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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PEPINO MELON SEEDLINGS

<span data-recalc-dims=PEPINO MELON SEEDLINGS" > The fruits is typically a bright green or yellow green and often has some red or purple stations. Mainly grown for its many health benefits and does well in areas where tomaoes can grow, its also profitable to grow in a green house

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APRICOT SEEDLINGS

<span data-recalc-dims=APRICOT SEEDLINGS" > Apricots must be the most desirable of all the fruit trees to grow and often appear as number 1 one of the wish list. But they are also unquestionably the least hardy of all the fruit trees that may be grown in Kenya so planting Apricot trees requires some thought and planning. Apricots are very early flowering, infact they are the first of all the fruit trees to begin to open their blossoms, by far.
The apricot favors well drained soil but doesn’t like to be too dry especially in the summer. Providing a happy medium between the two will be key to success and it is up to you to judge the type of soil you already have and influence the structure as much as you can. Too light or sandy then pep it up with lots and lots of organic rich material. Too weighty or sluggish then alleviate it with lots of grit, sharp sand and leaf mold.
The soil should be well cultivated and friable; double dig-it over if it has not been cultivated before. Clear away all perennial weeds because the last thing you want is added competition from them when your trees are in settled, and growing.
Prepare a hole large enough to take the roots. Apricots are vigorous growers and you may find the root system larger than that of other trees. Set the tree to the same depth as it was at the nursery previously – examination of the stem should reveal the soil mark still identifiable and this will tell you how deeply it was set in the ground before. In any event the grafting point should sit above the soil level and the roots buried in not less than 2” of soil.

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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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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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