Benefits of passion fruits
Passion fruits in Kenya are grown in areas such as thika,nyamira, meru,Kisii, Uasin Gishu among other regions. Passion fruits are eaten fresh or processed into juice. This plant has many benefits ranging from nutritional to economic value.
They produce fruits over a year and thus can be very lucrative to the farmers involved. passion fruits are mostly sold to processing factories by businessmen.
Passion fruits have vitamins which helps the body in immunity.
The planting process
Passion fruit does well with deep fertile and well-drained soil with ph of 6.0 to 7.0 also the soil should be rich in organic matter, rainfall should be moderate and it is not suitable for planting in excess rain.
seedlings from passion fruits are first raised on the nursery bed with soil having rich organic matter.
the seeds are planted on nursery bed using Furrow like holes 30cm apart then covered with thin soil.
nursery care by watering of seedlings should be done mulching also is done and mulch removed after seed germination. It is important to note that seed germinate at 10-15 days and transplanting is ready when the seedlings are about 25 to 40 mm tall.
Planting of passion fruits.
When the seedlings are ready, ploughed land free from weeds should be available. Holes about 45 centimetres are made on the ploughed land and spacing of 3 * 2 metres made.
After the holes are ready, use farm yard manure and mix with soil properly. Add water to make the soil wet enough. The last step in planting is to put the seedlings into the hole and cover the roots with soil uniformly.
Considering that passion fruits are climbers construction of trellis for support is important.
Pruning by removal of tendrils will ensure entangling of the vines and that lateral branches hang down freely.
The passion fruit plant should have basal fertilizer for optimal production the fertilizers include CAN and urea.
As the passion fruit grows and develop ensure that pest and diseases are controlled by spraying with the required chemicals. Weeds should be managed by weeding this will ensure that nutrients,space and light are not being minimal to the plant mulching is also done to suppress the weeds.
The passion fruit vines mostly start fruiting at about 10 months. When the passion fruits are fully ripe the fruits drop off the Vine.
Harvesting by picking is done, only the ripened fruits are picked. The fruits are stored in sacks and sold or consumed when fresh.
In Kenya passion fruits are sold in kilograms in which price varies according to the area and seasons of the year.
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Important farm practices tips
weeding: This is getting rid of unwanted plants that grows alongside planted crops and compete with them for nutrients and water, they also harbour pest and diseases which might be harmful to plants and also reducing the yields.
Nutrition: nutrients helps plants in good growth and high yields there are various fertilizers types that can be added to plants, they include the basal,foliar through the macro and micro nutrient elements
Basal fertilizers; these are available in Argostores countrywide they include DAP,CAN,NPK and UREA.
Manure; these are nutrition added to soil to increase nutrients they include animal droppings and decomposed Waste from grass and plant waste.
sheep goats and cows waste can be dried to make manure then added to soil to add nutrition decomposed waste can also be added to the soil to provide maximum nutrition to plants.
manure is widely used and available in Kenya with cheap price.
Irrigation:this is a common practice by farmers especially in areas that receive minimum or no rainfall at all. It has proved to be an effective method in crop production especially in semi-arid areas like Perkerra irrigation scheme in Marigat area Kenya. High-yielding crops are produced in this area with irrigation practice.
Types of irrigation method include.
- Drip irrigation
- Canal irrigation
- Overhead irrigation
Mulching: this is a practice of adding materials like grass Waste or husks on nursery beds or on top of root seedlings covered by soil after planting.
Mulching helps to conserve moisture in the soil as it reduces evaporation of water from the soil, mulching helps to suppress weeds also. When mulching is done soil gets exposed to minimal sunlight hence discourages the growth of unwanted plants called weeds.
This practice is effective on nursery beds and newly transplanted crops.
Pruning: some plants develop Overgrown branches, buds and also yellow or withered leaves, it is important to pluck off these leaves and branches to make a clean plantation and also to reduce infection to other leaves which may occur with infected or withered leaves.