Growing Your Own Carrots Indoors

Growing Your Own Carrots Indoors

Are you a carrot lover? Would you like to learn if you can grow carrots indoors? You’ve come to the perfect place. Yes, you can grow carrots inside, and in fact, they’re one of the easiest plants to grow indoors. Carrots love moisture, so it’s difficult to maintain their needs in the hottest part of the summer. And growing your own carrots will ensure you have fresh produce all the time, without having to go to the grocery store. And your carrot plants will offer pretty foliage to decorate your home, too!

What You’ll Need to Get Started

First, you’ll need to pick up a pot and some potting soil. Carrots are a root vegetable, so they’ll need deep pots, at minimum 6 inches. Read the label on the seeds you buy; your pot should be twice as deep as the root length when it matures. And they tend to do better with a potting soil that is slightly sandy, unlike your standard garden soil. You might want to pick up a plastic tray to set under you pot, catching any water overfill that might occur. You can even use old 2-liter bottles if you’re on a tight budget.

Carrots grow best at temperatures ranging from 70 to 80 degrees, so they’ll do well in normal household conditions. If you plan to grow in a greenhouse, you’ll have to make sure you monitor the temperature inside.

And, of course, you’ll need seeds. There are numerous varieties of carrots, but the ones that grow best in containers are the shorter strains like Miniature or Oxheart. Your larger, standard carrots do best outdoors in deeper soil.

Planting Your Carrots from Seed

Carrot seeds are tiny, like microscopic! When you plant from seed, don’t worry about trying to evenly place the seeds in the soil (like you would with other seed plants). No, once you’ve filled a 6-8-inch-deep pot with appropriate potting soil, simply make sure the soil is damp and sprinkle your seeds across it.

Place your pot in a window or somewhere it can get natural light. You might also look at this site for information on artificial grow lights that will help your plants, especially if you plan to grow through the winter, too. Your plants will need at least 8 hours of good sunlight (or up to 16 hours of artificial light).

Tending to Your Young Plants

Once the seeds have germinated and your carrots begin to grow, you should clip out some excess seedlings to allow more growing space. If, however, you’re using a long, slender pot, and if you sprinkled your seeds well, you may not need to do this step. Once they grow to about 3 inches high, you can figure out which ones are more well established and thin out some of the weaker plants. But, the plants you remove in thinning are still edible, so don’t throw them away!

As your plants grow, water when the soil is dry about an inch down. You can also water them occasionally with chamomile tea, which is an excellent fungicide that will help prevent fungal growth on your seedlings. But make sure you have enough drainage; carrots grow more efficiently in well-drained soil. And soil that’s too damp can lead to root rot and other problems.

Feeding Your Carrots

All plants need food, and sometimes a basic potting soil doesn’t have all the nutrients required by certain plants. So, add a fertilizer intended for houseplants to your plants about every two weeks. This will help them grow to their full potential.

Harvesting Your Crop

Small, young carrots are certainly tasty, but you don’t get much product if you harvest them too soon. Once your carrots have developed their distinctive dark orange color, they’re ready to harvest. Pull the carrot straight from the soil; if you dig around the root, you’ll disturb nearby carrots (that may not be mature yet) and possibly cause deformations.

If you haven’t gotten enough produce, or want to have carrots year-round, plant new carrots at intervals of about two weeks. This will ensure you always have a steady supply. Carrots can mature anywhere from eight to twelve weeks, depending on which variety you use.

Storing Your Harvested Veggies

Carrots can be cleaned thoroughly, cut to size, and blanch them. To blanch carrots, boil them in water for three minutes, then place them in an ice bath to cool. Drain your carrots and place them in a zippered freezer bag, remembering to push all the air out of the bag before you seal them. Then, you can place them in the freezer.

Growing your own carrots in a container is a project the whole family can enjoy. The carrot tops add a bit of green, fern-like foliage to your home. Your kids will have fun watering their carrots and watching the plants grow to full maturation. And growing your own carrots is a delicious hobby!