How to grow African Night shade(managu) in Kenya

African nightshade benefits

African nightshade locally known as Managu or sucha is a traditional vegetable mainly mixed with other vegetables during cooking. This vegetable has both nutritional value and economical value.

Managu is sold to markets and local hotels to make local dishes. The vegetable offers the body with a lot of nutrient value because of the vitamin it contains.

It is always boiled in water and it’s soup discarded before being fried with other vegetables.

Planting process

African nightshade are in two varieties and grows in almost all parts in Eastern Africa except in areas with the desert-like conditions.

The best seed varieties are both on agricultural stores near your town, ask for the best variety to grow at your area.

Make a raised nursery bed with its soil mixed with farmyard manure. Make furrow like lines on the nursery bed and ensure you mix the seeds with ash before propagating them on the lines as this will help the seeds to grow uniformly.

Cover the seeds with thin soil and mulch the nursery bed with the dry materials like grass Waste.

This mulch can be removed when the plants attain a height of 3 centimetres.

When the African nightshade seedlings attain 6true leaves, transplant them to a land ploughed and harowwed free from weeds.

The land should have its soil mixed with farmyard manure. Spacing of this vegetable is 20 centimetres in the rows and 40 centimetres between rows. Regular watering and weeding should continue as the vegetable matures. It is also advisable to continuously add fertilizer to the plant for the perfect maturity of African nightshade vegetable.


African nightshade is ready for harvesting after it has developed huge leaves and branches. This is at four to six weeks depending on variety and growing conditions.

Harvesting of its branches is done by cutting the plant 15 cm from the soil. This vegetable can be preserved by placing it in water after harvesting.

It is important to transport the vegetables directly after harvesting to avoid it changing the texture and quality.

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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.

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