CARROTS (DAUCUS CAROTA)

CARROTS (DAUCUS CAROTA)

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CARROTS (DAUCUS CAROTA) 

It is a root vegetable grown in the cool areas of Kenya.

It is commonly eaten raw in salads but can also be cooked.

Ecological Requirements

Altitude: 0-2,9oom above sea level.

Rainfall:

  • 750 -1,000mm.
  • Well distributed throughout the growing period.

Soils:

  • It requires deep,
  • Fine tilth
  • Well drained soils that are free from obstacles to allow for root expansion.

Temperatures: it requires cool to warm temperatures as very high temperatures result in the production of pale and short roots.

Varieties

  • Fresh market varieties for example Chantenay and Nantes.
  • Canning varieties for example Nantes
  • Fodder varieties for example Oxhast.

Land Preparation

  • 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.

Planting

  • 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.

Field Practice

  • 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.

Pest Control

  • Carrots do not have many field pests except the green aphids.
  • These can be controlled by use of the appropriate pesticides.

Disease Control

  • 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.

Ecological Requirements

Altitude: 0-2, 100m above sea level.

Rainfall:

  • 1,ooomm of rain per year
  • Irrigation in dry areas .

Soils:

  • Requires well drained fertile soils
  • pH of 6.0 – 7.0.

Temperatures:

  • Onions are a warm climate crops.
  • However, some varieties prefer cool conditions.

They require a fairly long dry period for ripening.

Varieties

  • Red creole,
  • Tropicana hybrid
  • White creole.

Land Preparation

  • 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.

Planting

  • 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

Thinning

  • 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.

Topdressing

  • Calcium ammonium nitrate at the rate of 25okg per hectare is recommended for topdressing onions.
  • This is done 3 months after planting.

Pest Control

Onion Thrips:

  • These cause silvering and withering of leaves from the tips downwards.
  • They are controlled by spraying with appropriate insecticides such as Diazinon or fenthion.

Disease Control

Purple Blotch and Downey Mildew

Purple blotch;

  • Characterized by oval greyish lesions with purple centres on leaves.
  • This causes leaf curling and die back.

Downey mildew;

  • 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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