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Monday, April 24, 2023

Shallow Soil Carrots Planted in Pots

I planted our carrots this afternoon. As I've done for the last 3 years, I'm growing carrots in large, 13 to 15-inch deep pots. Growing root vegetables in pots sounds like it could be problematic. However, I've found that by choosing varieties that don't need as much soil depth, I have more success with root crops in large pots or trough planters for 3 main reasons:

  • control the soil -- Where I'm kind of stuck with the soil that is presently in our raised garden beds, I can affordably add whatever type of soil a particular plant might need to a pot.
  • control the pests -- slugs are one of our biggest pests when it comes to carrots. I tried some of our carrots in one of the beds last year and lost every single one to slugs eating the tops before roots could form.
  • control the sunlight hours -- a pot can go on a deck, a front porch, a back porch, lining a walkway, set into a flower bed. Wherever there is ample sunlight, a pot can go there.

I've planted Danvers Half Long carrots in 6 pots this year. Judging by previous carrot harvests from pots, I expect the yield to be around 20 pounds or maybe a bit more. Other varieties of carrots that can be grown in pots include the small round carrots like Parisienne Market carrots and short and fat carrots like Chantenay Red Core carrots. I've read recommendations that pots should be a minimum of 12 inches deep for success with these shorter root carrot varieties. 

The primary drawback to growing veggies in pots is the need for constant watering. A pot  can't hold the amount of moisture that an in-ground bed can, and therefore dries out faster. Once our rainy season comes to an end, I'll have to water these carrot pots every day.

In addition to growing my carrots in pots, I have other root veggies growing in containers this year, turnips and beets in trough planters on the deck. The troughs are deeper than my large pots, which means they will hold more water as well as provide more root room. I didn't have to find specific shallow soil varieties for the beets and turnips.

Another money saving tip -- I bought these seeds at the end of last year on clearance. The overwhelming majority of vegetable seeds have great viability in year 2. The "packed by" date is simply when the seeds were packaged, not when they expire.


  1. I just planted carrots this week with last year's seeds. Luckily, slugs haven't been a major problem so far for us. Although plenty of other things enjoy the vegetables we plant. Can you include a picture of your trough planters sometime? They sound interesting.

    1. Hi Live and Learn,
      They're just rectangular planters (not like galvanized feeding or watering troughs fro livestock). I'll take a photo to show you.

  2. I’m doing the same thing for the same reason.I ordered chantenay red core.


    1. I hope the chantenay red core do very well for you, Diane.


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