Carrot (Daucas carota L.) is a one of the most important and major root vegetable used as salad and root vegetable besides, it is a rich source of beta-carotene, which is a precursor of vitamin A and contains appreciable quantities of thiamine and riboflavin. Sugar and volatile terpenoids are the two major components of carrot flavour. Carrot is a heavy feeder of nutrients and removal 100 kg N,50 kg P2O5 and 180 Kg K2O per hectare. Therefore, judicious and proper use of organic manures and biofertilizers are very essential not only for obtaining a higher yield and quality products but also to maintain soil health and sustainability for a longer period.
Carrots are a brilliant source of carotenoids, powerful antioxidants. One cup (6oz/180g) of diced raw carrot provides approximately 843 per cent of the RDA for vitamin A. High carotenoid intake has also been linked with a decrease in the incidence of breast, lung, and prostate cancer. Carrots have a fairly low GI number. Eating foods rich in carotenoids make insulin uptake more effective, thus making blood-glucose control easier for diabetics.
Soil and climate
Being a root crop carrot requires deep, friable loamy soil. For an early crop, sandy loam soil is preferred. Carrot becomes rough, and course as the roots fail to penetrate the hard soil evenly. The optimum pH of the soil is 6.0-7.0. Carrot is cool season crop. Carrot roots develop a good colour under the temperature range of 15-21O C.
Soil should be prepared by 2-3 deep ploughing with plough or spade followed by harrowing. If necessary, planking may also be done to make the soil cloudless. Prepare the field up to a fine tilth, so small carrot seed is sown easily and germination is not affected.
New kuroda, Pusa Keasr, Pusa Meghali, Pusa Yamgagni, Nantes
February to March in hill and August to November in plains.
Methods of Planting
Seed is sown in line with a spacing of 30-40 cm row to row and 5-10 cm plant to plant distance is maintained. Thinning is necessary to optimum plant population and also less competition with in plant.
Manures and fertilizers
Well, rotten FYM @ 10 t/ha along with vermicompost 5 t/ha, neem cake 250 kg and rock phosphate 150 kg/ha should be applied for the sowing of one-hectare land. This combination of organic sources of nutrient supply was found statistically similar to inorganic and integrated sources of nutrient supply at ICAR Complex, Umiam, Meghalaya. The sources of nutrient supply should be based on the local availability.
Weeding and earthing
Carrot is a root crop and requires good soil depth for tuber formation. Hence along with weeding, earthing is also given at about 30 days after sowing the crop for higher yield.
In north eastern hills, the carrot is grown during February-march with pre-monsoon rains. Pre-sowing irrigation is given to for rapid and uniform germination of carrot. Under insufficient soil moisture, irrigation should be done at an interval of one week depending upon the soil and climatic conditions. Over moisture in the soil is restricting the development of root and also rotting of roots.
Plant protection measures
The requires minimum attention on pest and disease management. Powdery mildew, bacterial blight and carrot fly are the major diseases and insects of carrot in NEH Region. Neem oil 3 % should be sprayed during the vegetative stage for prevention against insect pests.
Harvesting and yield
The roots attain marketable stage when their diameter is 2-4 cm at the upper end. Before harvesting the crop, light irrigation is to be given so that pulling of the root without any damage is facilitated. The yield varies from 18-22 t/ha depending upon the season and variety.
- ICAR-Research Complex for NEH Region, Meghalaya