Assessing the potential of Azolla to boost homestead production and quality of Daucus Carota l. in Uganda
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Azolla has pronounced effect growth, yield and nutritive value of Daucus carota. An experiment was carried out at the Makerere Botanic garden. Azolla was applied under four different treatments i.e. 50g, 100g, 150g & 200g and a control experiment was included. The experiment was laid out in a randomized block design and it consisted of 15pots. Each treatment was replicated thrice. Seeds of the nantes Daucus carota variety were sown on 4th January 2019 and harvesting was done on 4th April 2019. Each pot had three Daucus carota plants and data was collected randomly from each plant at harvest. Azolla showed significant effects on growth and yield of Daucus carota. Maximum shoot height was obtained by 250g treatment and maximum fresh weight was obtained by 50g treatment. Fresh weight of the control and 100g were not significantly different, the 100g treatment had abnormally low fresh weight due to infestation by spider mites that started at this point. The results of nutrient composition of 100g were also lower than expected. The 250g treatment showed the best response in all parameters except for fresh weight. 50g treatment showed the best response in fresh weight. The poorest performance for all parameters was recorded in the control. The results of the study revealed that all parameters except crude fiber content were significantly influenced by Azolla application. Generally, those Azolla fertilization rates that maximized carrot root yield also maximized carrot quality as determined by protein, beta carotene and carbohydrate concentrations.