Growing Carrots on the Balcony is easy and this way you can enjoy this nutritious root vegetable fresh, even if you are short of space!
Carrots are delicious root vegetables! Usually, orange in color, but they also come in red, purple, black, white, and yellow varieties. They are fun to grow and do not require much space, which makes them ideal for someone living in a city apartment. Here is everything you need to know about Growing Carrots on Balcony!
Check out our article on growing carrots in containers here!
Carrot Varieties Suitable for a Balcony
There are many varieties to choose from, but for having it in a balcony, pick one that’ll not take too much space. Here are the cultivars best suited for a balcony!
Nantes: They are almost cylindrical and have smooth skin. Grows 6 inches long and great for juicing!
Imperator: They are 8-10 inches long. You can have them raw or add them to salads!
Chantenay: Short and stout, having 5-6 inch width at the top and a conical shape.
Danvers: Valued for culinary use, they can be steamed, sautéed, or blanched.
Thumbelina: Short and sweet like radishes with mild herbaceous undertones, they are roughly the size of cricket balls.
Choosing a Container
The container size will depend on the variety of carrots you’ve selected, but any 6 to 12 inches deep container, as wide as possible is fine for most varieties. If you plan to plant multiple carrots, go for a wider container with the recommended depth. Window boxes, tubs, and grow bags can be used.
Requirements for Growing Carrots in Balcony
Being a root vegetable, it requires well aerated and porous soil that’ll facilitate the root growth. The soil should drain well and be rich in organic matter. Make sure the prepared soil is more sandy than clayey. Remove any stones as they can make the carrots crooked and bent.
Mix 2 parts sterilized soil, one part compost or other organic matter, and well-rotted manure in equal amounts with some amount of perlite to make the potting mix at home. For a soilless mix, replace the soil with peat moss or coco peat and mix everything in an equal amount.
Keep the soil evenly moist by watering regularly. Check the moisture level with your finger by pressing it 1-2 inches into the topsoil. It should never dry out completely as that’ll affect the harvest. Reduce watering when carrots are about to reach maturity, as overwatering leads to cracks at that stage.
It’s best to sow seeds when the temperature ranges from 42–90 F (5.5–32 C) to facilitate optimum germination. For best-tasting carrots, grow them at a temperature ranging from 60-72 F (15-22 C).
When growing carrots on a balcony, you can take advantage of its microclimate–Move the pot to a shaded spot if the temperature gets high. Similarly, put them in the direct sun if the temperature drops low.
Balcony Carrots Care
Fertilizer should be high in phosphorous, potassium, and a bit low in nitrogen. You can go for 5:10:10 fertilizer during the growing season. Also, when preparing the potting soil, add liquid fertilizer biweekly according to the product’s instructions.
Maintain a minimum distance of 2-3 inches between each plant. When the plant reaches a height of 3 inches, thin out the weak seedlings. Make sure to cut back from the base instead of uprooting, as it can disturb other baby plants.
Pests and Diseases
While growing them in a balcony, you don’t have to worry much about pests and diseases. Aphids and flea beetles can disturb the foliage growth but can easily be controlled!
Depending on the carrot variety that you have grown, climate, and growing conditions, the harvest time may vary between 50-100 days. Baby carrots are ready for harvest quite earlier. Don’t wait too long as once the carrots mature, they start to lose their sweetness.