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Growth in diversification and value addition in apple farming

They say an apple a day keeps the doctor away. Apple farming is a lucrative agribusiness that is gaining popularity in Kenya. This is due to its increasing demand, many health benefits, limited local supply, and competitive prices in the local and export markets. Currently, we are forced to import apples from South Africa and the Middle East to sustain the local demand. To diversify their sources of income, farmers should consider filling the market gap and venture into apple farming. In Kenya, the fruit is grown in highland regions such as Mt Elgon, Nandi, Kitale, and most parts of central province such as Kiambu and Nyeri. Here are a few tips that can help you start apple farming.

Purchase High quality seedlings

The quality of the seedlings is the first thing that determines how your plants will perform. With many roadside sellers, it’s easy to purchase low-quality seedlings that will ruin your entire fruit farming investment. You should ensure that you are buying your seedlings from certified nurseries. At OxfarmAg, each certified apple seedling costs about Kshs. 350.

Understand the ecological requirements

The orchard should be established in an area with deep, fertile, and well-drained soils with a pH range of 5.5 to 6.5. Apples flourish in high-altitude regions ranging from 1800 to 2800m and with moderate rainfall. However, they can also be grown under irrigation in drier areas. Besides, they require moderate temperatures. Always ensure that you plant varieties with low chilling requirements.

Apply proper management skills

Every farmer should use proper management practices to keep their plants healthy and flourishing. Apple plants require adequate moisture, a balanced application of nutrients, and timely pest and disease control. In drier areas, they should be irrigated regularly. Manure and fertilizers should also be applied to provide the trees with the necessary nutrients. A thick organic mulch should be used to minimize water loss and weed growth. Apples are attacked by pests such as fruit flies, aphids, thrips, and spider mites. They are susceptible to diseases such as Armiralia root rot, powdery mildew, and apple scab.

Productivity of apples

Under proper care, apple plants can be highly productive, producing an average of 500 fruits per growing season. On average, if appropriately managed, you can harvest between 10 to 12 tonnes per hectare.

Market and Value addition

Apples have a high demand in both the local and export markets. Locally, you can target supermarkets, open-air markets, juice makers, and food processing companies. To make more profits and minimize post-harvest losses, farmers should consider investing in value addition. Apart from fresh consumption, apples are used to make juices, cookies, biscuits and bread, jellies, jams, soft drinks, sauce, baby foods, and apple cereal flakes. Besides, they can be used to make pectin, ethanol, vinegar, cider, animal feeds, and produce industrial pigments such as carotenoids. They are also essential ingredients in fruit salad and desserts, such as apple crisp, apple pie, and apple crumble.

To penetrate the market, you should ensure that your fruits are high quality and focus on primary and secondary processing.

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Get 50 free strawberry splits 🍓🍓🍓 on our OxfarmAg Ltd Seedlings Package offer going for 4,950/-.

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–> 10 – Passion seedlings, yellow or purple
–> 3 – Hass or fuerte avocados seedlings
–> 3 – Grafted Oranges or tangerines seedlings
–> 3 – Grafted mangoes seedlings
–> 2 – Apples seedlings
–> 2 – Lemons seedlings
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–> 1 – Pomegranate seedling
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This offer is coupled with an incentive of free delivery to your nearest town country wide.

Make your Orchard a paradise with these fruits 🥑🍓🍏🍋🥭🍈🍊🍌 which are;

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You can buy this Package as a present to your friend or family, or to your parents at home or for your own orchard establishment, it also serves as a good beautification in your home compound.

“The day you plant is not the day you eat the fruit but rather the earlier the better.”

Hurry and get your package as the offer lasts.

For easy processing of your order communicate to us through regional departments.

Text/Call your regional representative.

Western region – Mr. Asman 0706222888
Whatapp- https://wa.me/254706222888
Email – info@oxfarm.co.ke

Eldoret Region – Mr. Duncan 0710588060
WhataApp- https://wa.me/254710588060
Email – oxfarmeldoret@oxfarm.co.ke

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Email: oxfarmaglimited@gmail.com

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Tips to consider when fertilizing apple trees

Devising an effective fertilizer application program is a complex challenge to farmers in different parts of the world. It takes a lot of expertise and proper management to get on the right track, from conventional to organic farming. Organic fertilizers are required by all plants and are used extensively by farmers practicing floriculture and horticulture.

Nutrient Deficiencies in Fruit Trees

Nutrient deficiencies can greatly affect the performance and productivity of apple trees. When practicing organic farming, most of the fertilizers used are organic, although small amounts of chemical fertilizers are important. Apple trees require various micronutrients in high levels at different growth stages such as Calcium, Nitrogen, Potassium, Phosphorus, Sulfur, and Magnesium. Besides, they require small traces of micronutrients like Molybdenum, Iron, Cobalt, Silicon, Copper, Zinc, Manganese, Sodium, Boron, and Chloride. Nitrogen is required in large amounts in the early stages and when the trees are growing vigorously. During the flowering and fruiting stage, NPK formulations with a high potassium percentage should be applied or sprayed.

Some indications of nutrient deficiencies in apple plants include:

  • Slightly red leaves indicate lack of nitrogen
  • Yellow and green patches on fruits is an indication of potassium deficiency
  • Corky areas on apple fruits indicate boron deficiency
  • Curling backward of leaves is an indication of phosphorus deficiency.
  • Deformed fruits
  • Chlorosis
  • Cracking of fruits
  • Peak blight of fruits indicates lack of calcium

Understand the crop needs and apply the right amount of fertilizers

The amount of fertilizers required by apple trees varies depending on the soil fertility, manure applied, and the growth stage. Several things can happen when incorrect amounts of fertilizers are applied.  

  • For instance, excessive application of fertilizers makes the plants concentrate on producing a lot of shoots and leaves instead of fruits.
  • Failing to use fertilizers or applying extremely little fertilizers can lead to nutrient deficiencies, stunted growth, and poor health. Besides, the plants under-perform and their ability to fight pests and diseases reduces.

Know when to apply fertilizers

Fertilizers should be applied 3 times per year.

  • The first application should be done before flowering
  • The second application should be made after flowering
  • The third application should be done a month later

However, in the early growth stages, and during vegetative growth, fertilizers can be applied at different times of the year depending on the nutrients required. Fertilizers should, however, be applied at controlled rates. Manure and other organic products should be applied regularly to keep the soil healthy and fertile.

Mulch the plants

Mulching, especially young plants, minimizes the growth of weeds, enhances the soil texture, increases the organic matter, minimizes water loss through evaporation, and increases soil micro-organisms. The need for nitrogen-based fertilizers reduces as soil health improves.

In commercial apple production, it’s important to get your soil tested by professionals to identify the nutrients that are present and absent. This can help farmers to devise effective fertilizer and manuring programs. To enjoy the profitability of apple farming, consult Oxfarm Ltd for professional soil analysis services.

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Be a Millionaire by Growing Pink Lady Apple

Pink lady was originally bred by John Cripps. A round to asymmetrical shape with vivid green skin covered in a pinkish blush that becomes a deeper shade of red where the apple is exposed to more sun. They are earliest to blossom and last to be harvested among other varieties of apples.

Reasons to embrace pomegranate farming in Kenya

Pink Lady apples had elevated levels of flavonoids, which are natural compounds, also called antioxidants. It can improve clinical indications of cardiovascular health, including blood pressure and its response to stress. Other health benefits include;

  • Reducing the risk of diabetes. Apples help regulate blood sugar. It contains compounds that help by inhibiting enzymes involved in the breakdown of carbohydrates into simple sugars; by stimulating pancreatic cells to produce insulin; by decreasing the absorption of sugars into the bloodstream.
  • Preventing constipation. Fresh apples are high in fiber, which adds bulk to the stool. Apples contain both soluble and insoluble fiber, and roughage.
  • Fighting bad breath. Apples contain pectin, which helps control food odors. Pectin also promotes saliva, which cleanses breath.
  • Preventing asthma attacks. Asthma sufferers often have low levels of antioxidants. Apples are high in vitamin C and flavonoids. Both are antioxidant.
  • Reducing the risk of stroke. Intake of apples is related to a decreased risk of thrombotic stroke.
  • Combating fatigue. The high vitamin C and antioxidant content in apples counter the free radicals leading to oxidative stress, which has been linked to fatigue.

How To Plant, Care and Maintain Pink Lady Apple

 

The pink lady is propagated by grafting.

  1. While planting dig a hole 2ft by 2ft, mix the top soil with half bucket manure. Fertilizing should be done after the first flush of leaves. Apply N.PK, two table spoonful and this should be repeated after each and every three months but as the tree nears flowering, apply fertilizer with micro elements to enhance good fruit growth.
  2. Ensure your seedling gets enough water. Water twice a week.
  3. Weeding should be thorough, as weeds compete for nutrients with the pink lady tree and they harbor pests which eventually attacks apple tree.
  4. Pruning should be done yearly  by removing the dead, broken and diseased branches.

Pink lady apple production.

pink lady fruits

An acre supports 200 plants of these apples. A mature pink lady apple produces an average of 400 fruits. A farmer should harvest about 80000 fruits in an acre. This translates to 1,600,000ksh as one fruit fetches 20ksh. Go for pink lady and you will never be disappointed.

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Diseases affecting apple farming in Kenya

Powdery mildew

powdery mildew affecting apple plant

Symptoms

Spores appear first as white, felt-like patches on the lower surface of the leaves of the apple.  Secondary infections commonly appear first on the lower leaf surface, and may be detectable on the upper leaf surface as chlorotic spots.  Leaves infected along the leaf margin may become curled, crinkled, or folded longitudinally.  As the disease progresses, affected tissues develop the powdery, silver-gray appearance.

Control

Where infestations are low, pruning of the infected terminal shoots is an effective control method. When the rate of infestation is high use foliar fungicides.

 

Leaf spot

Symptoms

It begins as tiny purple flecks or specks on the front of the leaf. The purple flecks rapidly expand into irregularly shaped, often concentric, lesions. In severe infestation the leaves turn yellow and drop off.

Control

Pruning of the affected shoots and planting resistant cultivars of apple.

Also spray effective fungicides e.g. copper based fungicides.

Apple scab

Symptoms

apple fruit affected by scab

It appears as pale yellow or olive-green spots on the upper surface of leaves. Dark, velvety spots may appear on the lower surface. Severely infected leaves become twisted and puckered. The same symptoms on the leaves appear the same way on fruits

Control

Plant resistant cultivars and proper timing of sprays is needed for fungicides to control disease.

 

 

 

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Health Benefits of Green Apple Grown in Kenya

An apple is a very nutritious fruit containing a lot of vitamins and minerals with several impressive health benefits which qualifies it as part of one’s daily diet.

It is packed with vitamins, minerals and fiber that help to regulate normal blood glucose, fight digestive problems of different types and promote appetite; these are just but a few to mention among other benefits this fruit adds to human health. Below are some of its benefits on human health

Improves Cardiovascular Health

Apple has the content of soluble fibre which has the characteristics of lowering high level of bad cholesterol in the blood caused by high fatty foods and improving general cardiovascular health.

Results from scientific studies showed that eating an apple on daily basis helps to reduce arterial plaque, lower LDL, balance sugar level and thwart other illnesses associated with the heart.

Generally, the presence of high potassium content and epicatechin, an antioxidant flavonoid helps to improve heart health.

Apple Farming Manual

 

 Enhances Metabolism of The Body

Apple contains soluble fiber which makes it a strong anti-oxidizing agent that enhances the metabolism of the body.

It is good to eat apple regularly because it is a natural metabolism booster but more effective in the morning as it will fasten the speed during morning hours.

The presence of iron in green apple fruit also helps in the process of metabolism and quick absorption of oxygen in the body.

Boron is a trace of mineral in an apple that also helps the body to metabolize appropriately and make use of other vital nutrients.

Helps to Detoxify the Liver

Green apple fruit helps to detoxify the liver by removing some harmful toxins; it contains active detoxification properties which make it very effective for cleansing the liver.

Drinking the apple cider vinegar with water daily is a natural remedy that contributes greatly just as apple fruit does to protect liver problems by eliminating harmful toxins from the liver.

Reduces Digestive Problems

Eating of green apples can help to reduce digestive tract diseases. Apple fruits are rich in fiber which helps to maintain a healthy gut.

Also, they contain essential minerals and vitamins such as folate, phosphorus, vitamins A and C that all contribute to maintaining a healthy digestive system and good functioning of the intestine.

 Reduces Blood Cholesterol

Some important properties contained in apple which are linked to cholesterol reduction are epicatechin, a plant flavonoid; polyphenol which is a strong antioxidant and pectin. Both contents help to lower blood pressure and cholesterol.

Scientific studies carried out to compare a cholesterol moderating drug, statin and an apple showed that Apple is more effective in reducing bad cholesterol which causes serious heart problems.

Taking just an apple per day regulates cholesterol level in the body which can lead to the risk of stroke and related other heart problems when not controlled.

 Enhances Low Appetite

Apple contains organic acids that help to control human appetite; therefore, people who suffer from low appetite can use the green apple fruits to boost their appetite.

 Reduces the Risk of Asthma Attack 

Apple fruit contains an important flavonoid compound on the skin known as quercetin, which helps to reduce the tendency of an asthma attack in the human body.

Other pronounced antioxidant properties that are contained in apple also help in playing this role and getting rid of oxidative damages in the lungs.

 Prevent Allergies

Other important compounds in apple fruit are quercetin, catechin, and chlorogenic acid which are all flavonoids with potent antioxidant actions such as fighting sicknesses like certain allergies also helps in body pain reduction.

Lowers the Risk of Diabetes

Apple fruit helps to prevent the risk of type 2 diabetes which is caused by beta cells insulin damage due to the presence of a soluble fibre that stops the blood sugar spike.

Polyphenol, an essential plant compound that plays a key role of antioxidant in preventing tissue damage to beta cells is contained in apple. It helps to inhibit the risk of type 2 diabetes by averting such damage that leads to the case.

 Contains Properties that Help to Prevent Cancer

Apple has strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant substances that help to fight the development of cancerous diseases in the body.

Studies supported by the American Association of Cancer Research proved that the flavonoid and triterpenoids compounds in apple play a key role in frustrating the growth of pancreatic cancer and other tumors in the human body

Maintains Proper Bone Health

Apple is one of the major fruits considered the powerhouse for bone health due to the presence of vitamin C, potassium, fiber and calcium which are bone nutrient density.

Another bone building phytonutrient in apple is phloridzin, a naturally occurring plant compound in an apple that helps to prevent induced bone loss and play other potential roles in the body. 

Helps in Boosting Brain Health

Antioxidants play numerous roles in overall human health which one of them is boosting the brain health. Apple is rich in antioxidants and these properties make it very good for brain health.

This fact has been supported by several scientific studies which proved that eating apple fruits prevent certain conditions that affect the neurons in the human brain such as Alzheimer’s.

Juice contained in apple fruit helps to lessen mental decline as well as protects a neurotransmitter in the human brain called acetylcholine which tends to have age-related function reduction.

Vitamin C is one of the major properties in green apple fruit which is an essential dietary nutrient that performs many vital functions in the body system.

Eating one apple per day is a daily recommendation by nutritionists and health practitioners because it helps to flush out toxins in the body and other numerous benefits it provides. This follows a saying that “one apple a day keeps the doctor away”

Apple plays many important roles in the human body which should make it a part of our daily diets as it plays lots of uncountable health benefits. Adding to the ones mentioned above, apple helps to prevent a swollen canal in the anus, in other words, called haemorrhoids or piles.

Green Apples

English apple has different varieties such as the green apples, red sweet apples, yellow, yellow and pink. These colors on apple pigments are just the natural coloring that develop as apples grow.

The taste of all these varieties of apple remains the same just as the benefit they offer to man’s health and lifestyle in spite of the colors.

Apple is one of the most consumed fruit in the world today, cultivated in most parts of the world. Green apples which originated in Australia are today grown in most part of the world including the East African countries including Kenya.

 

Apple fruit is generally healthy and safe to eat for all ages. There are no side effects attached to the eating of this fruit. But the warning is that the seeds should not be consumed excessively either by mistake or otherwise as they contain cyanide. Cyanide is a chemical compound that can be extremely toxic to human health and when eaten in excess can cause harmful damage to human health.

Apples do well in Kenyan soils particularly in colder areas. Contact us for seedlings and more information.

 

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How to Start a new apple orchard

Is it true that an apple a day may help keep the doctor away? Yes, it certainly is true. There are many health benefits from eating apples.

Apples are a good source of fiber. Pectin a source of soluble fiber helps to prevent cholesterol build up in blood vessel walls. The insoluble fiber is like a cleanser for your intestinal tract holding water and moving food through the digestive system. Insoluble fiber can be found in the skin so don’t cut it off.

Apples have always had an anecdotal healthy reputation and that reputation has and continues to be confirmed by past and ongoing medical research. The bottom line is that eating apples are good for you and the health benefits of apples are numerous and include anything from lowering bad cholesterol to reducing the risk of contracting cancer.

An orchard is a lovely way to grow this tasty and healthy fruit but it will take planning and time before you’re harvesting.

 

Reasons to Eat Apples

  • Apples are a perfect portable snack food
  • Apples are fat and cholesterol free
  • Apples are sodium free
  • Apples contain antioxidants which may help fight off diseases
  • Apples are a great source of dietary fiber
  • Apples can strengthen lung function
  • Apples contain many vitamins and minerals
  • Apples come in hundreds of varieties
  • Apples are low in calories
  • Apples have no artificial colors or flavors

 

Picking the site

Apple orchards, once successfully established, can last for decades and you really do not want to be faced with the prospect of starting again if your selection of the orchard site does not work out for one reason or another.

First of all, consider where an apple orchard might work in terms of the topography of your land. Apple trees cannot tolerate standing in water, therefore discount any low lying areas that have or may be subject to flooding or likely to retain water from run off. Even if you have a low lying area that does not flood or hold water it may well be a frost pocket where cold air settles.

These areas can kill the apple blossom and the developing fruit. Once you have selected an area that might be suitable, check out the soil. Ideally, the soil should be rich, loamy, and well drained; apple trees will also grow in sandy or clay soil as a second best. Having identified your best likely spot, you should be looking to test your soil’s PH. Aim for a soil pH between 6.0 and 6.5 as an ideal but a PH between 5.5 and 8.0 is tolerable too.

Related Content: Why Hass Avocado is the new Cash Crop

 

Selecting trees

Apple trees come in numerous varieties and growth patterns. Some varieties will be more suitable to your area than others. However, bear in mind that for pollination to work you will require at least two varieties of apple tree in your orchard. In order to maximize fruiting, you should also be looking for apple trees that blossom around the same time, that could be early, mid-season, or late season, your local nursery should be able to advise you of the right varieties that will work for you, especially as some varieties are simply not compatible with each other as their blossom is sterile.

Now it is up to you to select the best trees that both suit your needs and your site. Some apple trees, called standards, can grow 25 feet high or more and can live more than fifty years. However, you will be waiting five or six years for apples from these trees and the height of the tree may be a deterrent for you as the trees will need pruning at some time.

Smaller varieties such as semi-dwarfs and dwarfs however, could be producing within two to three years but are not as strong or as long lived. In terms of production, standard trees should be producing around eight bushels of apples each, semi-dwarf’s five bushels each, and dwarf’s one to two bushels each. Again, talk to your local nursery man and establish what will best work for you.

 

Planting

Ideally, you will want to buy apple trees that are around 3 months old and stand about one feet high. If you think the roots are dry when you get them home soak the root ball in water for 24 hours. When you are ready to plant you will need to dig a hole that is 2 feet by 2 feet and about two feet deeper, allowing the root system to spread out when you back fill part of the hole with loose soil.

Gently spread the tree’s roots out when you plant the tree, firm the soil around the roots, and backfill so that the place where the tree’s roots meet the trunk is up to two inches above the ground. Pack the soil down and water the tree well; no fertilizer is required at the planting stage.

After planting your trees remove a circle of grass or ground cover to a radius of three feet, taking the tree as the center of the circle, and add a layer of mulch, which will deter weeds and keep your tree well supplied with water and nutrients.

In terms of spacing, dwarf apple trees will need staking and should be planted between eight to 12 feet apart, semi-dwarf apple trees are hardier and should not require staking and can be planted ten to 15 feet apart, while standard trees should be planted 17 to 20 feet apart; proper spacing should ensure the effective pollination of your orchard. Your orchard is established now all you have to do is look after it.

Book for various variety of apple seedlings

 

Apples trees seedlings

 

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Apple farming in Kenya – mitigating risks for better productivity

Apple farming in kenya, farmers share identical ambition; to realize high yield, grow healthy and alimental apples, and sell them as presently as attainable for an honest value. Rather like the opposite permanent crops, apples are a long-time investment. An extra advantage of growing apples is that they’re strongly adjustable to numerous growing conditions, and so, will be full-grown virtually anyplace. Besides that, the demand for apples is continually present throughout the year.

Tempting Business with several Risks

Although apple production may be a tempting business, it’s dependent upon several factors and it’s its own risks. The common risks in apple production that perpetually threaten farmer’s pursuit for achievement area unit as follows:

  • Climate change; unpredictable weather events like drought, hail, frost, flood, sturdy wind or perhaps cyclone area unit a sorrow reality of today’s farming. In precisely someday, unfavorable weather will flip a stunning plantation into a wilderness
  • Insect pests and diseases; there are a unit over a hundred apple insect pests and diseases that perpetually threaten apple yield and quality. Yield losses attributable to numerous pests and diseases could reach up to four-hundredth
  • Post-harvest management; an awfully delicate stage in apple production that directly affects the ultimate yield, moreover as farmer’s gain
  • Unpredictable market prices; attributable to world market provide and demand
  • A replacement era of farming needs further investments; to achieve success, apple production needs bound investments. On one hand, investment into any business is usually risky. But, on the opposite hand, investment in correct technology, a capable employee or farm instrumentation will bring forth some important and positive changes, significantly for farmers UN agency follow sensible farm practices in their crop management.

 

Related Content: Pomegranate fruits: Amazing Benefits

Apple Farming in Kenya
Apple Fruits Farming

 

Higher aspect of Apple farming in Kenya

Apple farming in Kenya isn’t for everybody. It takes lots of information, patience and labor to realize profitable and property apple production. However, once managed properly, apple production in Kenya will be a secure and long farm investment. Despite all challenges that area unit before of apple farmers in Kenya, trendy farm technology is developing distinctive solutions familiarized towards enhancements in apple production.

 

Related Post: Future state of Grapes in Kenya

 

Miraculous farm inventions like exactitude farming supported time information, improved farm machinery, moreover as farm management package, will mitigate all aforesaid issues and convey valuable yield results.

Contact Oxfarm us for more information and seedlings. Plan Your land and give us a call or visit our office.

 

Apples trees seedlings

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Apple Farming – An Apple a Day Keeps the Doctor Away

Many time we hear the phrase and think it’s just a proverb, but hey it is true. “Eat an apple on going to bed, and you’ll keep the doctor from earning his bread.”

Apples have a good claim to promote health. They contain Vitamin C, which aids the immune system, and phenols, which reduce cholesterol. They also reduce tooth decay by cleaning one’s teeth and killing off bacteria. It has also been suggested by Cornell University researchers that the quercetin found in apples protects brain cells against neuro-degenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s Disease.

Apples are one of the most popular, flavorful and healthful fruits grown in the world. Three-fourths of America’s population, both young and old, name apples as one of their favorite fruits for snacking. They are also great with meals. Apples are pre-packaged in nature’s own wrapper. Several servings of apples and apple products should be included in children’s diet every day to help build a healthy body.

Today, the science of apple growing is called pomology. Over the years many people have worked together to refine methods to produce the best formed and tastiest apples. It takes about four or five years for apple trees to produce their first fruits. Apple trees are grown on farms, better known as apple orchards. In spring apple trees blossom with fragrant, sweet smelling white flowers.

Core facts about Apples

  • Apples come in many varieties– Apples come in a range of interesting flavors, offering a variety not available in most other fruits and vegetables.
  • Apples are convenient– One of Mother Nature’s original fast foods, they can be eaten fresh, or processed as sauce, juice and slices.
  • Apples are nutritious– Apples are a very good fruit for building healthy bodies.
  • Contains no fat, and contains no saturated fat – helps reduce risk of cancer.
  • Contains no sodium– helps reduce risk or high blood pressure.
  • Is an excellent source of fiber– helps reduce cholesterol and may help prevent certain types of cancer.
  • Has only 80 calories.
  • Contains no cholesterol.
  • Contains no artificial colors or flavors.

Related Story: HEALTHY BENEFITS OF LEMON AND HOW TO GROW THEM

 

COMMERCIAL APPLE PRODUCTION IN KENYA

Commercial apple production requires two essential preconditions: cold winters and relatively hot summers. Apples do well in areas with an annual rainfall of 800 to 1100 mm. Apples can do well in different soil types as long as the soil is deep, fertile, properly aerated and well drained. Sufficient soil moisture is desired during bud break and fruit set for proper fruit quality and yield.

Most apple cultivars are not sufficiently self-pollinating; it is advisable to plant other cultivars that act as pollinators, these include winter banana, Jonathan and golden dorset. A spacing of 2-3m between plants and 3-4m from row to row is ideal. Soil and leaf analysis will offer great insights and will determine the fertilizer program to be adapted.

Some varieties of apples that are popular in the country include Winter Banana, Anna and Top Red, all of which are viable in Kenya’s climate. Apples grow best in sandy to sandy-loamy soils that run deep and drain easily. The recommended pH for the soils is 5.5, which is slightly basic. If you are not sure what kind of soil you have, you can send samples to laboratories for testing.

You can start with a few seedlings, lets say 10 plants. Assuming that one will give you an average of 200-500 fruits within an year you have 2000 – 5000 fruits that you can sell between 10-15. This will approximately give you between 20000-50000 Shillings if you sell at Ksh 10 and between 30,000 and 75,000 if you sell at Ksh 15.

All you need to do is get out of your comfort zone and take that bold step. Order your seedlings today. Start early, plan well, and the returns are wonderful. Contact us today for more information.

 

Apples trees seedlings

 

 

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HOW TO PLANT GRAFTED APPLE TREES IN KENYA

Apples trees aren’t just for people with acres upon acres of land. Even in a small space, you can plant a hedge of dwarf apple trees or an apple espalier and yield a successful crop.

Planting

 

Climate Considerations

  • Not every apple grows everywhere. Each variety has a specific number of days needed for fruit maturity.
  • Tree tags don’t always tell you where the variety grows best, but many catalogs do.
  • Each variety has several chill hours needed to set fruit (i.e., the amount of time temperatures is between 32 and 45 degrees F).

 

Site and Soil

  • Contact Oxfarm for soil test prior to planting your apple trees. Oxfarm can instruct you in collecting the soil sample, help you interpret the results, and provide valuable information about the soil in your county. Results from the soil test will determine the soil amendments necessary to correct nutrient deficiencies and adjust soil pH. The amendments should be worked into the soil to a depth of 12 to 18 inches where the tree will root, not just the planting hole.
  • Apple trees need well-drained soil, nothing too wet. Soil needs to be moderately rich and retain moisture as well as air; mulch with straw, hay, or some other organic material to keep soil moist and provide nutrients as they decompose.
  • Choose a sunny site. For best fruiting, an apple-tree needs “full sunlight,” which means six or more hours of direct summer sun daily.
  • Tree spacing is influenced by the rootstock, soil fertility, and pruning. Seedlings or full-size trees should be planted about 15 to 18 feet apart in a row. A dwarfing rootstock might be 4 to 8 feet apart in a row.
  • Dwarf apple trees are notoriously prone to uprooting under the weight of a heavy crop, so you should provide a support system for your hedge. You can grow your trees against a fence, or you can provide free-standing support in the form of a trellis.
  • Do not plant trees near wooded areas or trees.

Planting the Tree in the Ground

 

  • Before planting, remove all weeds and the grass in a 4-foot diameter circle.
  • After you purchase Our seedlings, protect it from injury, drying out, freezing, or overheating. If the roots have dried out, soak them in water about 24 hours before planting.
  • Dig a hole approximately twice the diameter of the root system and 2 feet deep. Place some of the loose soil back into the hole and loosen the soil on the walls of the planting hole so the roots can easily penetrate the soil. Spread the tree roots on the loose soil, making sure they are not twisted or crowded in the hole. Continue to replace soil around the roots. As you begin to cover the roots, firm the soil to be sure it surrounds the roots and to remove air pockets.
  • Do not add fertilizer at planting time, as the roots can be “burned”. Fill the remainder of the hole with the loose soil, and press the soil down well.

All our apple trees are grafted. The graft union must be at least 2 inches above the soil line so that roots do not emerge from the scion. The graft union (where the scion is attached to the rootstock) can be recognized by the swelling at the junction.

CARE

Minimize Pruning of a Young Tree

Pruning slows a young tree’s overall growth and can delay fruiting, so don’t be in a hurry to prune, other than removing misplaced, broken, or dead branches. There are several techniques to direct growth without heavy pruning. For example:

  • Rub off misplaced buds before they grow into misplaced branches.
  • Bend a stem down almost horizontally for a few weeks to slow growth and promote branches and fruiting. Tie down with strings to stakes in the ground or to lower branches.

Prune a Mature Tree Annually

Once an apple tree has filled in and is bearing fruit, it requires regular, moderate pruning.

  • Prune your mature tree when it is dormant. Completely cut away overly vigorous, upright stems (most common high up in the tree).
  • Remove weak twigs (which often hang from the undersides of limbs.
  • Shorten stems that become too droopy, especially those low in the tree.
  • After about ten years, fruiting spurs (stubby branches that elongate only about a half-inch per year) become overcrowded and decrepit. Cut away some of them and shorten others.
  • When a whole limb of fruiting spurs declines with age, cut it back to make room for a younger replacement.

Thin Ruthlessly

  • Thin or remove excess fruit. This seems hard but this practice evens out production, prevents a heavy crop from breaking limbs, and ensures better-tasting, larger fruit crop.
  • Soon after fruit-set, remove the smallest fruits or damaged ones, leaving about four inches between those that remain.

PESTS/DISEASES

Apples are prone to pests. Here are some pointers:

  • Sprays may be needed for insects like Japanese beetles, although one of the worst culprits, the apple maggot, can be trapped simply enough by hanging one or two rounds, softball-size balls—painted red and coated with sticky “Tangle-Trap”.
  • Fend off diseases by raking apple leaves, burying them beneath mulch, or grinding them with a lawnmower at season’s end.
  • Pruning reduces disease by letting in more light and air.

To keep insects away from apple trees, make a solution of 1 cup of vinegar, 1 cup of sugar, and 1 quart of water. Pour this mixture into a widemouthed plastic jug. Hang the jug, uncovered, in your apple tree.

 

Harvest

Harvesting Apples

Harvest patiently. After all this pruning and caring, be sure to harvest your apples at their peak of perfection.

  • Pluck your apples when their background color is no longer green.
  • Different apple varieties mature at different times, so the harvest season can stretch from August to October.
  • At this point, the stem should part readily from the branch when the fruit is cupped in the palm of your hand and given a slight twist around, then up.

 

There you have it, before harvesting look for market or contact our offices and we will help you sell your apples. also get certified apple seedlings from us. Kindly visit our offices or contact us for more information.

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Apples trees seedlings