Carrots like all vegetables need a basic amount of nutrients to grow well. The majority of soils in home gardens, allotments, and in fields will require some if not all nutrients topping up. Usually, these nutrients are added to the soil by buying a bag of chemical fertilizer at whatever ratio and adding it to the soil. This article will show you how to make your own homemade fertilizer for carrots to save you the trip, expense, and more importantly broaden your knowledge and self-sufficiency.
What fertilizer do carrots need?
Carrots like other root vegetables like a fertilizer which are low in Nitrogen and higher in Phosphate (P) and Potassium (K). A typical fertilizer ratio that could be used on soil that has not had a soil analysis carried out would be 0-10-10 (N-P-K).
If there is too much Nitrogen in the fertilizer all the growth will be in the green leaf material. Phosphate is responsible for the health of the carrot plant and Potassium will ensure the root or the carrot itself will grow sufficiently.
Best homemade fertilizer for carrots
To make the best fertilizer for carrots at home you’ll need to have at hand some home saved specific food items which have been composting for a couple of months. This compost should be kept separate from your other general compost heap so that you can identify it as being high in Phosphate (P) and Potassium (K)
Which food items are high in Phosphate (P) and Potassium (K)
This compost heap should be made from the following list:
Oranges, bananas, prunes, raisins, dates, broccoli, spinach, mushrooms, cucumbers, peas, beans potatoes.
These items are all high in potassium and some are high in potassium and phosphate (bananas). There will be enough P and K in this list to make good compost to grow a fine crop of carrots.
Meat, poultry, fish, and eggs are high in phosphate but do not add them to the compost as the risk of creating harmful bacteria and foul smells will increase, not to mention attracting pests such as rats and mice.
How much high Phosphate (P) and Potassium (K) compost should i add?
What other considerations are there when fertilizing carrots?
Many gardens, allotments, and fields will be higher in potassium (P) as only a small amount of it is used by growing plants each year. Plants generally use a lot more Nitrogen (N) and Potassium (K). This leaves the majority of plots with a low Nitrogen, higher Phosphate, and a low Potassium figure. If you added the 0-10-10 fertilizer you may not need much of the 10 units of Phosphate- this is why it is a good idea to take a soil sample and get it analyzed- especially if you are a competitive grower.
Make sure your soil is finely tilled before sowing your carrots or you’ll end up with the oddest shapes ever – read my article on how to make sandy soil for carrots for more info.