Hydroponic Carrots

Growing Carrots Hydroponically

Carrot varieties and carrots growing in a hydroponic setup

Nutrient pH 6.0 -6.5     EC - 1.6-2.0     PPM 1150-1350







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pH range 6.0 -6.5 for optimal results, up to 7.5 acceptable

Good air flow is essential for plant vigor.

Temperatures of 50 to 85 degrees F is best for germination.

12-16 hours of light daily optimal - but a minimum of 6 hrs.

Harvest 12 months/year is possible with staggered planting intervals





Varieties

Hundreds of carrot varieties exist, There are 4 primary groups Imperator, Nantes, Danvers and Chantenay. You'll need to do some basic research to determine which variety you want to grow and use - nearly all carrots when properly cared for, will produce well in a Hydroponic set up. See - Carrot Varieties

Planting

Fill your container with a mix of 2/3 perlite to one 1/3 vermiculite. Other suitable growth media such as sterile sand or coco coir will suffice, but for Carrots and root crops in general the perlite-vermiculite mix works best. The perlite draws moisture upwards from the base and also maintains ample oxygen within the medium.

Oxygen at the root level is vital for nutrient absorption by the plant. See Hydroponic Nutrients

The vermiculite helps retain moisture.

If you are using tap water allow it to stand for at least 24 hours exposed to open air to de-chlorinate.

The Container should be filled to a depth of at least 1 foot. For larger varieties of carrots you will need to make the media slightly deeper.

If the container is not sufficiently deep, the carrots will fork and grow sideways when they hit bottom.

Seeding

Sprinkle carrot seeds onto moist growing medium - vermiculite, perlite or sand. Perlite is actually best for carrots. If you are using sand it should be sterile. Cover the seeds with about three-quarters of an inch of vermiculite, perlite or sand {Growth Medium}. You should over-seed by up to 50 percent , some seeds will not germinate, some will not produce strong enough plants and will need to be thinned out later on.

Be sure to keep the Growth Medium warm and wet during the germination process.

They should not be kept excessively wet , or permitted to sit in standing water directly, as carrots, like all root crops will rot under those conditions.

Optimal temperature for carrot germination is around 85 degrees F. Depending on conditions and carrot variety, they should begin to germinate in 6 -10 days. They will germinate at slightly lower temperatures, but not as well. The temperature of the solution is slightly different from the air temperature See: Hydroponic Temperature.

Thinning Carrot Seedlings

When the Carrot Tops emerge select the strongest seedlings and remove the rest, you may be removing up to a third of your seedlings, any that appear small, stunted, discolored or simply too close to neighbors to have adequate grow space, avoid overcrowding.


Thin out carrot seedlings

Nutrients

Sprinkle carrots lightly with a nutrient solution at least once a week, but up to three times weekly is best. Sprinkle with only enough nutrient solution to ensure that the upper layer of Growth Medium gets damp. The carrot plants will draw the bulk of their nutrients from the reservoir below.

Carrots grow best with a solution pH of about 6.0 to 6.5, up to 7.5 is tolerable but not optimal. Maturing Carrots need a Nutrient solution strength of 1150-1350 ppm. Germinating and new carrot seedlings should be fed a weaker solution, slightly more than half strength - gradually bumped up to full strength as they mature - it should not exceed 1400 - 1450 ppm.

See - TDS in Hydroponics

Grow Lights

You will need to use grow lights when the seedlings sprout. 12- 16 hours daily and 8 -12 hours darkness to simulate the natural day/night cycle. See -Grow Lights

Harvest

Depending on variety and growing conditions , your carrots should be ready to harvest in about 2- 3 months. If insects pose a problem to your hydroponics system, use natural pest control methods to control them.

Tip -

Do not take carrots from outdoor gardens to use in your hydroponic garden. This usually brings unwanted pests and disease into your Hydroponic system.






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