Last year I glued together some plastic coffee containers, and my cherry tomatoes did well in them, but this year I decided to go with metal containers because they don’t require assembly. I simply cut out the bottom of the can, and cut slits for drainage in the plastic lid which then becomes the bottom of the container.
One of problems I encountered last year is that I had to raise the containers off the porch to get good drainage. It’s even more important to have the metal containers raised because the plastic tops can affect a seal if placed on a flat surface.
This year one of the varieties I selected is a hybrid carrot, a cross of a Nantes and an Imperator variety bred in Germany. Typical of the Nantes variety this carrot is barrel shaped and grows 5-6 inches in length - about the same depth as a full sized coffee can.
But the roots of a carrot go much deeper than the body. My plan is get the carrots started and then after removing the lid set the containers in the garden so the roots can grow as deep as they may. When it’s time to harvest I’ll pull the containers up and the carrots will be easily accessible.
In addition to facilitating the harvest I expect the carrots will grow much better in a potting mix than the heavy clay soil in my garden – not to mention the ever present gravel and rocks -that permeate my plots.
I’m doing the same with some of my tomatoes, with the tomato in the center and carrots seeded along the edges. I’ve read that tomatoes and carrots are good companions with the carrots providing a green mulch around the base of the tomato plant.
I’ll have to let you know how this experiment turns out, but if you have access to metal cans you might just try it for yourself.