Regular readers will know I’m a carrot fanatic, we love growing them and coming up with new carrot recipes. They are also highly nutritious, being rich in vitamins and minerals like vitamin A, vitamin K, and potassium. If you are thinking about growing carrots, one question you might be wondering is whether they can be grown in the shade. In this article, we will explore whether carrots grow in the shade and what factors to consider when planting them.
Do carrots grow in the shade?
The short answer is no; carrots do not grow well in the shade. Like most vegetables, carrots need a lot of sunlight to grow and thrive. They require at least six hours of direct sunlight daily to develop properly. If you plant them in an area that receives less than six hours of sunlight, they will struggle to grow and may even fail to produce edible roots.
8-10 hours is the perfect amount of sunlight, from my experience, and I have tested this out. I tried 4 hours, and they came out deformed and bitter tasting.
Factors to consider when planting carrots
If you are thinking about planting carrots, there are several factors you need to consider to ensure that they grow successfully. Here are some key things to keep in mind:
Sunlight: As mentioned earlier, carrots need much sunlight to grow. Choose a spot in your garden that receives at least six hours of direct sunlight daily.
Soil: Carrots prefer well-draining soil that is loose and free of rocks or debris. They also prefer slightly acidic soil, with a pH between 6.0 and 6.8.
Water: Carrots need consistent moisture to grow properly. Keep the soil evenly moist but not waterlogged. Overwatering can lead to rot and disease, so be careful not to water too much.
Fertilizer: Carrots are light feeders, so they do not need a lot of fertilizer. Use a balanced fertilizer with equal nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.
Temperature: Carrots are cool-season vegetables that prefer temperatures between 60°F and 70°F. They can tolerate some frost, but prolonged exposure to freezing temperatures can damage the roots.
Growveg has a good video about growing in the shade, check it out.
In summary, carrots do not grow well in the shade and require at least six hours of direct sunlight per day to thrive. When planting carrots, be sure to choose a spot in your garden that receives plenty of sunlight and has well-draining soil. Keep the soil moist but not waterlogged, and fertilize lightly with a balanced fertilizer. You can enjoy a bountiful harvest of sweet, crunchy carrots with proper care.
Brian Sheridan has an allotment in Edgbaston and is a competitive grower. Brian is also a keen photographer and loves cooking. Brian and his wife Mary will also be running a stall at Edgebaston artisan market this year, selling products made from the allotment, including his award-winning relish!