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Can You Grow Carrots in a Garage?
Fresh carrot and celery sticks with hummus can really brighten up a brunch setting. Roasted carrots are delicious. Addition of carrots to a soup recipe will add color, flavor and nutrition. Carrot cake is another scene stealer. You would love to have fresh carrots all year round. So can you grow carrots in your garage?
You can grow carrots in a garage in containers. Carrots are cool season plants but do need lots of sunlight. Fortunately you can always use LED lights as an alternative.
Outdoors, carrots are planted in early spring. However, in the garage, you can plant them whenever you like. By staggering the planting you can stagger the harvesting as well.
Depending on the variety, carrots will take 2 – 3 weeks to sprout and 12 – 16 weeks for full growth. They grow quite well in 5 gallon plastic buckets!
How to Grow Carrots in a Garage?
Compared to radishes, carrots do not grow as fast. Carrot seeds have hard coats and it therefore takes longer for them to germinate. However, by growing them in containers in your garage you have a much better control on the final product.
Use the following tips to successfully grow carrots in your garage:
Go for Deep Containers
According to USDA a medium carrot should be between 5 ½” and 7 ¼” long. Naturally you need a container that is around 12” deep to accommodate the carrot roots. A 5 gallon bucket is very suitable for growing carrots in your garage.
A 5 gallon bucket is usually 12” – 15” tall and has a 10” – 12” diameter. You can grow around 25 carrots in a 5 gallon bucket. It is a good idea to keep these buckets on a 3 tier shelf with wheels, such as, Finnhomy 3 Tier Heavy Duty Commercial Grade Utility Cart, so that you can move them around if required.
You could grow small carrots in 1 gallon buckets if you like. A 1 gallon plastic bucket is typically 7 ½” deep with a diameter of 7 ½”. You will be able to get 5 – 7 small carrots from a 1 gallon container.
Do remember to drill a few holes in the bottom of the bucket for drainage!
Get the Soil Mix Right
Carrots find it difficult to grow in hard rocky soil. You can make your own soil for filling the containers but make sure that it is a mix of loose topsoil and good quality compost. In addition to it being loose it should be rich in nutrients and free of pests.
Alternatively, you could buy ready-made potting mix from online stores. The ready-made potting mix comes in the right consistency and with the right amount of nutrients to give the carrot seeds a great start!
I recommend buying a good potting mix, such as Miracle-Gro Indoor Potting Mix. It is lightweight, has good drainage and comes with an initial dose of nutrients.
Plant the Seeds
The variety of the carrot to be grown depends on the container size (or choose the right sized container for the variety of carrot that you wish to grow).
Loosen up the soil in the container while adding a small quantity of water to make it moist. Punch ½” holes, ½” apart, in the soil, with your finger. Fill each hole with 3 seeds and cover it up with soil.
Keep the soil moist (just moist, do not over water!) at all times. Wait for sprouting (2 – 3 weeks).
Stagger the Sowing of the Seeds
A great way to get a regular supply of fresh carrots all year round is to stagger the sowing of the seeds. For example, if you need around 25 carrots each fortnight, sow the seeds in a separate 5 gallon bucket, each fortnight.
By having around 10 buckets with staggered sowing, you can harvest a bucket each fortnight. You will never be in want of fresh carrots. There will always be a bucket ready to be harvested whenever you need it.
Keep the Soil Moist
Carrots will grow well only in slightly moist soil. The soil in the container should not be allowed to go dry. Check the soil every alternate day and water it lightly, if it is dry.
Do not put in more water than necessary. The soil in the pot should always be moist, but never soggy.
Food for Growth
For a good harvest of nutritious carrots, you must replenish the fertilizer in the soil every 3 – 4 weeks. Initial nutrients in the potting mix will be enough for the sprouting stage.
Carrots need a lot of phosphorus and some nitrogen in their nutrient diet. So a bone meal fertilizer, such as Espoma Organic Bone Meal Fertilizer 4-12-0 is ideal for growing carrots in a container. You can dissolve it in water and then use the solution on the container soil.
Low Temperature is OK
The ideal temperature for sprouting is 70° F, but carrots develop the highest sugars when temperatures are low. You can grow carrots in a garage that has a temperature range between 40 to 80° F. Carrots in containers will be the best when the garage temperature is in the 40 to 50° F range.
Carrots do need a lot of sunlight; a minimum of six hours each day. For a good crop, they would need 8 – 10 hours each day.
Now a garage will not be able to provide that much sunlight. Not a problem. Just grow the carrots in your garage under sunlight. Actually this can be a blessing in disguise. By increasing the exposure to grow light you can shorten the harvesting time.
A variety that would take 4 months under natural light could be ready for harvesting in 3 months under LED grow lights.
Keep a watch on your carrots as they grow. If you find the top of the carrot protruding out of the soil, you need to cover it up by making a mound over it. This is called hilling.
The bottom line is that you can grow carrots in containers in your garage. They actually are sweeter when the temperature drops to 40 to 50° F. You can even shorten the harvesting time by using LED grow lights. Make carrots a part of your vegetable garden in the garage!
Thank you very much for reading the post. I do hope you found it informative and useful.