Grapes Farming: What you need to know

Grape is a woody vine that produces clusters of edible berries. Grapes are currently being grown in Kenya, especially in Naivasha and Meru. They can be eaten raw or can be used to process wine and other products such as jam and grape juice.

Related content: WHY SMALL-SCALE FARMERS ARE ENCOURAGED TO GROW FRUITS AND NUTS

There are plenty of health benefits in consuming grapes for they are a rich source of Vitamins- A, C, K and minerals such as iron, copper, manganese. Grapes are widely cultivated all over the world due to the fact that they are non-climatic and can thrive in different climatic conditions but they prefer warm to hot temperatures.

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Why grow Grapes?

Grapes farmingGrapes are suitable for home gardeners and for small scale or large scale commercial production. In Kenya, grapes can be used to reduce economic and food insecurity because there is a good market within the country.
There is ready market throughout the year and new wine companies that use grapes as their main raw material are setting shop in Kenya.

Established companies such as East African breweries ltd are thinking of entering the wine market as they seek to diversify. The future of this crop is promising. A good percentage of the grape consumed in Kenya is imported and mostly sold to the high end market that pays a good price for them- a kilo goes at around 400-500 Ksh. Wine producing companies such as Kenyan wine agencies do import the grapes they use because of the good quality of imported grapes and lack of local supply.

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TISSUE CULTURE BANANA SEEDLINGS

<span data-recalc-dims=TISSUE CULTURE BANANA SEEDLINGS" > Bananas do well from a sea level of 1800M with a minimum rainfall of 1000m per year which is appropriate during flowering. Farmers in low rainfall areas should ensure that irrigation is done throughout. Soils should be fertile and well drained to avoid water logging. After these conditions are met, the farmer should get the plantlets from Oxfarm organic Ltd. Half a month before planting, pits measuring 3feet x 3feet x3feet should be prepared. Subsoil and topsoil should be separated, and then 40 kg of well rotten manure should be mixed with the topsoil along with 200g of fertilizer and 15g of the recommended nematicide. The banana hole should be filled with the mixture, and the plantlets should be planted 30 cm deep in the whole, and the soil should then be firmed. For crops under irrigation, 40 liters should be used initially then 20 liters, three times a week.

Dry mulches should be used to retain moisture while heavy banana stems should be supported to avoid damage. Old diseased leaves should be removed while de-leafing is important to ensure healthy growth. Harvesting begins after 15-18 months, and a light shiny appearance means that the banana is ready for harvest. Harvesting should be delicate to avoid bruising of the bananas. The bananas should be temporarily stored in a cool, dry place and should be wrapped in banana leaves or grass to avoid bruising. If for export, they should be washed using a disinfectant and might require branding.

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PLUMS SEEDLIGS

<span data-recalc-dims=PLUMS SEEDLIGS" > Plums are a good choice for beginner gardeners who want to grow fruit trees, as plum trees are widely adapted, more compact, and require less care than most other fruit trees. Not only are plums delicious, but the trees themselves add beauty to any garden.
Plums are excellent fresh but also make a wonderful jam or jelly. Plums require full sun and well-drained, sandy soil to thrive. They prefer a soil with a pH that ranges from 5.5 to 6.5. It is always a good idea to have your soil tested before planting any fruit tree to be sure that they pH is appropriate. You should also work the appropriate amendments into your soil before planting. Their overall size may also need to be considered. Most plum trees will reach 16 feet at maturity or 14 feet if they are a dwarf variety.
Plums have quite high moisture demands, so they are best planted on good clay or loamy soils. But sites also need to be well drained as plums, and gages in particular, hate waterlogged soils. Add bulky organic matter to sandy or shallow chalky soils prior to planting.
Plant plum trees in well-drained, moderately fertile soil in full sun. Avoid planting in low areas where frost may settle, as the frost will damage your trees. If possible, find a sheltered position, such as a south- or west-facing spot out of the wind. This will help the plum tree set fruit. For grafted trees, keep the graft union 1 inch above the soil line when planting. Dig a hole that is a few inches deeper and wider than the spread of the roots. Set the tree on top of a small mound of soil in the middle of the hole. Be sure to spread the roots away from the trunk without excessively bending them. Space standard-size trees 20 to 25 feet apart. Space dwarf trees 15 to 20 feet apart.
Plums develop their best flavor if left to ripen on the tree. If they feel soft when gently squeezed, they are ripe. Trees will generally need picking over several times. Harvest fruits carefully so as not to bruise them, then eat fresh, destone and freeze, or make the fruits into preserves.

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Grafted Tree tomato

<span data-recalc-dims=Grafted Tree tomato" > Grafted tree tomato.
Tamarillo best known by the name tree-tomatoes in Kenya is a fast-growing tree that grows up to 5 meters. Peak production is reached after 1-3 years, and the life expectancy is about 12 years. The tree usually forms a single upright trunk with lateral branches. They produce 1 to 6 fruits per cluster. Plants can set fruit without cross-pollination, but the flowers are fragrant and attract insects. Cross-pollination seems to improve fruit set.

The Tree-Tomato prefers subtropical climate, they grow in many parts of kenya with rainfall between 600 and 4000 millimeters and annual temperatures between 15 and 20 °C. It is intolerant to frost (below -2 °C) and drought stress. It is assumed that fruit set is affected by night temperatures. Areas where citrus are cultivated provide good conditions for Tree-Tomatos. Tree-Tomato plants grow best in light, deep, fertile soils, although they are not very demanding. However, soils must be permeable since the plants are not tolerant to water-logging. They grow naturally on soils with a pH of 5 to 8.5. They are as well planted by irrigation as they also do well.

we graft our seedling with "muthakwa" to ensure our tees are resistant to nematodes, they are drought resistant, mature fast in 9 months compared to other that mature in more than a year. Due to good feeding our fruits are bigger than normal.

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POMEGRANATE FRUIT SEEDLINGS

<span data-recalc-dims=POMEGRANATE FRUIT SEEDLINGS" > The pomegranate is a large shrub, measuring less than 15 feet in cultivation although it can reach 30 feet in the wild. More frequently in the wild, the Plant and Fruit pomegranate is a shrub. Under cultivation, it is still best grown as a shrub but can be pruned into a single-trunk tree. The pomegranate lives to a very old age– there are documents attesting to trees that lived 300 years. Older trees tend to lose their vigor and production declines after about 25 years.
A tree is usually kept to 3-6 trunks for fruit production. They tend to sucker around the base. These need to be removed, though they can be used as cuttings for propagation if you chose not to discard them.
Pomegranate is especially well adapted to the environments with cool winters and hot summers, but can be grown in the humid tropics or subtropics, and the plant will survive very well in Kenya. Commercial production is concentrated in dry summer climates, and pomegranate is extremely drought tolerant once established, but crops much better with more generous moisture. Pomegranate thrives on a wide variety of soils and has a high resistance to salinity.

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2 Thoughts to “Grapes Farming: What you need to know

  1. Cyrus Mwangi

    Can grapes do well in Murang’a county Gaturi location

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