Growing carrots on a balcony is entirely possible, providing you have a decent bit of space. Unlike growing potatoes, the space-to-yield ratio of carrots isn’t amazing, so you have to be a bit clever with how you grow them.
In this article, we’ll cover some tips for getting the most from carrots grown on a balcony.
Carrots are a root vegetable, so your priority when growing them is soil space more than anything. Whereas potatoes can be grown upwards, carrots will always grow down, so your planter should be an appropriate depth to maximize yield.
Also, each seed will produce one carrot, which isn’t a great ratio for compact gardening. To get the most from your carrots, consider the following varieties:
- Thumbelina are more round than long, meaning you can use shallower containers.
- Chantenay are smaller by default, again meaning you can fit more in a container.
- Little fingers mature quicker than other varieties and are smaller as a result.
- Kaleidoscope packs contain colored carrots, which are typically more expensive. Growing these at least saves you money compared to standard varieties.
You can grow carrots in USDA Zones 3-9, and they like full sun to partial shade. Importantly, make sure your soil is well draining and as aerated as possible.
Sunlight: Full sun or partial shade
Grow in pots: Yes – at least 11” deep and as wide as possible
Grow indoors: No
Soil type: Well-draining
When to plant: Spring to late summer
To grow carrots on a balcony, you’ll need:
1. Fill your container with soil mixed with compost. You can also add perlite or similar, but make sure you don’t use large stones. Similarly, pick out any stones you might find in the compost.
2. Sow the carrot seeds directly into the pot, spacing them about 3” apart. Poke a hole about half an inch deep using a chopstick or pencil and drop the seeds in. Cover over with soil.
3. Water well and they should germinate in a week or so. If it’s cool outside (42 degrees or below), start them indoors.
4. Once they’ve grown about 3”, thin out weak ones by cutting off. You could replace these with new seeds.
5. Depending on the variety, they could be ready to harvest in as little as 55 days.
As mentioned, the main priority with carrots is root space. Any deep container will work if you don’t want to buy planters, including:
- 5-gallon containers
- Fabric grow bags
- Plastic bags
Basically, anything that’s deep enough and holds soil will work.
Balcony gardening is about being clever with your space. Carrots are an interesting crop for small spaces because you need to find ways to maximize your yield/work ratio. After all, a bag of carrots from the store is pretty cheap.
As such, we recommend choosing varieties you might not find in the supermarket, or focusing on small or young varieties so you can get more for your effort.