FARMER-FRIENDLY STRATEGIES OF MANAGING WEEDS IN CARROT PRODUCTION
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Abstract

Weed control constitutes one of the main cost items in carrot production. The current study was conducted at the field station farm, University of Nairobi in 2011 with the aim of developing a cost-effective strategy of managing weeds and increasing the competitive ability of the crop against weeds. The weed control strategies tested were; black plastic mulch, grass mulch, herbicides (Linuron and oxyfluorfen), mulch / herbicide combination, foliar feed fertilizer/one hand weeding combination, foliar feed fertilizer / 1.5 cm grass mulch combination, hand weeding every two weeks, famers’ practice (two hand weedings),  and control (no weeding). The treatments were arranged in randomized complete block design replicated four times. Data on weeds and crop were collected and subjected to analysis of variance (ANOVA), using Genstat (Dicovery edition 3 by VSN international) statistical program. Means were compared using Duncan multiple range tests at P<0.0.5. Pigweed (Amaranthus hybridus L), black jack (Bidens pilosa L) and oxalis (Oxalis latifolia L) were the most common weeds in the experimental plots. Efficacy of weed control and carrot yields significantly differed. Black polythene achieved (99.2% weed control and 33,984 kg/ha yield; Linuron (78%; 26,544 Kg/ha) and two hand weeding (19%; 14168 kg/ha). It was concluded that mulching is an effective strategy of reducing weed growth in carrots. Foliar feed application imparts competitive ability in the crop against weeds.