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carrots in containers

Greeley, CO(Zone 5b)

I want to grow some carrots in containers for my kiddos. I was planning on placing the in the greenhouse this winter so we can have carrots throughout the year. I know it will not give us a big harvest, but I thought it might be a fun project to do with the kids since I got multicolored ones. What kind of soil do I use. I was thinking of filling the bottom of the pot with some broken terracotta or gravel then filling it up with potting soil. Should I put peat on top to help germination or just plant the seeds straight into the potting mix? My pots are plenty deep and large, I think they had roses in them at some point.
I was also told that giving them a cold treatment a week or two before harvesting them would make them sweeter. If so I figured I could put them outside during the day and bringing them in at night since we get pretty low at night in the winter. Will the cold really make them sweeter or will I be wasting my time moving them in and out every day?

Any help would be appreciated.

Westbrook, CT(Zone 6a)

I used a mix of peat, vermiculite and compost--keeping the texture light to make it easy for the roots to penetrate. I don't recommend putting a layer of pure peat on top, that usually forms a crust and keeps water from soaking in. I also don't recommend open bottom containers just sitting on the soil. I tried that and some sneaky chipmunks tunneled underneath and ate all my carrots. I don't know if moving your carrots in and out would be worth it. Mine taste fine without the extra work, but I don't have your snow cover to worry about, and in fact have occasionally dug up carrots all through the winter that I had neglected to harvest in fall.

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