Growing Pawpaw in Kenya: Everything you need to Know

The plants grow in three sexes: male, female and hermaphrodite. The male produces only pollen, never fruit. The female produces small, inedible fruits unless pollinated. The hermaphrodite can self-pollinate as its flowers contain both male stamens and female ovaries.

The optimal temperature range for pawpaw in Kenya is between 25°C and 28°C, and production normally peaks between August and October.

Pawpaw grow and produce well on a wide variety of soil types. Under favorable conditions, the root system can penetrate to a depth of 2m, but most of the roots responsible for nutrient uptake are found in the top 500mm.

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Correct irrigation is crucial. This starts with good drainage. Pawpaw roots will die off in over- saturated and poorly drained soil. Impermeable layers will hamper growth and production and can lead to root diseases.

Pawpaw grow best on a slight slope, which enables the runoff or drainage of excess water and prevents waterlogging.

Soil depth: Under irrigation, pawpaw grows best in soil with an unimpeded depth of more than 1m. However, if irrigation is well-planned and managed, there should be no problem on soil with an unimpeded depth of 750mm, if drainage is good.

Texture: The ideal soil for pawpaw cultivation under irrigation is a sandy loam or loam soil with a clay content of 15% to 30%. Soil with a clay content of up to 50% is also suitable. In very sandy soil, temporary over-saturation might occur when soil compaction or impermeable layers limit drainage. Sandy soil (less than 10% clay) normally has a very low water-holding capacity and nutrient status. A mulch or application of organic material can greatly increase the potential of such a soil. Seek expert advice here.

Soil structure: The ideal soil has a loose, brittle, crumbly structure.

Soil pH (water): Pawpaw grow best in soil with a pH (water) value of 6 to 6,5. If soil exchangeable aluminum (Al) is not more than 30ppm, a soil with a pH (water) of 5,5 or higher may be used. At a pH (water) value lower or higher than the 5,5 to 7,2 range, plants may suffer from trace element, phosphate or potassium deficiencies.

Preparation

Proper soil preparation will ensure optimal conditions for root growth that can last the lifespan of the plant. It also offers the following advantages:

  • Better root development;
  • Improved soil drainage; and less runoff;
  • More effective irrigation and rainfall use;
  • Better nutrient use;
  • Greater tolerance toward disease;
  • Improved fruit size;
  • Increase in yield;
  • Prolonged economic lifespan.

Soil analysis and nutrients
Obtain a soil analysis (your extension officer will be able to help you here) before planting. Supply the lime, phosphate and other elements as recommended by the analysis. If lime is needed, incorporate it into the soil six months to a year before planting. If it is necessary to rip the soil, plough the lime in beforehand and then rip afterwards.

Some producers prefer to plant a cover crop as a source of organic material. In such cases, plant it about six months before the actual soil preparation begins.

For more information about Pawpaw farming, visit our offices. Book your seedlings today as we wait for the long rains.

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APPLES SEEDLINGS

<span data-recalc-dims=APPLES SEEDLINGS" > Apples trees can grow in a wide range of soils from medium textured clays to gravelly sands. However, poor soils will produce poor results and the best crops are found on fertile sandy soils and loams.
Soils should be well drained. Wet soils lead to poor aeration and increased incidence of crown rot in apples (Phytophthora cactorum). Generally, rooting tends to be shallow, and wet soils will restrict development, resulting in poor anchorage of the tree and a reduced area of soil from which nutrients can be extracted. Soils with high organic matter contents are normally better structured and allow good rooting.
Irrigation is necessary on dry soils, particularly when establishing and growing young orchards. Trickle irrigation and fertigation are increasingly used. In young orchards fertigation helps increase early tree growth and brings trees into bearing earlier. Sprinkler irrigation can be used to protect the tree buds and fruitlets against frost damage.
Sowing of a grass mulch between the tree rows is common practice, which together with any clippings, helps to increase water holding capacity, infiltration rate, soil aggregation and recycling of nutrients.
Apples prefer a slightly acidic to neutral soil (pH between 5.8 and 7.0). Extreme soil pH values result in nutrient tie-up or toxicity and poor tree and fruit development. It is important to amend the pH in acidic soils by incorporating lime before planting

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TANGERINES SEEDLINGS

<span data-recalc-dims=TANGERINES SEEDLINGS" > Tangerines grow well in areas that don’t have harsh winters and will produce an abundance of flavorful fruit every year with just a little bit of help. The fruit often ripens in the winter or early spring, making tangerines a popular winter snack and a traditional Christmas favorite in many homes. While a single tree can produce fruit on its own, planting more than one tangerine cultivar in an area can increase the yield of tangerines on all the trees.
Tangerines are relatively cold-tolerant, making them easier to grow than oranges, grapefruits and other types of citrus. Some varieties, such as the Citrus reticulata "Dancy," are heat-tolerant and do best when summers are hot, but other types, including the Citrus reticulata "Sunburst," do best when summers are on the cool side.
Citrus species can thrive in a wide range of soil and climatic conditions. Citrus is grown from sea level up to an altitude of 2100 m but for optimal growth a temperature range from 2° to 30° C is ideal. Long periods below 0°C are injurious to the trees and at -13° C growth diminishes. However, individual species and varieties decrease in susceptibility to low temperatures in the following sequence: grapefruit, sweet orange, mandarin, lemon/lime and trifoliate orange as most hardy.
Temperature plays an important role in the production of high quality fruit. Typical coloring of fruit takes place if night temperatures are about 14° C coupled with low humidity during ripening time. Exposure to strong winds and temperatures above 38° C may cause fruit drop, scarring and scorching of fruits. In the tropics, the high lands provide the best night weather for orange color and flavor.

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MACADAMIA SEEDLINGS

<span data-recalc-dims=MACADAMIA SEEDLINGS" > Macadamia is a beautiful tree, very forgiving; resilient to all weather, accommodative for old
people; they don’t need to work so hard nor climb to pick the nuts but wait for them to fall. The macadamia nut tree is indigenous to Australia but introduced in Kenya in 1945 to 1948. In Kenya, it grows roughly in the same climate suitable for growing coffee.
The grafted seedling takes 3-4 months to be ready for planting out in the farm. Seedlings are planting out in the field at a spacing of 9m x 9m or 10 m x 10 m or more if the trees are
intercropped with coffee or any other crop e.g. maize; however, if they are being planted as pure orchard, the spacing should be 4m x 10 m or 5 m x 10 m.
Kenya is sitting on a gold mine that if properly utilized would reap huge benefits for the country.
For many years, tea and coffee farming has been the major source of income for thousands of
farmers, however they are now changing tides and switching to macadamia nut farming.
Macadamia has become a lucrative produce all over sudden with a kilo of the nuts selling for
more than a hundred and a grafted seedling price shooting up from 300 to 500 Kenya Shillings.
Between1986 to 2002 the price ranged between 7 to 23 Shillings per kg., and in 2005 it averaged
80 Shillings per Kg.
The Kenya macadamia nut industry is currently made of approximately 900,000 trees of varying ages from one year to 20 years, grown by over 100,000 small scale farmers with an average of 6 -12 trees per grower. Annual production is about 4,000 metric tons of nuts-in-shell. These produce about 800 metric tons of marketable kernels, making the main commercial product. Other by products such as oil, are minimal. Producers get from nuts-in-shell Shillings 92 million per year.
Kenya is the third largest macadamia producer and the second largest exporter of macadamias. Many Kenyan farmers are integrating macadamia trees into their coffee and tea plantations. They view macadamia output as insurance against the uncertainties of weather which affect coffee and tea.

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