Growing carrots hydroponically might sound challenging, but if you put the effort and time into learning how to grow hydroponic carrots the proper way, you will reap all the benefits.
The hydroponic growing method refers to growing plants without soil with the help of an artificial medium that helps the plants grow effectively. Carrot is among the best vegetables to grow hydroponically.
This guide will break down everything you need to know about growing carrots hydroponically.
Here is a complete guide about the 6 different types of hydroponics systems to learn more about growing plants hydroponically.
Table of Contents
- 1 Carrot Plants Characteristics
- 2 Main Types of Carrots to Grow Hydroponically
- 3 How Do You Grow Hydroponic Carrots?
- 4 Can You Grow Carrots With Hydroponics?
- 5 How Long Does It Take To Grow Carrots In Hydroponics?
- 6 Tips to Grow Hydroponic Carrots Effectively
Carrot Plants Characteristics
Before growing hydroponic carrots, let’s look at carrot plants’ characteristics. The table below shows a snapshot of everything you need to know about carrot plants and their needs.
|Species||Daucus carota var. sativus (1)|
|Light requirements||– Full sun (at least 6 hours of direct sunlight a day)|
– Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, about 2 to 6 hours)
|Soil Drainage||– Well-draining soil|
|Soil Texture||– Loam|
|pH requirements||Carrot plants prefer neutral to slightly acidic (about 6.0 to 8.0)|
|Carrot Plants Bloom Time||Spring|
|Life Cycle||– Carrots are biennials as they only flower in their second year. |
– But they are generally grown as annuals when harvested as a vegetable.
|Height||– 6 inches ( 15.24 cm) root |
– 1-ft (30.48 cm) foliage height
|Width||9 inches (22.86 cm) spread|
|Recommended Propagation Method||Seed|
– Carrot rust fly
– Flea beetles
– Leaf miners
– Various caterpillars
– And slugs
|Carrot Plants Diseases and Other Problems||Carrot yellows|
Alternaria leaf spot
And root-knot nematodes may wilt or stunt growth.
Powdery mildew may impact leaves
And root rot may affect seedlings.
|Grow well in||– Beds|
|USDA Plant Hardiness Zone||3 to 11|
|Best hydroponics systems for growing carrots hydroponically||– Ebb and flow systems.|
– Drip systems.
– Wick systems.
Main Types of Carrots to Grow Hydroponically
Growing carrots in hydroponics successfully begin with choosing the right type of carrots.
Even though you might have seen over a hundred different varieties, there are mainly four main types, based primarily on how large they grow and what shape they grow in.
|Carrot Type||Description||Dasy to Harvest||Length at Harvest|
|Chantenay||– Short and stout carrots with orange-red colored cores and light orange flesh. |
– Chantenay carrots have short, conical roots that can better thrive in clay and rocky soils than the other type of carrots.
– In addition, they have a rich flavor, and you can store them quite well.
– Rather than growing long and slender, Chantenay carrots are bulky at the shoulders and taper to a blunt point. You need to harvest them as soon as they size up or turn fibrous and woody.
|65 to 75 days||4 to 5 inches (10.16 to 12.7 cm)|
|Nantes||– Have nearly perfect cylindrical root and smooth. |
– Are mild and sweet in flavor. Nantes are almost coreless and sweet, great for turning into a juice and fresh snack. – – You will get the best results with Nantes carrots if your soil is loose and well-draining. Generally, they don’t require deep soil.
|65 to 75 days||Grow to about 63.5 inches (25 cm) long|
|Imperator||– Imperator-type carrots are unique in looks and taste and very long roots, up to 10 inches (25.4 cm) long, with high sugar content, and are excellent for fresh eating.|
– Most carrots you find in a bag at your local grocery store are generally Imperator carrots.
– Imperator-type carrots need to be grown in very loose, deep soil to reach their full potential. If you plant them in compacted or rocky soil, their roots will struggle to elongate.
|65 to 78 days||16 inches (40cm) long|
|Danvers||– Unlike Imperator types of carrots, Danvers tolerate heavier and shallower soil.|
– They have a rich sweet flavor and have a deep orange color with good storage quality.
|65 to 87 days||6 to 7 inches (15.24 to 17.78 cm) long|
How Do You Grow Hydroponic Carrots?
Here is a step-by-step procedure to grow hydroponic carrots. Follow these easy tips to grow carrots in an artificial medium.
1- Learn The Basics of Hydroponic System
Like grow tents, a hydroponic growth medium should also have some essential ingredients to offer the perfect growth of the plants. Here are some basics of this medium.
- Optimal temperature
- Proper ventilation
- Solution having nutrients
- Mineral nutrients
- Light source
- Growth medium
Check out this article to learn more about the 6 different types of hydroponics.
A plant needs three basic elements for optimal growth i.e water, nutrients, and oxygen. A hydroponic growth medium fulfills these requirements in the form of simple water, essential nutrients mixed in the water, and oxygen at the root level.
Having all these essential nutrients, a hydroponic growth medium helps in the effective growth of carrots. Three kinds of hydroponic systems provide a good environment for carrots.
- Wick system ( check this article to learn everything you need to know the Wick system)
- Ebb and flows system ( Read more about the Ebb and flows system and why you should consider this system)
- Drip system (Read more about the Drip system hydroponics)
2- Manage Proper Light
Light is an inevitable requirement for the proper growth of hydroponic carrots. Carrots need 12 to 16 hours of light while 8 to 12 hours of darkness daily. You can use any light source with a timer that will help in regulating the light on and off schedule.
You can invest in grow light (here’s a link to purchase on Amazon)
3- Provide The Required Nutrients
Make sure that you have provided the hydroponic medium for the carrots with adequate nutrients. To achieve the target results, make sure that you sprinkle the nutrient solution on the growing medium once a week.
Also, maintain the pH of the medium up to 6.0 or a maximum of 8.0 This system will help in the effective growth of carrots.
4- Plant The Carrots
After you’ve managed all the essential requirements to grow the hydroponic carrots, it is time to grow the carrot seeds. Proceed in the following way.
- Sow the carrot seeds in the hydroponic growth medium by pushing them ½ inch below the medium.
- Maintain the internal temperature between 60° to 85°.
- Make a nutrient solution with 2 cups of fertilizer and 1 gallon of water and sprinkle this diluted solution over the seeds. The morning will be an effective time to irrigate the carrots.
- Sprinkle the carrots with the solution two to three times daily for about 70 days.
- After this time, the carrots will be ready.
- Harvest and use them.
Can You Grow Carrots With Hydroponics?
Most of the root crops can be effectively grown with the hydroponic growth method. Along with other types of root crops, carrots can also be grown hydroponically. If looked after properly, you’ll see amazing results.
You can grow carrots hydroponically, particularly if you don’t have enough outdoor space or are simply interested in trying hydroponic growing.
How Long Does It Take To Grow Carrots In Hydroponics?
Different varieties of carrots take a different time to reach the ready-to-eat position. It will be written on the packet of the seed you use in this growth method. However, most carrots need a maximum of 70 to 90 days to be harvested.
Tips to Grow Hydroponic Carrots Effectively
Hydroponic carrots are easy to grow if you know how to handle them. Here are some tips that can help you in growing this kind of carrot effectively.
- Optimal temperature helps in the proper growth of any crop. The same is in the case of hydroponic carrots. The optimal temperature for this kind of carrots is 60°F to 85°F. So, make sure that you provide your hydroponic carrots with this optimal temperature.
- Make sure that the pH level of the nutrient solution doesn’t exceed the limit i.e 6.0 to 8.0.
- If you purchase the prepared nutrient solution, it will be concentrated. Dilute nutrient solution before using it. A concentrated solution will prove harmful for the carrots.
- Carrots don’t grow properly in damp situations. So, make sure that the nutrient solution is no more than 3 inches of the medium you used to create the hydroponic system.
- Avoid wetting them all the time as it may harm them.
- Do not shift the outdoor garden’s carrots into the hydroponic system. This may lead to the growth of pests and weeds.
- Ensure you moisten your growing medium and put seeds about half an inch (2.54 cm) beneath the surface.
- Plant more carrot seeds than you plan to grow. As a vegetable, carrots generally need to be thinned out after sprouting.
- Even though they also can germinate at up to 85 degrees (29C), carrot seeds germinate best around 70 degrees (18C).
- Within 6 to 10 days, your carrot seeds should start to germinate. Wait until carrots are about 2” tall (5cm) or have up to a half-inch wide (1.2cm) to begin thinning them out.
- There should be at least about 3 inches (7.5cm) of space between them after thinning them.
- After thinning your new carrot plants, give them at least a couple of days before transplanting them.
- Since carrots are a root vegetable, you need to use a media-based hydroponics system. Here’s why you need to use a media-based hydroponics system:
- Carrots don’t thrive when they are kept soaked in water.
- Water culture-only hydroponics systems might cause your veggies to rot.
- Carrots need a growing medium to support them.
- For the depth of your hydroponic system, ensure your tray is at least a foot deep (30cm) to allow the proper growth of your carrots.
- The preferred medium is a mix of perlite and vermiculite. Perlite supports the plants and allows plenty of oxygen. The reason growers use a mixture of vermiculite and perlite is to balance out moisture. So, preferably use carrot seed start mix or mix vermiculite and perlite to germinate the seeds.
Are Vegetables Grown Hydroponically Nutritious?
Vegetables grown in hydroponic growth medium are nutritious. Though it depends on the nutrient solution that you use to irrigate the vegetables, these make their nutritions out of the provided nutrition.
So, whether you grow vegetables in a hydroponic growth medium or soil, both will be rich in essential nutrients.
Why Hydroponic Is Bad?
If looked after properly, hydroponic crops are quite healthy. However, if you don’t properly care for your carrots, there are chances of the growth of harmful algae. These algae may result in harmful pathogens after their death. This is a side effect of using this method to grow different crops.
If you are an active gardener and know how to prevent these harmful algae, you will instantly throw them off the water to make the rest of the water safe for growth.
Hydrophobic crops are rich sources of different essential nutrients. This is a widely home-based method that helps to grow different crops, particularly vegetables, even in a congested place. However, it needs great care and a little preparation.
With proper care, you can sow almost all the root vegetables in the hydroponic growth medium. Out of all, hydroponic carrots are most common. If you want to test this medium to grow carrots, follow the above-mentioned tips for perfection.