2018 Garden: The Great Carrot Container Planting Experiment
17. July 2018
This season, I decided to plant carrots in a container with a homemade potting soil recipe. I was eager to harvest the carrots to see the results. Digging carrots and other root crops always feels like a treasure hunt to me. You just never know what you’ll end up with. Do you get trash or treasure? Sometimes it’s a bit of both.
So how did my carrot growing experiment fair? Out of the three carrot varieties I grew, most turned out really well. I was hoping to avoid forked and split carrots by growing them in a deep container. There were no cracks, rotten spots, or bug-eaten roots. Yay! I did have a few forked and hairy carrots though. I believe this was the end result of me overcrowding the container. I added compost, coffee grounds, and banana peel fertilizer during the growing season.
Read more about how I constructed my carrot container which includes tips for growing carrots.
The Kuroda carrots performed the best in this container. All were straight and hefty except for one funny looking one. They also tasted the most carroty!
The Cosmic Purple carrots were beautiful, but a few had a tough, woody core that was not edible. That perplexed me because I’ve never grown carrots that were hard in the center before. I'm wondering if this was cause by too much nitrogen in the soil. The first meal I made with these carrots called for peeling the skins. Once I did that, they looked like a standard-issue orange carrot. In retrospect, I should’ve kept the skins and roasted the carrots instead. I harvested a super fun leggy carrot that tried to make a run for it! Ha!
ALL of the Black Nebula carrots were...um... as hairy as Burt Reynolds laying on a bearskin rug. They were covered in feeler roots and looked like a hairy mess. Wowsers! I’ve never grown carrots like this before. Overcrowding or too much nitrogen can result in a funky harvest. It’s odd that the other two varieties I grew were mostly fine compared to the black carrot. Every single black carrot was loaded in hairy roots. I peeled them off of course and the result was a solid black beauty. And boy-howdy do those black skins make a mess! My fingers and cutting board were stained deep purple. This dark carrot is high in anthocyanins (like blueberries), and can be used as a natural dye. When juiced, if you squeeze in some fresh lemon, the dark purple juice becomes bright pink! Magic!
So the majority of my carrot harvest did well in the container. I plan to sow fall carrots in the same container. I’m not sure if I’ll grow all three varieties again or not. It would be interesting to see if the black nebula carrots grow hairy again though. I’ll do my best to thin them out a little more.
This awesome temporary carrot tattoo
is from Tater Tats! They have a bunch of fun veggie and fruit tattoos perfect for gardeners and canners. Keep them in mind for Christmas stocking stuffers.
How’s the rest of the garden doing? My pumpkins aren’t dead (yet). I believe they may fall victim to the squash vine borer, but I at least have a handful of pumpkins. Woo hoo! The dinosaurs have been on patrol to eradicate the pests. These dinos are great. I suggest you hire them for your garden too!
I braided my garlic and have it hanging in the basement to dry. We taste-tested one variety and it tasted like garlic! Not too hot, not too bland. Success!
About two-thirds of the garlic harvested were small. Some looked slightly inadequate next to my rad garlic tater tat. But hey, garlic, right?
So how is YOUR garden growing. What have been your success? What have you harvested and canned so far?