Wednesday, 26 October 2011

How to Grow the Carrot

The carrot is a popular vegetable in many countries in the world, which is eaten cooked or raw in salads. The Carrot is one of the best sauces of beta carotene a precursor to vitamin A. Carrots have a good market in the main towns, canaries and dehydration factories by arrangement, while surplus carrots can be used for feeding livestock.
The carrot performs best in cool to warm climate as in high altitude areas over 1000m above sea level. The carrot roots are sensitive to very high temperatures which result to production of pale short fibrous roots. The carrot roots attain optimal color when air temperature is between 15-21º C. The carrot can however be grown in medium and low elevations during the coolest months. The Carrot grows best in deep sandy loam soils with ph ranging from 5.5- 6.8.
Carrot, tomatoes,cabbage salad

Nantes- This is a variety of medium length of about 15 cm with uniform diameter and blunt tip.
Chantenay- This is a short variety about 13 cm with large shoulders, and a large distinct core.  
Oxheart- The carrot variety is usually grown for livestock feed
Thorough field preparation is critical for better shaped and marketable carrots, as the seeds are small and usually planted direct into the field. The land should be ploughed and harrowed to a fine tilth. Prepare raised beds 20cm high, 1m wide and 0.3 m apart. Pulverize the soil and incorporate fully decomposed manure at a rate of 3-5 tons/ha and a complete fertilizer at a rate of 200kgs /ha one week before planting carrots. Carrots Seeds rate is 6-7 kg per hectare and Sowing is done thinly along furrows which are 30cm apart and covered with about 2 cm of fine soil. Germination of carrots seeds takes about 2 weeks, and then 1st weeding is done at the time of thinning the carrots, 4 weeks after sowing carrots seeds .2nd weeding and hilling is done 45 days after the 1st weeding.  

Thinning of carrots is done to provide space to growing roots and it starts 4 weeks after planting, at a spacing of 5 cm between the plants, then 200kg/ha of side dressing fertilizer is applied, and hilling up is done immediately to cover the fertilizer.
Carrots require a lot of moisture during the first 30 days after sowing. Water every 5-7 days or as required. Irregular watering of carrots causes cracking and forking of the roots. Mulch the beds after planting to minimize weeds growth and water loss. After germination remove the mulch and put them between the rows.

Pest and disease control in the carrots involves control of insects and fungal diseases.
The aphids: spray hot pepper extract at a rate of 100g macerated hot pepper in 16 liters of water. If need be spray the carrots with recommended insecticides at the recommended rates.
The Powdery mildew: spray sulfur based fungicides at the recommended rates.
The Bacterial soft rot: Avoid injury to the roots during harvesting and remove infected roots.

10-15 tons/acre depending on management