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Carrot is a direct seeded vegetable crop and plant population is primarily dependent on seed quality, besides several other factors. But, unfortunately vegetable seed production in Pakistan remained neglected and regarding standardization of numerous features for production of carrot seed crop, limited work has been done. This experiment was conducted to optimize the plant spacing for carrot seed crop. Stecklings of carrot cultivar (cv.) T-29 were planted at 15, 22.5, or 30 cm plant-to-plant spacing keeping row spacing of 75 cm. Results revealed that number of secondary and tertiary umbels per plant, yield of seed per umbel and per plant, 1000-seed weight per umbel, vigour index, germination index and seedling length of all umbel order seeds were higher for the plant spacing at 30 cm, while time taken to 50% germination (T50) was significantly reduced compared to other treatments. However, appreciable (28.3% and 16.55%) increase in seed yield per plot was noted for narrow intra-row spacing (15 cm) compared to 30 and 22.5 cm spacing, respectively. Moreover, 15 cm intra-row spacing resulted in comparable seed germination (77.53%) compared with 22.5 cm (80%) and 30 cm (82%) spacing. But, seeds from closest spacing cannot be stored for long duration because of relatively low vigour (568.13) compared to 22.5 cm (630.33) and 30 cm (684.1) spacing. Therefore, for acquiring high return of good quality seed and long storage, growers can grow carrot seed crop at 22 or 30 cm spacing.
Keywords: Daucus carota; Planting geometry; Stecklings; Seed vigour; Umbel order