CONTAINER CARROTS – CRUNCH TIME

Growing carrots in containers is definitely worthwhile. I set up two large tubs and a water tank this spring – you must make drainage holes in the bottom. I filled them with garden soil, but only sieved the soil for one tub. The variety of early carrots, ‘Amsterdam Forcing’ were sown on April 8th. I have just been picking the wonderful carrots and I can see a clear difference. Carrots in the sieved soil have long slender even roots, while those in our un-sieved stony soil are very deformed, forked and twisted. Of course they taste the same, but the straight ones are much easier for the chef to clean up and use. So growing carrots in containers here in sieved soil about 30cms deep gets round the problem of our soil being very shallow and stony.

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The main reason usually that carrots are grown in containers is to avoid carrot root flies. And yes, that seems to have worked as well – these are free from the nasty black tunnels which spoil the roots when they get carrot root fly. There is no escaping the fact that carrot root fly are everywhere – here is a picture of wild carrots growing on the playing field just outside my back gate – they play host the pest and it is able to overwinter on them.

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Wild carrot in flower – so pretty

The carrot root flies move around at no more than 30cms off the ground and so having carrots in containers means they never get into the tubs. Other methods are growing carrots under anti-insect mesh, inside barriers or using resistant varieties such as ‘Fly Away’ or ‘Resistafly’, both maincrop carrots.

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Please try growing carrots in containers – anything will do – baths are popular around Stroud!  And the taste of fresh home grown carrots is unbeatable.

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