CategoriesCarrots

Carrot Growing In Uganda

Carrot farming is a lucrative agricultural business and this is due to the fact that they are consumed across the country and also exported to other countries. When given proper management, the carrots can bring in high profits since they also have a high growth rate. Carrots can be grown either on a large or small scale depending on what you want but all you need to know is that you will earn big from carrot farming. Below is what you need to know as you venture into carrot farming.

carrot farming uganda

Types of carrots grown in Uganda

Chantenay

The Chantenay has strong and large leaves, the roots are shorter and they are thick with a dark orange colour. They are extremely good especially if you are transporting them to long distance areas.

Nantes

they have long roots, the leaves are less as compared to the Chantenay, and they are also cylindrical and orange in colour. The Nantes carrot is the commonly grown variety in Uganda and it is the one that you will find on the markets in the country.

Benefits of carrots

  • Carrots are used in making juice and also used while cooking food.

  • Raw carrots help with constipation

  • Carrots improve on human skin and also help in eye health.

carrots planting uganda

Carrot production in Uganda

The first thing to consider as you venture into carrot farming is the land. The size of the land normally depends on the capital that you have at the moment but you need to make sure that the land you are getting has fertile soil that is suitable for carrot farming. Carrots grow best in loam soils which have a PH between 5.8 to 6.5 and the soils should also have enough phosphate and potassium nutrients which helps the carrots to grow healthily. If the soil that you are planning to use does not have the required nutrients, you can add manure and other supplements to make sure that the land is ready for carrot cultivation.

After purchasing the land, you need to prepare it at least 6 months before you start planting. Loosening the soil in carrot farming is a must and important because it helps the carrot to grow well. After ploughing the land, add compost manure in the soil but do not add fresh manure from the animals because it might lead to burning of the crops. Ploughing helps in the regulation of erosion and avoids planting the crops in rocky soil.

Carrots can first be planted in a seedbed but if you cannot prepare a seedbed, it is also possible to plant them directly in the garden and they take about 3 to 4 months to fully mature and be ready for harvesting. If you are planning on using a seedbed, first note that it has to be prepared at least six months before you start planting and during the six months, add the needed nutrients into the soil.

Before planting the seeds, you need to place them in a damp paper for two days because the carrot seeds need a lot of humidity in order for them to germinate. While they are still in the damp paper, go to the seed bed and dig furrows which are 15cm apart and 2cm deep and each hole will have at least 4 to 5 carrot seeds.

The seeds will take their time to germinate and all you need to do is be patient and also keep watering them. When the seedlings grow up to a height of 3cm, remove the extra seedlings and only leave one seedling g per hole. As they keep on growing, keep on removing the extra seedlings so that there is a 15cm gap between the furrows. This will allow proper growth of the carrots. The carrots should be watered on a regular basis in order to keep the soil moist. Thinning of the carrots is carried out. Thinning refers to where the baby carrots are removed in order to create space for others to grow properly.

The carrots will be ready for harvesting within 4 to 5 months and they are harvested by pulling them out of the ground by hand or a spade. You will have to harvest them in time because a delay in harvesting leads to cracks appearing on the carrots. Harvesting is done when the carrots are still fresh and after pulling them from the ground, the upper part is cut off to prevent rotting. It is also advisable that you harvest all the carrots at once to avoid pests. After harvesting, it is time to store the carrots. They can be stored in cool dark places for example you can place them in a pit that is moist or in sand.

carrot growing uganda

Pests and disease that affect the growth of carrots

Not all carrot diseases are noticed in their early stages but some of the diseases that affect carrots include the following. The best way to control the spread of the diseases to the whole garden is by removing the already affected carrots otherwise you will have to spray and also keep away the pests.

Carrot Rust

this is caused when the carrot rust flies lay eggs in the soil where the carrots are planted. The lava keeps on eating the roots which leads to damaging of the carrots.

Aster yellows

the aster yellow causes carrots to have yellow leaves and it causes the root to have side roots which make it hard to be marketed. It is spread through the leaf hopper and the only way to avoid it is by preventing the leaf hopper from getting to the carrots.

Leaf blight

the leaf blight causes the leaves of the carrot to turn either yellow or brown which affects the plants.

Parsley worms

these are caterpillars which keep on attacking the carrot until it is all destroyed.