Love fresh produce but don’t think you have enough space? It is amazing how many kinds of vegetables can be grown in containers. Plus you get the added bonus of creating the perfect soil-compost mixture for your plants, and can move the whole container if you find it’s getting a bit too much sun (lettuce and spinach both prefer a bit less sun) or for more sun if that fence casts more afternoon shade than you had realized. Read on for some tips to growing carrots in containers along with some nutritional reasons to help encourage you to do so!
Anyone can enjoy organic sweet summer carrots ~
Just grow them in a container!
Here is a wonderful opportunity for children, those with patio gardens, or those with unsuitable crop-growing soil to enjoy sweet summer carrots. This edible, decorative and portable veggie garden is as easy to grow as it is to plant. Any carrot can be grown in a container, as long as the depth of the container is large enough to accommodate the mature length of the carrot.
Thumbelina is recommended as a fantastic container carrot. It produces a bright-orange, sweet-flavoured, 2 to 3 inch long, round root. Seed is available at most garden centres. It matures extra early and is ready to enjoy within 60 days. Grow it solo or mix with Dragon and Atomic Red for a rainbow of roots.
To grow a carrot container garden, you’ll need seed, sterilized potting soil, organic fertilizer and a container. Any container will do as long as it is a minimum 1 foot (30cm) deep and wide and has drainage. Give new life to an old terra-cotta container, wooden packing box or punctured metal bucket. To have carrots all summer, succession plant every two weeks. Enjoy!
The Origins of Carrots
Carrots have been cultivated for thousands of years and were not always the root vegetable we know and love today. Wild carrots were tough, bitter and spindly; nothing like today’s juicy, sweet orange varieties. Wild carrots were also used for medicinal purposes and were not thought of as food. The carrot is also part of the same family as parsley; other members include dill, caraway and celery. It is a common myth that domestic carrots were derived from wild carrot ancestors. However, as time progressed, farmers and cultivators in Afghanistan, China and many other European and Asian countries selected the natural hybrids and mutant orange carrots from commonly grown purple carrots. The most recent advance in carrots occurred when Dutch scientists perfected the carrot as we know it by making it sweeter and more practical to grow.
Carrots are loaded with beta-carotene, which is why they appear orange. Carrots are very low in saturated fat and cholesterol. Carrots are also a good source of thiamine, niacin, vitamin B6, folate and manganese, and a very good source of dietary fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K and potassium. The only downside to carrots is that a large portion of the calories in carrots come from sugars
Carrots are also good at fighting inflammation in the body because they contain antioxidants and fiber. As a rule, the more brilliantly colored the produce, the higher the antioxidant content. Carrots have also been shown to contribute to weight loss due to the amount of fiber present in them, according to the University of Iowa. During World War II, many British night bombers ate large amounts of carrots because beta-carotene increases your ability to see in the dark by reducing the eye’s reaction time. This helped the bombers fly at night, under the Germans’ radar, and launch surprise attacks. The only side effect was that many of the men turned a slight shade of orange from the extra beta-carotene they had been eating.
Control of Blood Circulation
The large and varying amount of B vitamins present in carrots are especially good at regulating the body’s circulation by ensuring that the heart and lungs have nutrients available to do their job efficiently. Additionally, carrots also help lower high blood pressure and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Potash succinate, a nutrient found in carrots, is said to have anti-hypertensive properties, making it useful for those with high blood pressure. This nutrient helps dilate blood vessels and thereby lowers blood pressure.