Carrot (Daucus carota subsp. sativus L.)

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Origin

The carrot is derived from the wild carrot, which grows naturally. It has been cultivated for more than 4000 years. It came to Europe from Afghanistan in the Middle Ages.

Consumption 

Carrot roots are eaten raw, boiled, fried, stewed, pickled, fermented and dried. The green leaves are used to make pesto sauce. Dried roasted carrots are used as a coffee substitute, and grated roots with additives are used to make sweets. They are very suitable for quick snacks. They are best eaten fresh and minimally processed. The biotic and abiotic variables that influence carrot ontogeny are intimately related. Only when all of the factors that influence carrot growth are at their peak can carrot yields be optimized in terms of potential and quality. Biological Properties are very important part to know when growing these root vegetables.

Carrot
Carrots

Nutritional value 

Carrots are high in carbohydrates, low in cellulose, fiber and pectin, vitamins B, B, C, B, E, K, PP, provitamin A (beta-carotene), pantothenic, folate and nicotinic acids, flavonoids, phytoalexins, fat, essential oil and minerals, with a particular emphasis on phosphorus, iron and calcium. Carrot leaves are rich in vitamin C and beta carotene. The redder the carrot, the more beta-carotene, which is converted into vitamin A by a special enzyme and increases the body’s resistance to infectious diseases, is needed for the eyes, growth, skin, mucous membranes and general metabolism. The outer part of the vegetable contains more beta-carotene than the core. Carrots improve intestinal peristalsis and are useful for liver, kidney, skin and heart diseases. Its juice strengthens the heart and blood vessels, helps to restore strength, is effective for constipation, and promotes urinary diversion. Carrot juice is not recommended for exacerbations of stomach problems. Raw carrots are low in calories: 41 kcal per 100 g. 2,8 g of fiber per 100 g of this vegetable.

Varieties 

The growing period of carrots: early carrots: 70-95 days, medium early carrots: 95-115 days, medium late carrots: 115-120 days, late carrots: more than 120 days.

Find more about Varieties of Carrots.

Early carrots 

Napoli F,’. A prolific variety. Root cone. The carrots are small and do not shrivel. ‘Thumbelina’. One of the earliest varieties. The root is almost round, with a good, sweet flavor. Suitable for greenhouse cultivation. ‘Nanto 4’. A prolific variety with very good flavor. Late carrot ‘Karlena’. A prolific variety. High in carotene and with good flavor. “Vita longa’. A prolific variety. The rootstock is long and has a good flavor.

Location 

Suitable for a sunny position.

Soil and substrates 

Light to moderate, light loam to sandy loam, non-moist, friable, non-acidic (pH 6-7) soil is suitable for growing carrots. The water table is 60-80 cm. In heavy soils, carrots germinate poorly, are difficult to grow and have a branching habit. If the soil is too dry, the roots branch, if it is too wet, the roots break. They grow better in well-drained soil. Dig deeply in the autumn and add decayed manure or compost (3-4 kg/m2) in the spring. Only compost and manure are suitable for fertilization (fresh manure is not suitable). Sprinkling ash on the beds will give sweeter carrots and a bigger yield.

Nutrient requirements 

Carrots like fertilized soil.

Eating carrot
Eating carrot

Sowing 

Early varieties are sown in late autumn (before frost to prevent autumn germination) or in early spring (as soon as the ground thaws). Medium-early and medium-late varieties are sown in mid-May. For the autumn harvest, late varieties are sown in the second half of May/early June. Carrot seeds are very fine. They are sown in grooves 1,52,5 cm deep and 2-3 cm apart in the row. Spacing between rows is 15-20 cm. The seeds can be mixed with 2-3 times the amount of fine sand. The carrots take 16-25 days to germinate. A little radish seed may be mixed in at sowing. Once they have germinated quickly, the sowing rows can be seen and the row spacing can be loosened. Sowing carrots in the same place after 3-4 years. They are best grown after potatoes, cucumbers, tomatoes, cabbage, peas, beans, parsley and spinach. 1-2 g of seed per m2.

Plant care 

Carrots grow slowly. When the first true leaf has grown, thin it out by leaving 2 cm gaps. A second thinning is carried out when the roots are 1-1,5 cm thick, leaving 3-5 cm gaps between plants. The rows are loosened 2-3 times. After thinning, water every 10-15 days. Carrots are sensitive to lack of moisture and watering is necessary if it is dry. Spraying and thinning are preferable in the second half of the day when pests are not active. Carrots are long-lived plants, do not grow well in the shade and need full sunlight. Mulch should be applied in a thin layer.

Pests and diseases 

Carrots are affected by carrot flies, aphids and various rots. Onions and garlic grown together repel carrot flies. Protection methods include crop rotation, early sowing, thinning.

Yields 

Carrots for the autumn harvest are dug before the thaw. Store only when whole. They keep best when layered with sand, gravel or peat in a cool place. The later they are dug, the more sugars and beta carotene they contain.

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