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  • Author or Editor: Kevin Sibley x
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Stand establishment is critical for optimizing yield and quality in carrots. Low soil temperatures and moisture conditions often challenge seed germination and emergence. Providing an artificial exosperm with appropriate germination promoters, stress conditioners and growth invigorators to the seed may facilitate uniform germination and emergence. Germination patterns and velocity of germination of `Oranza' carrot was studied. Seeds were mixed in different types of gels at various ratios and incubated at either 5 or 20 °C. Gels used were Laponite RD, Laponite RDS, guar gum, algenic acid, and agar. Data on germination percentage was collected and the velocity of germination was calculated. Germination was delayed at 5 °C. Both at 5 and 20 °C, Laponite RD promoted and enhanced germination and vigor, and resulted in the highest mean germination percentage (90% at 20 °C and 89% at 5 °C). Laponite RD at 2.5% has shown an overall advantage in germination percentage (94% at 20 °C and 87% at 5 °C) over other gel types and concentrations.

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Producing carrots with optimal root grades is the most critical aspect of carrot production for maximizing profits. Desired root grades can be optimized by maintaining optimal plant population. While precision seeding helps to seed required seeding rate, obtaining optimum seed germination and uniform emergence, especially in mineral soils and under cold and dry climates, have been great challenges to carrot producers around the world. Therefore, stand establishment is critical for optimizing yield and quality in carrots. Experiments were conducted to identify suitable germination and emergence promoters (GEPs) that will promote early and uniform emergence under temperatures of 5 °C and 20 °C and under 20% FC and 40% FC combinations. GEPs, belonging to both natural and synthetic antistress, antioxidant groups of compounds, and mineral salts were used. Carrot seeds of cv. Oranza were used in this study. Seeds were preconditioned with various GEPs, then submerged into laponite RD gel that was used as a potential “artificial exosperm” for carrot seeds. Data on emergence was collected and emergence and vigor value was calculated. Under ideal conditions, that is, at the 20 °C and 40% FC combination, there was no significant difference between treated seeds and untreated control. Germination was delayed at the 5 °C and 20% FC combination. However, seeds preconditioned with GEP-PN1.5%, GEP-LU at 1 mg·L-1, GEP-CA at 10 mg·L-1, GEP-AA at 100 mg·L-1 and GEP-SD at 10 mg·L-1 all promoted emergence resulting in the highest number of seedlings emerged at 5 °C and at 20% FC. Enhanced emergence under low temperature and low moisture may perhaps be due to synthesis of specific proteins.

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