Carrot

CARROT : (Daucus carota)

Climatic requirement
Carrot can be grown in all agro-ecological regions.

Soils
Well-drained soils are suitable; poorly-drained soils can cause growth problems. A soil pH of 6-6.8 is optimum.

Land preparation
Soil should be ploughed to a depth of 30-40 cm and worked to a very fine tilth. Prepare raised beds 1 m wide and 20 cm high. Incorporate 5-10 tons/ha of cattle manure or compost to beds and level.

Recommended and promising varieties
1. Up-country
a) Cape Market
Leaves - numerous, coarsely divided
Tubers - dark orange, long (25-30 cm), conical with large orange core
b) Top Weight
Leaves - few, finely divided, short
Tubers ¬orange, cylindrical to somewhat conical with small, light yellow core

2. Mid-country: Cape Market, Nantes Half Long

Seed rate
4 kg/ha

Time of planting
Can be grown in both Yala and Maha.

Planting and spacing
a) Mix seed with dry soil for even distribution and row sow or broadcast on raised beds.
b) Row-sown: 25-30 cm between rows, 5 cm between plants
c) Thin 4-6 weeks after planting to maintain a space of 5 cm between plants within the row.

Fertilizer use
N-180 kg/ha, P2O5-90 kg/ha, K2O-120 kg/ha
a) Basal - apply the following formulations and rates:
i). Urea - 200 kg/ha
ii). TSP - 300 kg/ha
iii). Muriate of potash - 125 kg/ha

b) Top dressing - apply 4-6 weeks after planting
i). Urea - 250 kg/ha
ii). Muriate of potash - 125 kg/ha

Irrigation
Irrigate daily until germination occurs and, then once every 4 days, depending on rainfall.

Weed control
Hand weed 2 and 4 weeks after planting.
a) The following herbicides may be used
i) Linuron - 0.75-1.0 kg/ha pre-or post¬-emergence (for wettable powder formulation only)
ii) Metribuzin - 0.35 kg/ha pre-emergence (do not use, post-emergence)

Disease control
1. Leaf spot (Cercospora carotae)
a). Symptom
i) Lesions with circular white centers on young leaves
b) Control
i) Treat seed with recommended fungicide
ii) Rotate crops
iii) Destroy infected plant debris
iv) Spray foliage with a recommended fungicide

2. Alternaria blight (Alternaria dauci)
a) Symptom
i) Spots on older leaves, develop into irregular brown lesions with yellowish centre
b) Control
i). Rotate crops
ii). Treat seeds with a recommended fungicide
iii). Destroy infected plant debris
iv). Spray foliage with a recommended fungicide

3. Bacterial soft rot (Erwinia caratora)
a) Symptoms
i). Diseased tissues are soft and gelatinous with a distinct boundary between infected and healthy tissue
ii). Rotten tissue has a characteristically unpleasant odor
b) Control
i). Rotate crop with maize, pulses, etc.
ii). Destroy and remove infected plant debris
iii). Facilitate good drainage
iv). Avoid damage during transplanting, harvesting and other cultural operations
v). Store roots in a ventilated, dry place
vi). Follow fungicide recommendations for disease Control

NOTE: ALL FUNGICIDE APPLICATIONS SHOULD CEASE 3 WEEKS BEFORE HARVEST

Time for maturity
75-90 days

Yield
a) Up-country: 35-40 t/ha
b) Mid-country: 15-20 t/ha

Post-harvest
a) Grade and handle roots carefully to avoid mechanical damage.
b) Pack roots in well-ventilated bags if they are to be transported long distances.