DAUCUS (CAROTA CARROTS) & ONIONS (ALLIUM CEPA) – BETTER EXPLANATION
Daucus Carota carrots is a root vegetable grown in the cool areas of Kenya. It is commonly eaten raw in salads but can also be cooked.
Altitude: 0-2,9oom above sea level.
- 750 -1,000mm.
- Well distributed throughout the growing period.
- It requires deep,
- Fine tilth
- Well drained soils that are free from obstacles to allow for root expansion.
It requires cool to warm temperatures as very high temperatures result in the production of pale and short roots.
- Fresh market varieties for example Chantenay and Nantes.
- Canning varieties for example Nantes
- Fodder varieties for example Oxhast.
- The field should be well dug to a depth of about 20cm.
- The soil clods should be broken to give a fine tilth before planting.
- Manure should not be applied as it induces forking which reduces the crop quality.
- Carrots are planted directly into the main seedbed.
- Seeds are drilled into rows made 20-30cm apart.
- The seeds are then covered lightly and the soil pressed down.
- 90kg/ha of DSP should be applied at planting time in the drills.
- It should be mixed well with the soils before placing the seeds.
- Thinning – it is done 2 weeks after germination.
- Weed control- the field should be kept weed free.
- Earthing up should be done while weeding to encourage root expansion ..
- Topdressing: after weeding 60kg of nitrogen per hectare should be applied as top dress.
- Irrigation – this should be carried out where or when there is not enough rainfall.
- Carrots do not have many field pests except the green aphids.
- These can be controlled by use of the appropriate pesticides.
- Occasionally attached by the mildews especially in wet and humid
- Thinning can be done to reduce humid conditions.
Harvesting and Marketing
- Carrots are ready for harvesting 3-5 months after planting depending on the variety.
- They are lifted from the soil and sold fresh or canned.
Onions (Allium cepa)
- Onions are bulb vegetables grown in the warm areas of Kenya.
- They are used as a vegetable in salads and for flavouring foods, soups and stews.
Altitude: 0-2, 100m above sea level.
- 1,ooomm of rain per year
- Irrigation in dry areas .
- Requires well drained fertile soils
- pH of 6.0 – 7.0.
- Onions are a warm climate crops.
- However, some varieties prefer cool conditions.
They require a fairly long dry period for ripening.
- Red creole,
- Tropicana hybrid
- White creole.
- The land should be well prepared leaving a fine tilth.
- Farm yard manure at 40 – 50 tonnes per hectare should be applied and mixed with the soil.
- Direct: Seeds are drilled in rows 30cm apart and 8cm within the rows. 20kg/ha of DSP fertilizer is used.
- Indirect: Seeds are established in the nurseries before transplanting them in rows 30cm apart and 8 cm within the rows.
- Shallow planting is recommended for bulb expansion.
Field Management Practices
- It is carried out only in the crop that has been directly planted so as to achieve spacing of 8cm between two plants within the row.
- The thinned plants referred to as spring onions are used as vegetables in salads.
- Calcium ammonium nitrate at the rate of 25okg per hectare is recommended for topdressing onions.
- This is done 3 months after planting.
- These cause silvering and withering of leaves from the tips downwards.
- They are controlled by spraying with appropriate insecticides such as Diazinon or fenthion.
Purple Blotch and Downey Mildew
- Characterized by oval greyish lesions with purple centres on leaves.
- This causes leaf curling and die back.
- Characterized by brown spores covering the leaves leading to death of the whole plant.
- The two diseases are effectively controlled by crop rotation and application of appropriate fungicides.
Harvesting and Marketing
- Onions are ready for harvesting 5 months after planting.
- When leaves start drying the tops are broken or bent at the neck.
- This hastens the withering of the stems.
- The bulbs are then dug out and left to dry in a shade for a few days.
- Onions are graded according to size and marketed in nets of about 14 -16kgs.
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