Materials Required:

Step-by-Step Instructions:

Step One: Selecting a Container

Stack of galvanized gardening pails and containers
Image credit:congerdesign via Pixabay

When selecting a container to grow your carrots in, consider the size of the space you have available, as well as how many carrots you would like to produce. Being one of the thinner vegetables, carrots can be grown in bulk with even a medium-sized container. Once you determine how many carrots you would like to grow, find a container deep enough (about 12 inches or more) and wide enough for the carrots to be spread out from one another (carrots need to be about two inches apart).

Not sure what type of container to use? Take a peek around your home for any unused boxes, buckets, or basins that could be repurposed into a miniature garden. Items such as a child’s old toy boxes, wooden crates, large planter pots, or even vintage garden tubs will make great carrot gardens.

NOTE: Carrots are a full sun plant (though they can still grow in partial shade). Once you select your perfect carrot container, place it in a location where it will receive lots of sunlight throughout the day.

See Also: 8 Common Container Gardening Mistakes

Step Two:  Add Soil

Hands holding Gardening Soil
Image credit:Gabriel Jimenez via Unsplash

Filling your container with potting mix or garden-specific soil is the second step to building your carrot garden. These types of soils are sold at most garden centers and hardware stores and can be purchased in varying quantities. Many of these pre-packaged soils already contain fertilizer or compost within them that will help to nurture plant growth.

If you decide to opt for soil you already have in your garden beds, keep in mind that some soils lack the nutrients required to grow large and delicious carrots. In this case, consider adding fertilizer into your soil to provide your carrots with a boost in their nutrient absorption (see step six for more information on when else to fertilize).

Step Three: Picking Your Carrots

Different types of carrots in a pile
Image credit:1195798 via Pixabay

There are five main types of carrots to choose from: nantes, chantenay, danvers, imperator, and mini carrots. The major differences between each type are the size, color, and sweetness of the carrot.

Looking for the typical carrot we see in grocery stores? Danvers carrots are the most commonly grown variety. Danvers carrot seeds are available at most garden stores or can be purchased online. Want to try growing a different type of carrot? Check out the ultimate guide to carrots to learn more about the distinctions of each carrot and select the one that appeals to you!

Step Four: Planting the Seeds

Carrot tops emerging from the dirt
Image credit: Pezibear via Pixabay

Your container is prepped and the seeds are bought, now it is time to plant. Using either your hands (time to get dirty!) or a gardening trowel, make an impression in the soil about ¼ of an inch deep. Place a single carrot seed in each impression, spreading the seeds out at least two inches apart. Cover the seed with dirt, and voila! You have planted your carrot garden!

Carrot seeds are tiny, but to increase the likelihood of healthy carrots, only place one seed in each spot. Doing this will give the plant a greater chance of growing strong roots. If multiple seeds are planted in the same spot, once the tops appear, remove any excess or crowded plants to avoid thin, misshapen, or intertwined carrots.

Step Five: Water Your Seedlings

Watering can pouring water on to garden plants
Image credit:David Ballew via Unsplash

Once your carrot seeds are planted, water them regularly so the seed develops and matures into a nourishing vegetable. Water your carrots with an inch of water each week. Soak the soil thoroughly when watering, as dry soil may result in your carrots not growing properly.

A good rule for watering carrots is to stick a finger deep into the soil to see if it is damp or not. If the soil is dry, give your carrots a good watering. You may also choose to use a moisture meter in your gardens to help guide you.

NOTE: If you live in a location with heat waves or high temperatures, regularly check the moisture level of your garden. Hotter climates may require more watering than others.

Step Six: Add Fertilizer or Compost

Gardening shovel filled with composting dirt
Image credit:Neslihan Gunaydin via Unsplash

To encourage healthy carrots, your plants require nutrients that simple soil cannot offer. Fertilizer or compost is a way to deliver those nutrients. You can purchase all-purpose vegetable fertilizer, or you can make your own natural fertilizer through composting (start saving your banana peels and tea leaves!).

It is recommended that carrots are given fertilizer once their tops have come through and are about three inches tall. Fertilize your carrots again a second time when the tops are roughly six inches tall.

Step Seven: Harvest Your Carrots

Carrots of different colors on a countertop
Image credit:Gabriel Gurrola via Unsplash

After an average of 75 days, your carrots should be ready to be harvested. Gently grab the base of the stem and pull the carrot out of the dirt. If your soil is dense and the carrot will not come out, use your trowel or a gardening fork to lift the dirt nearby (not too close to the stems) and ease your carrots out of the soil.


Once your carrots have been planted, watered, cared for, and harvested from your containers, you can begin enjoying them!

Looking for other vegetables you can grow in a container alongside your carrots? Find out how to grow cucumbers and potatoes in convenient container gardens.

Happy gardening!