Carrots are Bitter – What’s Wrong?

Q.  My carrots taste bitter, what’s wrong?   I am watering for 20 to 30 minutes using a drip system 3 times per week.  I use the Mittleider organic method of growing, and grow in containers, or Grow-Boxes.

A. Your problem is a lack of water.  You need to water daily until you see water coming out the bottom of the container or box.  I’ve never seen a soaker hose that would adequately water a sawdust/sand grow-box in 1/2 hour.  And it will dry out too much if you only water every other day. 

If you were growing in the soil, water still would most likely be the culprit, although if you are not feeding accurately and doing so every week for 5 times, you also might have a nutrient deficiency.  Be sure you are using the Mittleider natural mineral nutrients as fertilizers.  You can mix your own from formulas on the website, or get them pre-mixed.  Look at in the Store under Materials.

I recommend you automate your watering using the PVC pipe system taught and demonstrated in the Mittleider gardening books.  This system is inexpensive to build, it waters very accurately, and will last practically forever, if you take care of it. 

The books are available at, and you can even download the chapter of the Mittleider Gardening Library free, by going to the Store section and clicking on that book.