Spinach is a green vegetable rich in nutrients. It is rated among the most nutritious vegetables. Spinach has a lot of benefits ranging from health to economic value.
Spinach helps in improving health as it prevents cancer,protects the body against diseases like diabetes and also promote healthy skin and hair.
Spinach also can be grown for economic value and sold at lucrative deals to schools,hospitals, supermarkets, hotels and also open-air market.
This article tells you how spinach farming in kenya is done.
The planting process
The process of planting spinach is not a complicated process.
Spinach vegetables require well drained soil with PH of 6.5 to 7.0. Spinach also requires good weather to thrive and mature properly.
The first step in cultivating is by making raised nursery beds to avoid water logging. After making raised and spacious nursery bed, ensure to propagate its seedlings on furrow like lines and use thin soil to cover the seedlings. Water the nursery bed evenly and daily for about 4 to 5 weeks.
After the seedlings have germinated from the nursery bed ensure the planting land has been ploughed and Harrowed with the soil mixed with manure before planting.
The ploughing and harrowing will allow the spinach roots to grow and mature properly.
Make sure you transplant the seedlings to an even line with moist soils. Daily watering of transplanted seedlings is advised for the proper growth of the spinach.
The farming practices required for the proper growth of the spinach include weeding,mulching and irrigation.
Weeding: this ensures that pests and diseases are kept off and also competition for nutrients in plants are reduced.
Mulching:this is a good practice to ensure that spinach plants retain moisture and also it suppress weeds and also prevent soil from eroding.
Irrigation: this ensures frequent an adequate water supply to the spinach.
Harvesting of the spinach is ready after six to eight weeks after its leaves are fully matured. Harvesting its leaves is done preferably using a knife or pruning the leaves evenly.
After harvesting, you will need fresh water or a refrigerator to preserve. Afterwards, the spinach is ready for sale or for consumption.
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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. It also helps to suppress weeds. When mulching is done soil gets exposed to minimal sunlight hence discourages the growth of unwanted plants( 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.