We’ve previously looked at growing carrots in various ways, from using drain pipes to growing them in buckets. If you own an allotment or a decent size garden, you are probably thinking about growing them in raised beds.
Raised bed gardening has become a popular choice for many gardeners as it offers a range of benefits over traditional in-ground gardening. Raised beds provide better soil drainage, increased soil temperature, and easier access for gardeners. Additionally, raised beds can be a great option for growing root vegetables, such as carrots, as they provide a deeper soil depth. Overall, you have much more control when using raised beds to grow anything, and it’s worth incorporating them in your allotment design.
Carrots are great for raised bed gardening, as they prefer loose, well-drained soil. Raised beds can be filled with a custom blend of soil, compost, and other organic materials, allowing for optimal growing conditions for carrots. The raised bed can also be easily amended with additional organic matter, such as compost or aged manure, to ensure that the soil remains rich and fertile.
When it comes to planting carrots in a raised bed, there are a few things to keep in mind. Firstly, carrots require full sun, so make sure the raised bed is placed in a location that receives at least 6 hours of sunlight per day. Secondly, carrots prefer a soil pH between 6.0 and 6.8, so it is important to test the soil pH before planting and adjust it if necessary.
Carrots are typically planted directly from seed, either in rows or broadcast over the soil surface. For best results, seeds should be sown in early spring, as soon as the soil can be worked, or in late summer for a fall harvest. The soil should be moist but not waterlogged, and the seeds should be covered with a thin layer of soil. Carrots can take up to two weeks to germinate, so be patient and keep the soil moist during this time. If you have had poor results with direct sowing (sometimes they just get eaten), consider starting them of indoors in toilet rolls.
Once the carrot seedlings have emerged, thin them to a spacing of about 2 inches apart. This will allow each carrot to grow to its full size and prevent overcrowding. Water the carrots regularly, ensuring the soil stays moist but not waterlogged. Mulching the soil around the carrots can also help to retain moisture and suppress weeds.
As the carrots grow, be sure to keep an eye out for pests such as carrot rust flies and aphids. These can be controlled with organic methods such as floating row covers, handpicking, or spraying with neem oil.
When the carrots have reached their full size, typically 2-3 months after planting, they can be harvested by gently pulling them out of the soil. Carrots can be stored in a cool, dry place for several weeks.
In conclusion, raised beds can be a great option for growing carrots. With the right soil conditions, sunlight, and care, you can enjoy a bountiful harvest of fresh, tasty carrots from your raised bed garden. Happy gardening!
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!