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  • Soil texture
    Sand, loamy sand, boggy soil
  • Min. temperature
    Germination from 5°C
  • pH
    Tolerant of slightly acidic to slightly alkaline soils; pH optimal: 6.5-7.5
  • Water demand
    Min. 600l/m2 mostly watered
  • Vernalisation
    14-28 days
  • Plant density
    Depending on date and sort 80-220 grains/m2
  • Seeding Depth
    1.0-2.5cm
Carrot
Carrots grow best in deep, sandy, and well-settled soils. Stones and organic material that is not completely decomposed affect the quality of the carrots. A good and very even water supply is necessary, as waterlogging lowers the sugar content and increases the risk of soil-borne fungi. Therefore, carrots need to be watered regularly. The crop needs a wide, at least five to seven year crop rotation, in which there should be no other crop belonging to the Umbelliferae family (e.g. celery, fennel or parsnip). Very good crops to grow in the land before carrots are cabbages, onions and leek. In addition to the yield, the quality, which is of very high economic importance, is negatively affected by too narrow crop rotations.
Key facts
  • Pay attention to a wide crop rotation!
  • A neutral pH is optimum.
  • Large differences in nutrient requirements depending on harvest time, yield and  use.
  • Use chloride-free or low-chloride fertilizer.
General Information
General Information
Nutrient Demand
Nutrient Demand
Fertilization
Fertilization
Carrots - sweet and rich in carotene and vitamins
A deep plough furrow and milling prevents legged carrots. The soil must be very fine, crumbly and well deposited. The significance of cultivation on ridges is increasingly replacing cultivation in beds. Advantages of cultivation on ridges include better harvesting conditions and improved quality, especially on heavy soils. During rainfall, the soil surface dries up faster, but in drier locations, this can quickly lead to a water shortage. The ridges are usually created at a distance of 50 or 75cm apart. The sowing time is from March to mid-June, depending on the region, variety, intended use and harvest time. A distinction is made between the production targets  of carrots as industrial goods, fresh market goods (often with cabbage) and stored goods. With fresh market goods or use of a top lifting harvester, attention must also be paid to the health of the leaves. In controlled cold storage rooms, storage for up to six months is possible. The atmospheric conditions of the warehouse are also very important, as a high CO2 or ethylene content in the air leads to bitter carrots.
Nutrient requirements of carrots vary according to the production target.
The high yields that can be achieved today with special qualities are only achieved with optimised, adapted fertilization, which takes the actual removal of nutrients into account. As with many other vegetable crops, the different yields, production targets and cropping duration (three to five months) require different fertilization. The nutrient return for successive crops really depends on whether the leafy parts are left in the field. In addition to the yield, the nutrient supply has a decisive influence on the quality, nutritional value and taste of the carrots. Carrots have a good ability to acquire nutrients, which is supported by intensive soil cultivation and a long growth time. Carrots take up a lot of nutrients and require a significant amount of potash. In addition to the yield, potash also has a positive effect on the sugar content, shelf life and taste. 
Extraction quantities for carrots

Element

Uptake

(Unit/t of production)

Removal

(Unit/t of production)

Sensitivity to deficiency

N

1.8

1.5

Very Sensitive

P2O5

0.9

0.8

Sensitive

K2O

4.8

4.4

Very Sensitive

MgO

0.4

0.3

Sensitive

TE

300-500 g/ha Bor (B)

The table shows uptake and removal per tonne of carrot yield (without leaves). According to this, carrots need mainly nitrogen and potash. For example, a carrot yield of 90t/ha takes up 162kg N/ha. If 30kg N/ha is provided from the soil, then 132kg N/ha would need to be fertilized. The removed harvest would extract 135kg N/ha.
Directly using organic fertilizer for carrots is not recommended, as unrotted organic material can cause quality problems and fresh manure or liquid manure tends to attract carrot flies.

First application

Second application

First application

Basal fertilization with nitrogen, phosphorus and potash before sowing. Nitrogen fertilization of more than 100kg/ha, should be split into two applications. A basal fertilization is done before sowing and the N top dressing is ideally applied between four and six weeks after sowing. Due to the high demand for potash, the use of concentrated potash-emphasized NPK-fertilizers has proven effective. Since carrots are sensitive to chloride, these NPK formulas should have a low chloride content, but should contain magnesium. The chlorophyll content can be positively influenced by sufficient magnesium. A good supply of magnesium is also necessary for the health of the leaves, which is particularly important for fresh market produce. When using a top lifting harvester, crop loss can be minimised by a healthy leaf.

Second application

Nitrogen and potash supplementation:
The second dose is determined by the mineral N content of the soil. The date of the second nitrogen dose should not be too late, otherwise the colouring of the carrots is delayed, the shelf life impaired and an unnecessarily large leaf mass develops. If nitrogen is only applied once, it is more effective if applied as top dressing. Potassium should also be given in the second dose. Potassium influences the sugar content, flavour, yield, storability, and reduces water stress. Boron strengthens carrots against fungal diseases. A poor supply of boron can lead to small tissue cracks, especially at the head of the carrot. These cracks often serve as entry ports for fungal infections.