Gomani, is an Agribusiness Consultant who studied Agribusiness Management
Carrot Cultivation Farming
Carrots are biennial plants which are commonly grown in the mid and the highlands. It has a height of 30 to 100 cm. Its edible part is tap root and is conical. Its length has a range of 5 to 25 centimeters. Its roots can be yellow in colour or white or light purple among others and it is reach in vitamin A and vitamin B (thiamine and riboflavin). Carrots can be consumed either fresh, as a salad crop, or cooked. This article will provide in detail on how to cultivate Carrot.
Carrots give best results on a temperature range of 15 to 20 °C. It does well in cool weather areas and gives a better yield in a warm weather as well. Carrots do not do well when the temperature falls below 10 °C or in hot weather areas.
Carrots require an average of 25 mm of water per week, but under warm, dry conditions 50 mm will be required. Carrots require an optimal annual rainfall of a range of 700 and 800 mm.
Carrots performs well on deep, loose and well drained loam soils. Make sure the soil where you grow your Carrots has high organic matter content for better yields. The optimum soil pH for growing Carrots ranges from 6.0 to 7.5. It is known that the temperature and soil moisture influence the shape, colour and quality of carrots so make sure your field has right moisture content and as well right temperature.
We use seeds to propagate Carrots
The soil should be well tilled using a hoe or ploughed mechanically. It has to be deep ploughed and loosen at least 30 centimeters. Make sure the soil is fumigated for nematodes.
Carrot seedlings are sown directly in the seedbed. Carrot is known to have a seed rate of 5kg per hectare. Make sure you sow your seedlings when soil has right moisture content. You may supplement the water through Irrigation but make sure the Carrot field is not waterlogged as this can be a source of diseases.
Carrots requires a row spacing of a range of 200 to 400 mm apart. In double or triple rows, you can have the width between sets of rows range from 400 to 600 mm.
Make sure you thin your Carrots which are densely sown to 5 cm spacing within the row. Thinning results in uniform and good sized roots and avoids Carrot plant from lodging. Thinning can be done from the third week.
Carrots are unable to compete with weeds as it grows slowly compared to the rate at which the weeds grows. Make sure your Carrots field is free from weeds as these could be the source of diseases. Make sure you use repeated shallow cultivation to keep down weeds, especially in the early stages of growth.
Before you apply any fertilizer, make sure you conduct a soil analysis to know the right type and amount of fertilizers to apply based on soil test report. It is recommended to apply nitrogen fertilizer. Carrots have low nitrogen requirements and good yields can be obtained with the application of 80 kg/ha of nitrogen. You can also apply 40 kg of phosphorus per hectare for optimal yield.
Carrots which are grown during dry season should be supplied with enough water through Irrigation. Water can be applied every 5 to 7 days to field capacity depending on soil type and environment. Make sure you avoid your field from waterlogging.
Make sure any weed is removed as it could compete for soil nutrients with your Carrots plant and this can result in Inefficiencies. Weeds can be controlled manually or by using herbicides. When you use herbicides make sure you follow all the instructions.
Make sure you harvest your Carrot when it reaches a diameter of 20 mm and more. You can harvest your Carrots after 90 to 120 days from the day of sowing. Depending on the type of Variety, some may require longer days. Make sure you avoid harvesting immature and over-mature Carrot roots.