Have you ever thought that you can grow carrots in milk cartons?
The first time I ever attempted growing carrots, it totally failed! I ended up with some seriously strange and deformed carrots.
Even though the carrots tasted great, they seriously took ages to peel!
The problem was that I planted them inside in small starter pots and then attempted to move them out – big mistake!
I’ve later learned that the carrot roots are so delicate, that you really should not move them.
Because you will disturb the roots, and that’s when you end up with odd-looking carrots. Lesson learned!
So I would say normal straight shaped carrots should be the goal when growing carrots, saves you time peeling them and of course they also look so much better!
I’ve been growing carrots in milk cartons for two years in a row now, with great success! So have a look at the step by step tutorial down below.
How to grow carrots in milk cartons
What you’ll need:
-Milk cartons (washed and dried)
The first thing you need to do is to prepare your milk cartons.
The milk cartons I use all have a plastic spout, so I cut off the top end of the milk carton.
Then you need to use your hobby knife and cut out a small square in each bottom corner of your cartons (for draining excess water)
Now, your milk cartoon should look something like this!
Time to finally plant our carrot seeds! I use 1 liter (32 fl oz) milk cartons in this project, so I plant 9 seeds in each carton.
If you’re using larger cartons, you can plant even more seeds in each.
Start with filling your milk cartons with some soil just in the bottom part of the milk carton, then press down and compress the soil to make it more compact.
Doing this will help the soil not spill out when you, later on, have to remove the bottom part of the carton.
Fill up with more soil until you’re 1 cm (0.4
*Be sure to read the instructions on the back of your carrot seed package, to be sure how deep you should plant your seeds.
I usually place the milk cartons by the window and put them in a plastic bin, or just on a plastic lid.
Then you’ll just need to let them grow! Be sure they get enough sunlight and enough water. Carrots usually take some time to grow, but when they first start growing, they grow fast!
I usually plant out the carrots after 8-12 weeks, depending on the weather.(Norwegian summers can be cruel and cold, unfortunately)
I like to grow carrots in milk cartons and have them nearby, so I plant them out in a double raised garden bed right on my terrace.
My kids love to run out on the terrace and help me crab a “milk carton” of carrots.
Fill up the garden bed with as much soil as needed. Be sure that your garden bed is deep enough for growing carrots.
Now cut off the bottom part of the milk cartons, and place them in your raised garden bed.
You could, of course, remove the entire milk carton at this point, but I never bother.
After planting the carrots out, they usually need some time to adjust to the climate outdoors.
Just make sure to keep an extra eye on them the first 1-2 weeks, and if the weather is warm remember to water them enough so they don’t dry out.
And then before you know it, you’ll have plenty of super fresh and homegrown carrots right in your own backyard!
2020 Growing carrots update
This year we actually tried planting the carrots just in the milk cartons, and not replanting them in garden beds.
And this method turned out great as well. The clue here is probably to not plant as many seeds in each carton.
We had the most success with planting around 4 -5 seeds in each milk carton.