Carrot (Daucus carota L.) is an important vegetable crop of both tropical and temperate countries. It is a cool season crop. Roots are rich in carotene, iron, thiamine, riboflavin, ascorbic acid, niacin and sugar content.
|ScientificName||Daucus carota L.|
|Family||Apiaceae (previously classified under Umbelliferae)|
|Origin||South Western Asia especially Afghanistan|
|Inflorescence type||Compound umbel|
|Pollination||Cross pollinated crop|
|Male sterility||CMS (Cytoplasmic Male Sterility)|
Carrot is used as salad, cooked as vegetable preferably with potatoes and peas. Carrot juice is becoming popular day by day. It is also used in making pickles and sweets.
The edible part of carrot is modified root (conical form). A special type of beverage known as Kanji is prepared from black carrot and used as appetizer. In India ca is grown in an area of about 21124 hectare with the production of about 2.87 lac tonnes. It is mainly cultivated in the states of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Assam, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.
Carrot varieties are divided into two groups i.e., Asiatic or tropical types and European or temperate types. European types require chilling temperature for bolting and seed production and are biennial in nature. They are low yielding (100-150 q/ha). They do not produce seeds in North Indian plains.
While seeds of Asiatic types can be produced under North Indian plains. The yield of Asiatic types is comparatively more. The Asiatic type varieties are annual in nature.
(A) European or Temperate varieties
Nantes :- Roots are half long, slim, well-shaped with stump and form a small thin tail. It has delicious flavour, fine grain texture and self coloured core with orange scarlet flesh colour.
Chantaney :- Roots are deep reddish-orange in colour, smooth, half long with thick shoulders and gradually tapering towards a distinctly stump end. It has orange colour, tender, sweet and fine textured flesh with distinct core.
Imperator :- It is a cross between Nantes x Chantancy. It is a mid or late maturing variety. Roots are 15-17.5 cm long and 2.5-4.5 cm in diameter which have tapering end.
Early Nantes :- It has cylindrical roots and much tapering end. Roots are 12-15 cm long and orange in colour. It is ready for harvesting in 90-100 days after sowing.
Zeno :- It was developed at Ooty (Tamil Nadu) from a German introduction and widely cultivated in Nilgiri region of Tamil Nadu. It has 15-17 cm long roots which are slightly tapering towards the end. Zeno is high yielding and good quality variety. It requires 110-120 days to mature.
Pusa Yamdagni :- It was developed at IARI Regional Research Station, Katrain by crossing EC-9981 x Nantes. It has 15-16 cm long roots of orange colour with tapering end. It is rich in carotene, high yielding and early maturing variety.
(B) Asiatic or Tropical varieties
Pusa Kesar :- Developed at IARI, New Delhi by crossing Local Red and Nantes. It has short leafy top. Roots red, long and tapering to a point. Central core is narrow and self coloured. less branching than usual local red types.
It is rich in carotene (7,753 ug/100 g). Harvested in 80-90 days after sowing. The important character of this variety is that the roots retained the edible quality after one month of maturity without bolting. The roots and core has same uniform red colour.
Selection-233 :- It is a cross between Nantes and No. 29 developed by PAU, Ludhiana. The roots are 15 cm long, slim, cylindrical and light orange in colour. Late bolting type and free from splitting
No. 29 :- Developed at PAU, Ludhiana. It is a quick growing, desi variety with long tapering light red roots. The core of the root is thin. It has wider adaptability.
Selection-21 :- Medium tall (40 cm), erect and dark green foliage variety developed PAU, Ludhiana. Roots are 19 cm long, cylindrical with round shoulders and semi-blunt end.
The roots and the core have the same red colour. The roots are quick growing and retain the edible quality for a longer period in the field without bolting. Roots are smooth and have less rate of forking and cracking.
It has better nutritional quality and contain 11% TSS and 6.45 mg/100 g carotene. The roots are excellent for making candy, pickles and spiced carrot juice.
Pusa Meghali :- This variety was bred at IARI, New Delhi by crossing Pusa Kesar X Nantes followed by selection. The roots are slim, yellow and slightly tapering toward the to It is suitable for both early August September) and late (October-November) sowings but it is preferred as early sowing.
It matures in 110-120 days after sowing and yields 250-280 q/ha. It is rich in carotene content (11571 g/100 g of edible part).
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Carrot is predominantly a cool season crop. A temperature range of 7.2-23.9°C suitable for seed germination and 18.3-23.9°C for better growth of roots. The longest roots are produced at 10-15.6°C but the colour development is poor.
The optimum temperature give better colour development of roots is 15.6-21.1°C. The high temperature results into early bolting. To some extent, the Asiatic types are resistant to warm climate.
SOIL AND FIELD PREPARATION
The long, smooth, slender roots desired for fresh market can successfully be produced in deep. well drained light soils. Carrot grown on heavy soil tend to be more rough and coarse than those grown on light sandy soils. The optimum soil pH is 6.0 to 7.0. About 3-4 ploughings are required to bring the soil to a fine tilth.
MANURE AND FERTILIZERS
Add well rotten FYM or compost @ 200-300 q/ha after the first ploughing. Fertilizers should be applied on the basis of fertility status of the soil. In normal soils, 120 kg N, 60 kg P2O5, and 60 kg K2O/ha is sufficient. The mixture of half of N and full dose of P2O5 and K2O is applied at the bottom of the ridges and covered with the soil. Generally furrows are irrigated one or two days prior to sowing.
The remaining half dose of N is applied 30 days after sowing.
SEED RATE AND TIME OF SOWING
About 8-10 kg healthy seed is required to grow in one hectare area. Carrot is grown in the flat beds as well as on the ridges, Ridge and furrow method facilitates better root development. The ridges are made at the spacing of 25-30 cm. Shallow furrows of 2 cm depth are made on the ridges and seed is sown thinly in these furrows and covered with a mixture of soil and well rotten manure.
Seed takes 10-15 days for its germination. The germination of seed can be enhanced to some extent by soaking the seeds in water prior to sowing.
August to November is the optimum time of sowing for Asiatic group while for European types is October to November.
Irrigate the field just after sowing. Optimum level of moisture in the field is essential for better germination, growth and development of roots.
Crop should be irrigated at an interval be 5-7 days depending upon the rain or weather conditions. Both stress and water stagnation in the field leads to undesirable flavour, poor development of colour and ultimately poor quality roots. Carrot grown in low moisture conditions have a very strong and pungent flavour.
INTER-CULTURE AND WEED CONTROL
Timely weeding, hoeing and earthing-up should be done. Generally two weedings at 15-20 and 30-35 days after sowing are sufficient to control the weeds.
Besides, the application of several herbicides like Fluchloralin and Trifluralin each at 0.75-1.5 kg/ha as pre plant soil incorporation, Pendimethalin (1.0 kg/ha), Linuron (0.5-1.0 kg/ha), Nitrofen (1.0 kg/ ha) as pre-emergence and Chlorbromuron (2.0 kg/ha), Prometryn (0.5-1.0 kg/ha), Linuron (0.5-1.0 kg/ha) or Nitrofen (1.0 kg/ha) as post-emergence applied at one-leaf stage of the crop have been found most effective.
Harvesting of roots depends upon the variety. Hence, size of the roots cannot be taken as reliable criteria to harvest the crop. However, in general the roots become ready for harvesting in 65 to 85 days. Delay in harvesting of roots leads to splitting and firmness and resulted in poor quality. Sometimes delay in harvesting even make it unfit for consumption.
The temperate types are poor yielder and produce 100-150 g/ha whereas, tropical types high yielder (200-300 q/ha).
Carrot Splitting It is a major physiological disorder of carrot where roots crack and seems to be controlled by genetic factors but a number of other factors like heavy side dressing with nitogenous fertilizers in the early stages, low chloride content in the soil, sowing at wide spacing, large size of roots and fluctuation in soil moisture are also found to be responsible for splitting
- Grow resistant varieties.
- Sow the seeds at close spacing.
- Supply recommended dose of nitrogen.
- Maintain optimum moisture in the field.
- Harvest the crop at right maturity stage.
Cavity Spot It is characterized by the appearance of cavity in the cortex and in most cases the subtending epidermis collapse to form a pitted lesion. The disorder caused due to calcium deficiency, increased level of potassium and delay in harvesting.
- Incorporate Calcium containing fertilizers in the soil.
- Harvest the roots at optimum time.