Healthy Tomato planting in Kenya is done due to its high demand on markets and supermarkets. Tomatoes are mainly used as spices for cooking food. Tomatoes are very lucrative in that it can be sold at 10 Kenyan shillings per fruit. Let me take you through on how tomato planting in kenya is done.
Tomatoes are planted at areas with proximity to water and also areas with a gentle and sloping terrain to reduce water logging, also water tanks can be used in areas where there is no water proximity. The area where tomatoes are to be planted should be well cultivated and Harowed to ensure there is no weeds.
Tomato seedlings are raised on nursery bed where the soil is fertile and fine with no hard pans. The seeds are propagated in parallel lines and covered with thin soil, watering should be done daily sprouting occurs at 8 days where watering continues before transplanting at 4 weeks.
the seedlings are planted in holes with spacing of off around 62 to 50centimetres. The holes to be planted should be at uniform lines where transplanted seedlings are planted and phosphate fertilizer is used at the base for root development.
CAN is applied at five weeks after the start of flowering. adequate water supply to the tomato plant should be done regularly.
The tomatoes support is done by laying strings vertically on poles connected with wires to each tomato plant, this method increases productivity of tomatoes.
As the plant mature pruning on side shoots and old leaves is carried out suckers which cannot bear fruits should be removed. As the plant mature, the lower leaves become yellow and wilt this leaves should be removed to keep the plant normal and fresh. Regular weeding should also be done.
Spraying tomatoes is the best alternative for pest control. All the pesticides are available in your nearest agrodealer
Harvesting of tomatoes is ready from the 70th day of planting depending on tomatoes variety planted, tomatoes are picked and ready for sale or 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, 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.