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Training : Methods of seeding in carrot

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Carrots are a widely cultivated species for their fleshy and edible taproots. It is very important to choose good certified seeds first. Since its germination is slow and its seeds very small, it must be sown in, light, loose, decompacted soils, 20 to 30 cm deep with adequate tools. The presence of obstacles in the soil causes an increase in the rate of misshapen roots at harvest.

It is important to add fertilizing agents to of the soil, which must be made up of well decomposed organic matter and a mineral fertilizer rich in phosphorus accompanied by trace elements to better enrich the soil. Avoid fertilization that is too rich in nitrogen as an excess of it, can have a negative impact on the crop, such as strong leaf vigor to the detriment of root production. To promote germination and development in good conditions, sowing should be done on raised ridges of 15 to 20 cm in height to provide a good seedbed.

It is necessary to know that there are three methods of sowing that are:

- Flow seeding, which is the least recommended method because much more seed is used in this case and the density is not controlled.

- Manual row seeding, which consists of sowing in furrows 1 to 1.5 cm deep and spaced at a maximum of 20 to 30 cm apart, in which the seeds are placed. Better than broadcast seeding, this method of seeding requires more time and does not exclude a removal of excess seedlings at their emergence.

- Mechanical seeding, which is done with a precision disc seeder. It is a matter of choosing the appropriate disc that determines the density and pouring the seeds into the seeder. This seeding allows to save time and to have a good homogeneity at the emergence.

NB: It should be noted that sowing carrots too far apart is not recommended because it favors a heterogeneity of the plot at emergence which will have a negative impact on the yield. A too dense sowing is also to be avoided in order not to lose too much time and manpower on the thinning at emergence.

The thinning intervenes 3 weeks after sowing when the seedlings reach a span of 4 to 6 cm height approximately. It consists in eliminating the tightly packed plants to maintain a distance of 5 to 8 cm ideally between each plant. A second pass can be done 2 weeks later if needed if the carrots are still tight. The purpose of the thinning is to promote a good growth of the roots which contributes to the assurance of a good harvest.

All this work must be accompanied by a well controlled irrigation. The carrot goes through 3 crucial phases during which irrigation must be well controlled. As soon as the carrot is sown, everything must be done to maintain a good soil humidity which will favour a good and homogeneous germination. From the emergence to the stage when it reaches the size of a pencil, it is necessary to review the volume of water a little more while taking care of the excesses.

At the stage of root growth it is necessary to increase the volume of water so as to avoid any drought around the lowest parts of the root.

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