Hi, this is my first post to the forum. I just joined today. ^_^ I've just purchased carrot and lettuce seeds to begin a vegetable garden, but I won't be moving to a house with a backyard for a couple months still. I'm sure I can begin growing the plants in pots and then transfer them. However, I'm not sure how long, wide, or deep these pots have to be to hold my plants. I know for Pariss Island (Romaine) I'm supposed to sow the seeds 8 inches apart, so it should probably be pretty long, but how deep; and do I need a wide container? As for the carrots, I know it should probably be deep, but I don't know how large the rest of the container should be. I'd appreciate any advice or help I can get. Thanks!
First, where are you located, as that can make a difference of what to grow when and where. As far as pot size, how many do you intend to grow in a pot? In a garden, lettuce can be planted 4 per square foot. This is for grown plants. In pots or flats, you can plant a lot closer (a few inches apart) as they will not be expected to grow totally in the pots, but be transplanted to the proper spacing. I plant lettuce in those foam containers they sell mushrooms in, or in any flat type of container (recycled from holding vegetables, donuts or whatever) that I can punch holes in the bottom.
Abigail, all 9 kids grown and 16 little gardeners: what a harvest!
Zone 7a, Far Rockaway, New York
Things such as lettuce can be grown in fairly shallow, but wide, containers, many people have had good results using the pint milk cartons (one lettuce plant per) How deep the container needs to be for carrots depends on how long those carrots are supposed to get if grown to full maturity. For example Danvers cultivars need about 7 to 8 inch depth while Thumberline cultivars need only about 3 inch depth.
Root crops such as carrots do not transplant very well while lettuce does. While many of us are putting our gardens to rest for the winter you could look at Eliot Coleman's "The Four Season Garden" and grow vegetables year round as he does in Maine.
Perhaps this from Cornell may be of some use.
The sign of a good gardener is not a green thumb, it is brown knees.
West central Michigan along the lakeshore.
First, where are you located, as that can make a difference of what to grow when and where. As far as pot size, how many do you intend to grow in a pot?
I am located in South Florida. I looked up my USDA planting zone (10a) and carrots and lettuce are, from what I have read, fine to sow in November/December. I guess I'd start out with maybe 3, since I expect some trial and error to happen quite a bit. ^_^
How deep the container needs to be for carrots depends on how long those carrots are supposed to get if grown to full maturity. For example Danvers cultivars need about 7 to 8 inch depth while Thumberline cultivars need only about 3 inch depth.
Root crops such as carrots do not transplant very well while lettuce does.
I actually did get Danvers, so I guess I should go for deep. And since they don't transplant very well, do you suggest I just don't even attempt it? I know Danvers are supposed to be very sturdy, allowing you to yank them out of the ground pretty hard and they won't break. Maybe that would allow for a little easier transplanting? If not, I don't mind just growing some in a container and then growing more once I get my garden set up.
It is generally recommended that carrots- or any root vegetable- not be transplanted. They don't tend to make the move well.
That said, part of the fun of gardening is to experiment. See what works for you. I can't tell you how many times I've done something against conventional wisdom and had it succeed. (And also fail!)
You could try a few carrots in smaller pots to transplant later, See how they do; and then perhaps a large pot planted with carrots that will stay there til harvest.
Zone 5/6 Northern New Mexico