Organic farming is an old farming technique adopted by people around the world. In this method they use natural and organic products as a source of fertilizers and pesticides. In this way we are building a harmony with the nature. By abandoning the use of chemical products, we are saving millions of organisms present in the soil. The use of organic products also increases the nutrient efficiency of the crops and will benefit the human health.
Organic farming of carrot
Carrot is a vegetable variety used as the food ingredient. Carrot comes under the category of rooted crops which is often referred to as a perfect health food. Carrot is a nutritious food item with rich source of beta carotene, fibre, vitamin KI, potassium and antioxidant. It also helps in the weight loss, decreases cholesterol and increase eye power. Carotene tends to decrease the possibility of cancer.
Carrot comes in different colours like orange, yellow, white, red and purple. The generally found colour is orange. The colour gradient of carrot depends upon the beta carrots level in them.
Carrot consists of 80-90% of water and 10% of other essential nutrients like carbohydrates, fat and protein.
One of the varieties of carrot, called the baby carrot is now becoming a popular snack food.
Carrots are mainly adapted with deep and loose soil. While considering the Indian economy, carrot cultivation plays a major role in the growth of them.
Major carrot varieties found in India
- Hill carrot: Ooty-1, Early Nantes and New Koroda.
- Plains carrots: Pusa Kesar, Indian Gold and Half Long Danvers.
The efficient climate for carrot growth is cold climates ranging between 15-20 degree. This requires loamy soil containing organic nutrients. The pH range of soil for optimum carrot cultivation is from 6.0-7.0
While considering Hill varieties, when the elevation of plantation is above 1500 metres, it can be cultivated throughout the year. If the elevation is between 1000-1500m, they are cultivated between July-February. In plain varieties, they are mainly cultivated in August.
Carrots are planted in rows by spacing them 25-30 cm apart. After the seeds are mixed with sand, they are planted in these rows.
In hilly areas, land is formed into a fine filth and the beds are raised to 15 cm height, one metre breadth and suitable length.
Before planting, the seeds are applied with cow pat pit with the quantity of 3g in 1L of water for 24 hours. After this process, the seeds are treated with Trichoderma vivide and Pseudomones fluorescents.
Standard irrigation procedure for carrot is once in five days. During summer season, the crops should be excessively irrigated and covered with wet gunny bags. This is also important in seed germination.
Manuring is a lengthy process for these crops.
- Before planting, green manure is mixed with lupin and applied to the soil.
- Next horn manure is applied during the time of land preparation horn manure is applied to soil at the rate of 50t/ha with 40 litre of water.
- Next farmyard manure is applied at 50t/ha.
- Consecutively fertilizers like biodynamic compost, vermicompost, neem cake and other organic biofertilizers.
Weeds pose a dangerous threat for carrot crops. So after 15 days of planting, the first weeding process is done, followed by thinning and earthing up process on the 30th day.
Growth stimulating sprays are applied for the efficient growth of crops. Sprays like panchagavya, vermiwash and horn silicon are applied in required amounts.
Carrots are widely affected by pests. The major pest infections caused in carrots are:
- Root-knot nematode
- Leaf spot
- Soil-borne diseases
Root knot nematode is dealt with applying neem cake, employing crop rotation, growing marigold and applying Pascilomyces lilacimus.
Leaf spot is avoided by applying Manchurian tea filtrates and Dasagavya at regular internal of time.
Soil borne diseases are terminated using Trichoderma vivide and Pseudomonas fluorescents.
Carrot cultivation gives a yield of 25-30 tonnes/hectare in 100-200 days.