Healthy coriander (dhania) farming in Kenya

Coriander benefits

Coriander also known as dhania is a spice used to add flavour to dishes because of its pleasant aroma and nutritional value. coriander farming (dhania) has increased in kenya.

Nutritional value of coriander

  • lowers blood pressure
  • Fights diabetes
  • Helps to decrease obesity
  • Improve body immunity
  • Promotes healthy skin

Planting process of coriander

Coriander farming in Kenya is easy and takes about 2 months only to mature. There are many varieties grown in Kenya.

Seeds can be grown or sown on nursery bed directly. It does not require transplanting. Firstly you need to prepare a land to be completely free from hard pans and weeds, afterwards make even parallel lines with spacing in rows.

Add farmyard manure to furrows then add seeds and cover with thin soil. The area to be planted should have adequate sunlight with soil which are fertile and well-drained.

Moisture in the soil should be constant and should be irrigated daily in areas with minimum rainfall.

Seedlings germinate at 12 days where thinning is done to allow spacing of the plants as their seedlings continue to grow.

Regular irrigation and weeding should be done for the coriander to grow and mature properly. Diseases known to affect Dhania are soft rot, bacterial leaf spot and damping off. These are controlled by maintaining field hygiene and practicing crop rotation on your field.

Harvesting process

When the coriander leaves become big and green, harvesting is done. The coriander is picked and stored in cool areas. Alternatively place it in water to increase shelf life.

The coriander always takes about two months only to mature depending on its variety and ecological conditions. Coriander seeds is harvested after they turn brownish in colour where they are picked and replanted again.

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.

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