Due to its high profitability and low susceptibility to pests and diseases, carrot farming is growing in demand as more farmers hop on the bandwagon in hopes of making it big. As a popular vegetable that is very commonly used in any dish, the demand for carrots will almost always be high, reeling in farmers into the market. Furthermore, with the advancement in technology, cultivating carrots is even easier in today’s time. If you are a beginner, this article is all you need to get you started on carrot farming.
Ideal surrounding conditions
To get started, you will first have to be aware of the ideal conditions that carrots need to be cultivated in order to thrive. The surrounding temperature and weather play a crucial role in ensuring that you maximize the yield of any type of produce. Temperatures ranging from 15 to 20-degrees Celsius is the best for carrots to grow, as it facilitates the germination process for the new plants. Carrots generally require a sunny area with a lot of sunlight, as well as a well-sheltered location. Lower temperatures may cause your carrots to appear yellower than usual, and adversely affect its size and shape.
Unlike other crops, carrots are generally relatively sensitive when it comes to the type of soil that it grows in. Carrots grow the best in loose loamy soils and rich sandy peaty soils, as it promotes the development of stronger roots. Thick clay soils also work for carrots too, but ensure that they are compacted with stone reduces (hardy), as it encourages sappy growth and the forking of roots. The pH should be regulated to a range of 6.5 to 7.5, and the soils should always be crack and disease-resistant in order to prevent the hindering of your carrots’ growth.
Choosing a suitable carrot variety
Selecting a carrot is dependent on the soil that you have as well as the season that you are in. Certain carrots thrive on different soils, while others grow better in other types of soil. Likewise, for seasonal carrots, different types of carrots require a different amount of sunlight than others.
For the varying soil types, certain carrots like the Chantenay and Davers varieties are better able to handle dull and shallow earth. On the other hand, species like slender Nantes and Imperator carrots are able to thrive only in deep loose loam, as well as soil that is crack-resistant.
As for the different seasons, carrots are generally known as spring vegetables that are able to grow well in summer and spring. The Amsterdam and Nantes tribes of carrots are best planted in late spring and harvested in Winter, where the cool temperature helps with their growth. On the other hand, Chantenay and Rondo will better develop when they are sowed in late Autumn and harvested in early spring. Farmers should ensure that the soil is fertile and loose. Lastly, the Autumn King and Berlicim varieties of carrots should start their seeding process in early Winter where temperatures are much lower and should be ready to be harvested in early summer.
Here are step-by-step guidelines and tips to follow when you sow your carrot seeds:
- Ensure that the area where you want to plant your carrots at are double-dug, and ensure that your raised-bed is made
- If your soil is heavy, add a generous amount of compost to improve the condition of your soil
- Start sowing your seeds and ensure that you begin before the last expected frost
- After two to three weeks, begin the planting process. Your seeds should take about 70 to 80 days to mature
- The size and the number of seeds play a part in helping your carrots grow. Using smaller seeds will help you when you start weeding while ensuring the right number of seeds will help to maximize your crop’s yield
- A recommended rule-of-thumb you can follow is that approximately six seeds should be planted an inch away from one another. They should take around one to three weeks to sprout.
Irrigation should be conducted frequently to help your carrots thrive. Especially during the dry seasons, you should perform the irrigation once a day to maintain the pH level of your soil to promote root growth. If you fail to do so, the dry season will cause your soil to dry out and slowly lose the nutrients that it has, thus adversely affecting your crops.
During the monsoon seasons, irrigation should be done less frequently due to the frequent showers that your plants will experience. If your crops get too much water, the high humidity of the atmosphere will affect the growth of your produce. Furthermore, water build-up in the soil may also promote the onset of diseases.
There are certain diseases that are more salient when it comes to farming carrots. By protecting your crops and providing the necessary treatment, your carrots will be able to grow healthily, thereby maximizing the potential yield.
One such disease that occurs quite commonly is leaf spots. These spots typically show up on the leaves of your plant, exhibiting white and brown streaks on the leaves. Frequent checks on your plants are necessary to ensure that they are healthy. To prevent the likelihood of leaf spots, ensure that you get rid of the weeds in your garden, and avoid using the ranch for more than three years. Furthermore, you should conduct soil testing on a regular basis to ensure that your soil does not contain excessive nitrogen, which may encourage the appearance of leaf spots.
Another disease that is common in carrots would be those that are fungi-related. Rootstocks should generally be white in color. Hence, if they appear to be brownish and water-soaked, there is a high chance that your crops are attacked by fungi. Fungi diseases can be prevented by constantly rotating the crops you grow, and including more resistant plants such as sweet corn. This will thereby limit the build-up of pathogenic bions in the soil, lowering the chances of fungi diseases.
Farming carrots can be quite simple, especially if you are familiar with all the do’s and don’t’s of carrot farming. The most important thing to note is the type of soil that you are using, especially since carrots are extremely sensitive to the soil that they are planted in. Once you ensure that you use the right type of soil, water your crops on a consistent basis and conduct regular checks; your carrots will be ready for harvesting before you know it!