Gardening does not have to be tedious. For those who get bored with the traditional way of growing vegetables, we suggest using a sophisticated system that will transform a traditional process into an exciting journey. Let’s unconventionally grow common carrots. Is it even possible? Absolutely.
Being root vegetables, carrots are not the most frequent inhabitants of hydroponic systems. Some gardeners can get confused trying to figure out which nutrient solution to use and in what way. However, it’s not that complex.
With some basic information about the growing medium and planting techniques, you will grow hydroponic carrots continuously and secure several crops a year.
Let us walk you through the entire process, and your hydroponic garden will bring you joy and fresh veggies all year round.
- 1 Choosing the proper hydroponic system
- 2 Choosing the optimum growing medium
- 3 Growing hydroponic carrots: milestones
- 4 Best carrots for hydroponics
- 5 Potential issues
- 6 What you gain if you grow carrots hydroponically
- 7 And finally…
- 8 Frequently asked questions
Choosing the proper hydroponic system
If you are familiar with hydroponics, the names Ebb and Flow, wick, aeroponics, or drip system don’t sound weird. They are all types of hydroponic systems. Some plants grow perfectly well in any hydroponics, but carrots are not those plants.
Carrots as root crops can’t be dropped in nutrient solutions. They require a different kind of care. You’ll have to supply the nutrient solution from the top of the hydroponic carrots and plant them in the growing medium.
That’s the reason hydroponic carrots are not as common as other plants.
However, the nature of the carrot plants shouldn’t be an issue, as there is a system that suits root crops perfectly. It’s called a drip system. Automatic drippers provide your hydroponic carrots with all the nutrients they need, and you won’t have to bother.
The system is well-functioning and almost self-sufficient. It requires minimal maintenance: just get rid of the algae and any other debris that can clog the system and prevent the consistent flow of water and nutrient solution.
We are positive that this system is the best solution for growing hydroponic carrots.
Choosing the optimum growing medium
Choosing the growing medium that will optimize growing carrots hydroponically is half of the success. For hydroponic carrots, we recommend growing medium that will be loose enough to make it easier for the carrot plants to break through. And no soil in a blend.
A great solution is a mix of vermiculite and perlite in a ratio of 1:3. You may also add some peat moss to the blend, which will add to the draining qualities of the growing medium. This mixture is perfect for the proper oxygenation of growing carrots.
A more costly option is Hydroton, which is more sustainable, as well as clay pebbles.
A medium that is growing in popularity nowadays is coco coir. You can opt for that, too, although our first option has proven its efficiency multiple times.
Growing hydroponic carrots: milestones
After you made the most significant decisions about the hydroponics you are using and the medium, you are almost ready to start. The only thing you need — carrot seeds. Visit the closest garden center and purchase the carrot seeds of the variety you favor. Then nothing stops you from beginning your journey of growing hydroponic carrots.
Using seeds is the best solution for growing carrots hydroponically. The germination period is relatively short, and sowing is easy.
Water in advance. Before sowing the carrot seeds, you need to prepare the medium by watering the mixture to the extent that the moss can’t absorb the water anymore.
You can even do it several hours in advance to ensure proper penetration of the liquid and nutrient solution.
Fill the pot. We recommend using a deep grow tray to grow carrots hydroponically because root vegetables prefer to grow deeper into the soil, spreading their roots freely. And a deep grow tray should be more than 10 inches deep and conveniently have ready-made holes for vegetable hydroponic growing.
Sow the carrot seedlings. Make sure you sow the carrot seeds deep enough, but not too much. The appropriate depth is about half an inch. Cover them with the medium.
Wait. Germination for a hydroponic carrot is not a long process. With a stable temperature of 80-90 °F and proper lighting, they will take about 1 week or a little more to germinate.
#2. Creating a perfect environment
Adequate lighting. Growing carrots love the light. If you have an indoor hydroponic garden, you should secure 15 hours of light every day. It can be both natural or LED lights. Make sure that your growing carrots get enough, as it’s a significant aspect of successful hydroponic growing.
Hydroponic environment. Like all babies, your growing carrots need lots of nutrients. A weekly refreshing of the nutrient solution is a smart way to secure balanced and substantial nutrition for the carrots in hydroponics.
Thin ones — out. If you have a crowded situation with the carrots growing too close to each other, you should thin them, leaving the most viable and taking out the weaker ones. You will secure enough space for healthy growth and avoid deformed carrots in your crop.
Water is vital. A proper watering schedule is a step closer to victory. Make morning watering your daily routine, and your hydroponic carrots will be thankful. A nutrient solution diluted with water should be warm for the best and fastest effect.
#3. Time to harvest carrots
So, what are the signs that you can harvest the fruits of your labor? Generally, you can be on the lookout after 2 months of growing. It can take a little less or a little more.
When you see that the orange shoulders of the growing carrots got half an inch in diameter, it’s time. You can even do it earlier if you enjoy baby carrots.
It’s usually recommended to harvest most root crops in the morning. This way, you’ll get fresh carrots and can secure a delicious and nutritious addition to the next meal.
With hydroponically growing carrots, especially if you are engaged in indoor hydroponic gardening, the seasons do not limit you.
The hydroponic system supplies plants with all the nutrition they need, and you provide them with warmth and light. Hence, growing carrots hydroponically secures multiple harvests of a delicious and healthy root vegetable.
Although growing carrots in hydroponics takes some time and effort, it’s not excessive, and the reward is worth it.
Best carrots for hydroponics
Below, you will find the names of the carrot varieties best suited to be grown hydroponically.
Chantenay carrots. This root vegetable originated in France and made its path to other countries of the world thanks to its sweetness and bright orange color that makes any dish look amazing.
You can grow these carrots in a hydroponic system without a problem. A carrot plant will grow well, and you will have a bright, short, and chubby carrot when it’s time to harvest.
Imperator carrots. This type has conquered many world countries, becoming the most popular carrot variety for a little more than a hundred years. The long body and bright color, together with an enticing flavor, played a major role in its growing popularity. Planting carrots of this variety in your hydroponics is a smart move.
Nantes carrots. Another guest from France (Nantes is a name of a French city) which is famous for its sweetness and gentle flavor. The French love using it in stews and soups because it adds a unique aroma to the dish. If you grow carrots in a hydroponic system, you will love Nantes carrots. The carrot seed is available in most garden centers despite its foreign origin.
Danvers carrots. This type originates from the US, having been cultivated 200 years ago in the state of Massachusetts. Nowadays, they are spread worldwide. If you decide to grow carrots in hydroponics, Danvers will be a great choice. It’s also sweet and delicious.
When you decide to grow hydroponic carrots, being aware of the issues that can arise from that is important. They are not all specific to the carrots per se, but more to growing plants in hydroponics in general. However, it’s critical to recognize and take all essential measures to avoid them.
Infestation. Certain diseases are particularly common for carrots. If you grow hydroponic carrots, it doesn’t lower the risk. They are black and white rot affecting the roots of the growing plants and fusarium wilt. To avoid infesting your carrots, buying more carrot seeds from a reputable supplier is a great solution.
Also, don’t use any random growing medium or soil for your garden. It can easily be infected. Pests cause danger to your plants, too. Carrot rust fly larvae are vicious, as well as aphids or root maggots. Stay vigilant and don’t let them harm your carrots.
Wilted and yellow leaves. Apart from infestation, such a condition can be caused by an unsubstantial amount of nitrogen in the nutritional diet.
This can be a sign to reconsider the ratio in your nutrient mix.
Root underdevelopment. If you notice that fact, it should be a red flag for you, meaning that either your plants are under-watered, don’t receive enough nitrogen, or simply can’t push through the too-dense growing medium. Loose medium is one of the significant factors in growing hydroponic carrots successfully.
What you gain if you grow carrots hydroponically
Here are the major benefits of taking up to grow hydroponic carrots.
#1. Climate independent. You can take up hydroponic gardening anywhere: in Alaska and Florida. The result will not depend on the weather conditions at all. Only your commitment and diligence will matter.
#2. Harvesting all year round. No seasonal harvesting for you. You’ll have a continuous growing and harvesting process without any breaks.
#3. Easy maintenance. Hydroponics is compact and doesn’t require much effort to clean.
#4. Speed. In hydroponics, the growing process is significantly faster.
#5. Compact system. Utilizing space is much more effective than in traditional gardening.
Growing carrots in hydroponics is a great way to have a consistent supply of fresh carrots in your household. The process is not particularly complex and is significantly faster than with traditionally grown carrots.
If you are committed to your hydroponic garden, planting carrots is a sensible step that you will not regret.
Frequently asked questions
Are carrots good in hydroponics?
Carrots grow well in hydroponic systems. However, consider that carrots are root vegetables, and not every system will suit them. The best one is the drip system. It’s very convenient and can be fully automatic, providing a constant supply of essential water and nutrients to the growing plants.
What vegetables cannot be grown hydroponically?
One of the very few examples of vegetables not grown hydroponically is mushrooms. Most greens and vegetables thrive in hydroponic systems.
Can I grow carrots in water?
Carrots are root veggies, so if you choose to grow them hydroponically, they should be planted in a special growing medium instead of water. During their growing period, they are watered from the top.