Your guide to growing carrots in Uganda

Carrots In Uganda

Carrots In Uganda

Carrots are widely grown in the mid and highlands of Uganda. They have high content of carotene (a Precursor of vitamin A) which prevents night blindness. They also contain appreciable quantities of vitamin B (thiamine and riboflavin).

What are the varieties of carrots found in Uganda?

Nantes and Chantenay are the most widely grown carrot varieties in Uganda.

Nantes: - This has good yield and quality of roots. Roots are long and cylindrical and orange in color; leaves are few and brittle.

Chantenay: - The roots of Chantenay are shorter than that of Nantes. They are thick at the top and dark orange in color. Leaves are large and strong hence they are preferred for long distant transport and storage.

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What are the Climatic requirements for carrot growing in Uganda?

Carrots are moderately hardy and also tolerate high temperature but seedlings are more sensitive to both extremes of temperature. They grow best above 1000 Masl where temperature is between 16 and 21oC and rainfall is between 700 and 800 mm.

Mild Freezing weather at maturity stage harms carrot leaves but not the roots. However, carrots grown at lower temperature produce seed stalks before roots attain of market size; such roots have bitter taste and undesirable flavour.

What are the Soil requirements for carrot growing in Uganda?

Carrots thrive best on deep, loose and well drained loam soils. Long, smooth and slender carrot roots desired for fresh market can be successfully grown in such soils. Heavy clay soils do not allow smooth root growth and make cultivation, harvesting and washing of harvested roots difficult.

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Carrots grown on soils with high organic matter tend to become rough, course and hairy. The favorable soil PH ranges is between 6.0 and 7.5. Soils which crusts at the surface inhibit seed germination and reduce crop stand.

How to prepare a seedbed for carrot growing while in Uganda

Carrots need finely prepared soil for good seed germination and proper root development. Therefore, your carrot fields should be ploughed to a depth of 30 cm, finely prepared and leveled. A raised seedbed 1 m wide, 10 m length and 20 cm height is prepared especially in areas with poor drainage and during long rainy season. About 40 cm wide furrows are used between the beds for irrigation.

Seed sowing of carrots in the nursery bed

Carrots are grown by direct seeding in the seedbed. You will need about 5 kg per ha of carrot seeds to grow in your carrot nursery bed. In rain fed crops, rows 25 cm apart are traced across the width of the seedbed and seeds are drilled 5 cm apart within the row at the depth of 1 cm. In irrigated crops, 4 Rows of carrots are sown at the same spacing along the raised seedbed.

Seeds are often mixed with sand (2 sand: 1 seed) to ease handling and uniform spacing of seeds. Carrot seeds are slow to germinate and seedlings are rather weak. Cover the nursery bed with grass after sowing and water them adequately. You should carefully remove the grass when seeds germinate.

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How do you Store your carrots after harvest

Carrot roots cannot be stored for long after harvest under ambient conditions. You can extend harvest period and leave the roots in the field for one to two months if no rain is expected. Carrots can be stored for up to three weeks in double walled chamber made of bricks which contain wet sand between the walls.

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