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Why Grow Carrots Indoors?

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WHY GROW CARROTS INDOORS?

By: Laura Melchor

Aside from the delight of reaping a year-round harvest from your own indoor garden, why else should you grow these bright and sweet veggies indoors?

When they’re grown outdoors, these tasty roots often struggle to push down through dirt that isn’t loose, resulting in deformities.

Nonetheless, I was so proud of my deformed carrots, the first grown in my outdoor garden since moving to Alaska. But when I put one in my mouth, I was met with a bitter shock: they did not taste good.

A close up vertical picture of freshly harvested carrots with soil and foliage still attached, set on a wooden surface.
Photo by Laura Melchor.

When I look at the photo above, it seems like my carrots have way more going on in the way of tops than they do roots. Maybe there was too much nitrogen in the soil, which causes an overabundance of leaf growth.

Or perhaps there wasn’t enough potassium to support healthy root development.

Maybe the roots were straining to thrive simply because of Alaska’s great heatwave that year, when temperatures consistently hovered at 90°F for what felt like eternity.

For reference, temperatures in Alaska don’t typically rise above 80°F in the summer, and even that feels HOT. Very few of us have air conditioning in our homes up north. Maybe exposure to consistently hot temperatures caused the bitterness.

While the carrot, Daucus carota subsp. sativus, can grow in USDA Hardiness Zones 3-10, too much heat can turn roots bitter.

When you consider that summertime in Zone 10 can average 90°F, this spells trouble for our brightly colored root veggies. They would much prefer it to stay under 80°F, thank you very much, and they’ll protest bitterly as their nutrients and moisture get sucked away by the sun.

So that’s another plus of growing them indoors: you can control the temperature and keep a close eye on their moisture levels, even in the summer.

 

Four kids in the garden pulling out carrots from a raised garden bed and holding up the bright orange roots. In the background is a garden scene in soft focus.

Growing carrots indoors can benefit those in cold climes, too. Even if you live in Zone 2, you – and your kids! – can grow them indoors and enjoy healthy, garden-fresh snacks all year long.

To learn more, visit https://gardenerspath.com/plants/vegetables/grow-carrots-indoors/.


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