carrots are emerging as one of the lucrative crops in Kenya with a kg retailing with not less than 50 Kenyan shillings per kg and Healthy carrots are determined by how it is planted.
Carrots are eaten subsistencly or sold as cash crops. Carrots contains vitamins which helps in body functioning and fighting of diseases.
Advantage of healthy carrot farming in Kenya is that it requires low attention and also has short maturity period consuming less space or land.
Carrot seeds are in many varieties depending on your choice for more detailed information about seeds visit your nearest Agro-dealer in your town or area.
Healthy carrots does well in areas with smooth moist and fertile soils except with the areas with sandy soil and very hot climate.
Before planting the carrots ensure you have a suitable land with enough sunlight which will enable the development of soft large shoots.
The land should be ploughed and left with fine tilth. This will ensure the carrot shoots mature comfortably.
Ensure the weeds are completely removed from the area to be planted. You may choose to raise the carrots on raised nursery bed.
The soil should be fine tilth and fertile. Make furrows 2 inch deep and ensure spacing of 15 centimetres between rows to ensure a comfortable room for development.
Thin carrots germinate with regular watering after 2 to 4 weeks of planting
regular farming practices of the nursery continues until the carrots are mature that is when the roots are enlarged,soft and juicy.
Direct planting on the field is by making furrows of 2 inch deep with spacing of 15 centimetres between rows. This will leave space for shoot development.
Propagate the seeds on furrows evenly and cover with thin soil. Regular farming practices of watering and weeding is done as you wait for the carrots development.
At 2 weeks of germination, leave 2 centimetres to 4 centimetres of space between carrot seedlings to ensure healthy root development.
Carrots are ready for harvesting when it’s shoots are mature enlarged soft and juicy.
Harvesting using a spade or manually pulling or uprooting its shoots is done, the tops are cut off from the shoots to discourage storage rots.
Late harvesting of carrots results to low-quality carrots yields. The carrots can be stored on crates or sacks ready for consumption or marketing. Enjoy your healthy carrots!!
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Important farm practices tips
weeding: This is getting rid of unwanted plants that grows alongside planted crops and compete with them for nutrients and water, they also harbour pest and diseases which might be harmful to plants and also reducing the yields.
Nutrition: nutrients helps plants in good growth and high yields there are various fertilizers types that can be added to plants, they include the basal,foliar through the macro and micro nutrient elements
Basal fertilizers; these are available in Argostores countrywide they include DAP,CAN,NPK and UREA.
Manure; these are nutrition added to soil to increase nutrients they include animal droppings and decomposed Waste from grass and plant waste.
sheep goats and cows waste can be dried to make manure then added to soil to add nutrition decomposed waste can also be added to the soil to provide maximum nutrition to plants.
manure is widely used and available in Kenya with cheap price.
Irrigation:this is a common practice by farmers especially in areas that receive minimum or no rainfall at all. It has proved to be an effective method in crop production especially in semi-arid areas like Perkerra irrigation scheme in Marigat area Kenya. High-yielding crops are produced in this area with irrigation practice.
Types of irrigation method include.
- Drip irrigation
- Canal irrigation
- Overhead irrigation
Mulching: this is a practice of adding materials like grass Waste or husks on nursery beds or on top of root seedlings covered by soil after planting.
Mulching helps to conserve moisture in the soil as it reduces evaporation of water from the soil, mulching helps to suppress weeds also. When mulching is done soil gets exposed to minimal sunlight hence discourages the growth of unwanted plants called weeds.
This practice is effective on nursery beds and newly transplanted crops.
Pruning: some plants develop Overgrown branches, buds and also yellow or withered leaves, it is important to pluck off these leaves and branches to make a clean plantation and also to reduce infection to other leaves which may occur with infected or withered leaves.