Carrot growers - need container growing assistance....

dancinglemons(7B VA)July 22, 2011

Hello all,

I have posted this message on the Veg forum but after thinking about it I thought some of the container growers may have some ideas.

I have grown carrots before with moderate success. I grow exclusively in containers with a very few raised beds. I want to grow long (7-8 inches) carrots. I do not care if they are funny shape but I want the long carrots. I keep reading to add sand to the growing medium -- so I have some questions.

I use a mix of ProMixBX + Perlite + pine bark fines with my nutrients mixed in. I mostly grow my carrots in 24-30 inch tall 20 or 30 gallon containers. I've gotten carrots 3-4 inches long which were nice but the cultivar should grow to 7-8 inches. Would adding sand to my mix be acceptable?? Play box sand or builders sand?? How about just adding more perlite?? Do carrots prefer cool soil while growing -- will I need to shade the container sides in 90++ degree weather?

Now let us talk nutrients. Light on Nitrogen, moderate phosphorus and heavy potassium?? I often see a 1-2-2 ratio recommended. What do commercial carrot growers use?? What do carrot competition winners use??

Any and all help is appreciated. I am growing in containers and can mix my own "soil".

Thanks,

DL

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btbarbara(7b/8a)

The only part of that I can answer for you is that carrots don't like heat! I planted some earlier this year and they didn't even germinate so I've been reading all I can to figure out where I went wrong and give it another try. Here in GA, we can grow them in the fall but have to wait a while yet because they like it cool. Good luck! I'll definitely be watching the other answers you get!

    Bookmark   July 22, 2011 at 11:01PM
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dickiefickle(5B Dousman,Wi.)

The carrot is a hardy, cool season crop that can be planted in the garden as soon as the soil can be prepared in the spring. Carrots require relatively large amounts of moisture and are not tolerant of drought. Prolonged hot weather in the later stages of development may not only retard growth but result in an undesirable strong flavor and coarseness in the roots. At the other extreme, prolonged temperatures below 55 degrees F tend to make the roots longer, more slender and paler in color than expected. The best temperature for highest quality roots is between 60 and 70 degrees F

Here is a link that might be useful: More on carrots

    Bookmark   July 23, 2011 at 2:18AM
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calistoga_al ca 15 usda 9

I used to live on the coast where carrots are a commercial crop. They like cool weather much like lettuce that is grown in the same foggy summer weather. Carrots they grow in the winter, where the winter is mild, and lettuce in the summer. Both are grown on berms in double rows and furrow watered. They both do well on the river bottom soil, not particularly a light soil. I think the carrots grow in a long shape due to water being applied from the bottom up, as we all know roots grow where the moisture is. Al

    Bookmark   July 25, 2011 at 9:32AM
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