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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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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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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