Carrots and parsnips make a great combination when grown in drain pipes. The idea is to get long carrots, perhaps even without using a raised bed. Growers use drain pipes for growing competition carrots, with the world record 6.234 Metres – it’s time to get started.
Drain pipes also assure straight carrots, avoiding short and fat root crops that don’t attract very much. You can grow carrots in these containers and feel proud about your project.
Growing carrots in drain pipes are not very common unless you need a long carrot for competition. Nevertheless, it’s still an interesting venture.
As a gardener, you are exposed to so many ideas for improving your yields. For instance, if you have a small garden, the PVC tubes can help you expand it further. So, it’s not just about getting the longest carrots but also creating a space for more.
How To Grow Carrots in Drain Pipes
Growing carrots in pipes are not hard. However, there are several things that can affect the output. Here are the steps to follow:
Prepare the pipes
Find several PVC pipes of the same length and prepare for growth. The size and length will depend on your specific needs. For instance, growing medium-length carrots will require medium pipes.
Remember, you are looking for the longest plants. It will therefore make sense to have deep pipes. You will need them more when the carrots start growing.
Place your pipes on a tray and tie them together to increase stability. Then make drainage holes on the pipes to keep the soil aerated and well drained.
Fill it with soil
You can buy some growing mix from your local agricultural store or online. Such soil is carefully selected and designed to hold such a crop.
Do not use heavy soil since it will make it for the initial tap root to develop. Also, the seedling may not break the surface ground well when it starts to germinate.
If you can’t find a growing mixture, dig up some sand from your garden and mix it with compost manure. Ensure the soil comes from the best part. Also, note that the plants, at this point, don’t need too many nutrients.
Put nutrients on the lower end of the tube. Naturally, the plants will reach down into the deep soil to access the water and nutrients.
Plant the seeds
Plant three seeds in the soil. We recommend that you sow three because not all will germinate. If they all do, be ready to thin them and have the extra planted somewhere else.
Don’t forget to lay a good foundation of seeds. It’s important to plant several seeds and hope they all germinate.
Germination and care
Start checking after three days to see if the plants have sprouted. You will start seeing little plants after a few weeks with the right weather conditions. Now, this is where the real job starts if you are hoping to get the best yields.
The first sign of life should be after a week or so. We advise you to stay on top of it and ensure the best conditions on-site.
Caring for your plants is crucial. Understand that carrots perform better in the cold than in warm soil. Hence, you need to keep the soil at optimum conditions after sowing.
Just keep taking good care of your plants until they are fully grown in about three months. Keep an eye out for any signs of pests and disease to keep your crop safe.
We use different containers when planting tomatoes, spinach, and other plants. Carrots are no different. Always remember to keep one end of the pipe open once it’s filled with soil for the roots to find proper aeration.
Basically, you are just expanding your allotment so you can finally have the produce you desire. The process might seem a bit tedious, especially during the early stages. But you will enjoy the fruit of your labour.
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!