There’s always a market for baby vegetables, and carrots are no exception. Carrots are root vegetables which originated in Asia. They belong to the same family as celery, coriander and parsley. According to Bill Kerr a vegetable specialist there are a few important steps in producing quality baby carrots
Step 1 – Fertilization – The first step is to ensure correct fertilization. Too much nitrogen will stimulate leaf growth, causing the more advanced plants to overshadow the weaker ones. The advanced plants will then form normal- sized roots, while completing suppressing the adjacent carrots, rendering them useless.
Step 2 – Planting & Spacing – The next step is to select the correct location for planting, You will need 10 to 12 times more seeds per hectare in order produce a plant density where competition for light restricts growth. Spacing is important; you need a population in which every plant produces a marketable root. Too high a population will result in unusable plants, often at the expense of the plants alongside them.
Step 3 – Irrigation – Step three is to ensure correct irrigation. While normal sized carrots need to be progressively stressed in stages, baby carrots need frequent, light irrigation, as root growth must be restricted.
Carrots can be attacked by several fungal, bacterial and nematode diseases. These diseases can cause poor plant growth, reduced yield and quality of the product. The most important carrot disease is “powdery mildew” (Erysiphe heraclei) which is the most widespread and causes significant yield and quality loss on carrots.
Powdery Mildew of carrot is very common during hot and humid weather of the cropping season. It attacks the foliage of carrots by covering the leaves with fugal mass sporulations. Severe infection causes poor plant growth, reduced yield and quality of seeds and roots.
The disease affects foliage, stems and umbels. Patches of white, fluffy fungus appear on the lower leaves first, and then spread to the terminal growth. The fungus often covers entire leaves with its masses of white mycelium and powdery spores. Severe infection can result in loss of foliage, causing lower yields and in seed crops poor seed quality.
Removal of alternate hosts and carrot residues from the field;
Crop rotation with none host crops.
Avoid excess irrigation;
Spray with locally registered sulfur fungicides such as “Bayleton”;
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