Carrot (Daucus carota L.) is a type of root plants that are usually reddish yellow or yellowish orange with wood-like texture. Part that can be consumed from this plant is its roots. Carrot is a significant source of vitamins (A, B, C) and beta carotene. Further it contains vitamins B, C, E, H, folic acid and pantothenic acid. Carrot is an important source of trace elements (K, Na, Ca, Mg, P, S, Mn, Fe, Cu and Zn). Consumption of carrot improves eyesight, lowers cholesterol and improves digestion. Carrots were first used for medical purposes and gradually used as food. This vegetable is an important source of bioactive compounds with beneficial effect for the consumer health. Carrots are consumed in different ways, they can be eaten raw or cooked. Carrots are noted for their rich antioxidants, especially β-carotene. In recent years, worldwide consumption of carrots has been steadily increasing because of their nutritional benefits. Based on root shape, carrot divided into 3 varieties:
- Imperator type
Imprerator carrot type has a rounded bulb shape with a pointed tip like a cone about 20-30cm, orange, slightly thin and has a less sweet taste.
- Chantenay type
This type of carrot has a long bulb shape with a blunt tip about 15-20cm, has a coarser texture than most carrots and has a sweet taste.
- Nantes type
Nantes carrot type is a combination of Imperator and Chantenay carrot type. This type of carrot has a size about 10-15cm, dark orange, has a blunt round shape, has a higher water content and has the same diameter from top to bottom.
Carrot is good to be planted in upland areas 1000 meters above sea level and in fertile land, contains many nutrients with pH 6-7 and has cold temperature and humid air. Before planting, soak the carrot seeds with cold water for one night so the seeds can germinate quickly, then drain the seeds and wait until they are half dry. It takes around 3-5 kg of seeds for each hectare.
Make sure to till your soil about 40cm deep so the soil is loose and gives the tubers room to grow. After that, make dam with a height of 20-30cm then do basic fertilization with a mixture of compost and manure with a dose of 15-20 tons per hectare. Make 3-4cm planting gole with 20cm between planting hole.
Carrot plants will grow after 10 days, do next fertilization after the plants are one month old by sprinkling compost around the plants about 10-15kg per hectare. Also do weeding diligently, thinning plants so carrot can grow perfectly and get enough sunlight. Do watering based on soil conditions, if the soil is very dry it is recommended to water 1-2 times a day.
Pests that are often found in carrot plants are caterpillars and aphids. Eradication can be done manually by searching for it nests, if it gets worse it we can spraying furadan. Diseases that often attack carrots are leaves specks and root spots. This disease can be avoided by selecting good seeds and always maintaining the cleanliness of the garden, do rotating planting, and spraying nematicides.
Carrot plants can be harvested after 3 months since planted, at the age of 100-120 days. Best time to harvesting carrots is in the morning or evening. Harvesting is done by loosening the soil first and then pulling out the tubers and then washing and cleaning the soil attached to the tubers.