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How Demonstration Farms Can Revive Farming in Kenya

Farms that showcase agricultural technology and techniques that improve crops and production are known as demonstration farms and are a smart investment that can help accelerate the espousal of game-changing innovations. Farmers can learn new ways of doing things without having to do it on their farms.

Demonstration farms are used to teach various agricultural techniques and technologies, showcase new or improved crops. They also serve as a venue to research and test new methods alongside traditional ones.

Their sizes can vary widely, ranging from small to big farms. Depending on what’s being tested or showcased, the demonstration farm could have different types of crops and crop varieties, livestock or poultry breeds, fertilizer treatments or technology, such as drip irrigation.

Pepino Melon in Oxfarm.co.ke demonstration Farm at Ridge ways Nairobi

Over a century ago, agriculturalist Seaman Knapp recognized the importance of demonstration farms and he believed in the philosophy of teaching through demonstration. He is regarded as the father of demonstration farms.

Demonstration farms however have a potential of doing much more. They are a few of them however in the country, oxfarm.co.ke however is currently having a demo farm in Ridgeway’s Nairobi. If carefully designed, demostration farms could help revolutionise Agriculture in Kenya as well as Africa. They could help solve some of Africa’s most persistent challenges including degraded soils or the low adoption of irrigation technologies.

They could also help with the uptake of new concepts that are transforming agriculture including precision agriculture – a farm management system that ensures soils and crops receive exactly what they need for optimal growth and productivity. Or conservation agriculture – a sustainable agriculture production system comprised of three linked principles; minimal soil disturbance, mixing and rotating crops and keeping the soils covered as much as possible.

You Only Have One Month To Prepare; Hass Avocado Farming Package

Where Does Demonstration farms Work?

In Israel, a centre for agricultural development has trained over 270,000 people from 132 countries in its various courses, 70% of which use demonstration agricultural farms.

There have also been substantial advances on the continent. In Nigeria, a fertilizer company has over 3,000 demonstration farms that it uses to showcase and teach farmers about modern farming practices.

In Ghana, the Ministry of Food and Agriculture has established over 1,242 community demonstration farms that showcase new agricultural technologies.

Here in Kenya, apart from our demo farm, a demonstration farm in Meru is teaching women everything they need to know about conservation agriculture. This includes covering crops like grass or legumes, to provide seasonal soil cover to protect bare land. These kinds of steps improve crop productivity, increase yields as well as profits and food security.

Farmers can see how practices work over time, ranging from one season to another to a period of years. They are then able to use them on their own farms. In Kenya over 10,000, of over 7 million farmers, have adopted these practices.

Non-governmental organizations are also using demonstration farms. Development in Gardening in Kenya, for example, uses demonstration farms as classrooms to showcase good agricultural practices.

State of Hass Avocado Farming in Kenya

What Should be Done

The need for demonstrations farms can’t be overemphasized – particularly in Africa. Challenges such as droughts, degraded soils and low crop productivity persist and threaten the livelihoods of millions of people.

One of the major challenges is funding. Setting up demonstration farms to try new technologies or best practices takes lots of funds, time and effort.

Luckily there are several funding agencies, including governments, that fund demonstration farms.

 

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Passion Fruit Farming: How to get 15-20 tonnes per hectare

Passion fruit, a climbing vine, may be a versatile crop whose demand is growing in  export as well as domestic markets.

The fruit are often eaten fresh or consumed after extracting the pulp and creating juice.

The juice is used in a very  many forms of products and also the pulp could also be added to completely different dishes. A large range of cosmetic merchandise and food flavours are derived from the fruit that’s made in Vitamins A and C and carotene.

Varieties

Yellow and purple varieties exist. Purple varieties do higher at higher altitudes than the yellow varieties. Yellow varieties, on the other hand, tend to yield higher and is more resistant against diseases.

The purple selection is acidic, varies in style and succulence with intense aromatic scent and spherical in form. The yellow selection is greater, with similar taste however presumably less aromatic, a lot of acidic and is also additionally spherical in form.

Both varieties are green before ripening, and they are big for industrial and domestic functions.

Ecological necessities

Passion fruits perform well in a very wide selection of altitudes from 1200m to 1,800m on top of water level East of the Rift valley  and up to 2,000m on top of water level West of the Rift valley.

Optimum temperature for purple passion fruit is between 180C to 250C and 250C to 300C for yellow passion fruit whereas the rain ought to be well-distributed, between 900mm to 2000mm p.a..

Excess rain causes poor fruit set and encourages diseases principally leaf and fruit rusts. For good production, passion fruits do well in a  variety of soils, that ought to be moderately deep and fertile with soil PH going  between 6.0 and 6.5.

In high rainy areas, the soils ought to be well-drained as plants won’t face up to waterlogging or flooding. Some passion fruit enterprises that were doing well in Uasin Gishu County some 5 years ago  folded thanks to soil acidity (pH < 5.0), that reduces nutrient uptake and accelerates Fusarium wilt disease that causes rot of roots and stems finally drying of the entire plant. Farmers are encouraged to use manure and lime within the holes and whole field to cut back the soil acidity effects.

Planting and trellising

Passion fruit are often grown from seeds however grafting often produces improved stock. Yellow passion fruit is best for production of rootstock thanks to superior disease resistance whereas purple is sweet for fruit production.

Seeds germinate in four weeks after removal of the pulp and drying. Production of seedlings in plastic luggage is that the most used methodology.

Up to 3 seeds are planted in every bag then reduced to 1 after emergence. Seedlings would force up to four months to achieve an acceptable transplanting growth stage. After about seven weeks of growth following transplanting, each plant ought to have up to four healthy lateral stems.

Transplanting ought to be done at the start of the season around April-June. Passion fruit has deep roots, therefore soils ought to be well-tilled. Transplant to a field with posts having wire trellis to support the growing crop and fruits made.

The vines are sometimes directed in order that growth is in each directions on the supporting wires. Yields are highest following a regular fertilization regime. Old or dead shoots ought to be pruned. Intercropping with vegetables or different annuals is suggested to maximize free area particularly once the crop is young.

Once established, the vines grow speedily and the fruit ought to flower after about seven months. Ideally, young passion vines ought to be set within the field early in the season when there’s no danger of drought.

Passion vines are planted 2m from one row to the opposite and 3m from one plant to the other. Horizontal trellises have cross-pieces at the highest of every post with 2 to four wires set up horizontally 60cm apart on the highest of every cross-piece.

Vertical trellises accommodate significant posts without cross-pieces, with 2 to 3 wires set up on the row like wire fencing, hooked up to the posts from the highest down at intervals of regarding 30-40cm apart.

Trellis wires ought to be size nine or ten galvanized steel. The posts got to be stout enough to face up to the load of the vines and fruits produced throughout a season that unremarkably includes the blow of robust winds. Ideally, they ought to be long enough to produce a trellis height of 1.5m, with 45-75cm within the ground. Trellis rows ought to be oriented north-south for max exposure to daylight, and also the vines ought to be allowed to conjoin on the trellises to market cross-pollination.

Read Also:The role of an Agronomist

Fertilizer application

At planting, use 175g of Triple Super Phosphate (TSP) and one ‘debe’ (about 20kg) of yard manure and mix well. To get high yields, regular fertilization is critical.

Apply 300g of metal nitrate (CAN) per plant p.a. in 2 applications of 150g each during rainy season. Spraying with foliar feeds and trace components is additionally suggested.

Crop protection

Weeding is crucial once the plants are in initial stages. Diseases is sometimes sufficiently controlled by crop rotation as plantations are not kept for over 3 years.

Infected stuff ought to be pruned and destroyed and vines kept as open as attainable to permit thorough application of sprays. Diseases may be controlled by combination of excellent management, smart plantation hygiene, and an acceptable spray programme.

Pests lower fruit quality and will be controlled by often checking the areas round the plantation for signs of build-up. If necessary, spray to manage the pests before they unfold to the crop.

Harvest

When prepared for harvesting, the skin of the fruit is deep purple or yellow. Its pulpy interior is bright yellow, full of tiny black seeds. For contemporary market or use, the fruit is picked once color changes occur.

For processing, the fruit is allowed to drop to the bottom and picked a minimum of each second day. At this stage, the fruit is shriveled however quite appropriate for process. Yields decline every year till harvests don’t seem to be adequate within the four year.

Yield and incomes

Yields of over 15-20 tonnes/ha are attainable. In one year, a farmer might earn up to Sh1 million per acre as compared to Sh35,000-Sh60,000 for wheat or maize.

Read Also:The benefits of certified fruit seedlings

For more information visit our offices. Book your grafted purple passion seedlings today.

 

Purple passion fruit seedling

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Factors to consider when starting an orchard enterprise

There’s no place on the farm quite like the orchard. For dew-fresh fruit, but also for picnics in blossom time, watching the bees gather nectar for your honey, and simply enjoying life. Making a detour on your way to feed the chickens in the morning and stopping by the orchard for a night-chilled Transparent apple is a country experience hard to pass up.

The only problem is, unless your land comes with an established orchard, it’s going to take a couple of years’ wait. That’s why starting an orchard should be one of the first things you set out.

To speed up your first yield even further, try a few dwarf trees. You probably won’t bother much with these once your big ones start bearing, but they will give you an initial crop to tide you over the second or third year of waiting.

Where to Plant an Orchard 

The orchard is going to be around for some time. That’s your first consideration in deciding where to locate it.

As a permanent addition to your homestead, the orchard should have not only good soil, but good air and water drainage as well. Thus, a slope is the best location if you have one. Avoid low-lying sites, since this harbor the cold. The ideal spot is on the small hills surrounding a valley or depression. No trees should be exposed to the windy hilltops and none to the frost-retentive bottom land. Rows of trees planted on hills should, of course, follow the contour system.

The soil in your orchard should be as good as you can make it. If you want to plant fruit trees right away and your soil is hard clay or sand, you’ll have to build it up for each individual tree. It will pay you to fill the excavations in which the trees are to be set with improved soil, compost, rotted manure, ground rock phosphate, and rock potash to a depth of — hold onto the book — about five feet.

Planting Fruit Trees

Agri-business in KenyaEven if your soil is ideal, prepare to spend a bit of time with a pickax and shovel. The minimum size for a tree hole is three times the size of the root ball. In the case of fruit trees, the bigger the better. Usually one no smaller than three or four feet in diameter and two to three feet deep is dug. Pile the topsoil separately, since this is what should go back into the bottom of the hole along with well-aged nitrogen-rich compost and ground rock phosphate and rock potash. Don’t use fresh manure. Spread most of the extra subsurface soil elsewhere and grow a cover crop over it.

If what you’re removing is almost solid clay soil, and you’re replacing it with the ideal light, humus-filled one, the improved area around the tree will act as a sponge. Water retention will be too much. In this case, put a tile drain at the bottom of the hole. This is simply a single row, or a cross, of sections of drainage pipe, usually four inches in diameter, spaced out on top of a layer of gravel across the floor of the hole. It leads the water away from the root area, culvert-fashion, to the surrounding subsoil.

The mechanics of planting fruit trees are important. All injured and broken roots must be pruned back. The roots are then spread out evenly on top of a layer of enriched soil replaced in the hole to raise the tree to its proper level. Make sure you keep the roots moist while you work. It’s a good idea to mix up a bucket of mud slurry from your compost to pour over the roots when they are spread out. The slurry will coat the finer roots, keeping them moist, minimizing air pockets, and helping to settle them in. Fill the rest of the hole, tamp down the soil and give it a heavy dousing of water or light mud slurry. The tree should sit in the center of a slight depression about a foot in diameter. At the same distance out put up a two-foot-high wire mesh “collar” to keep out field mice, rabbits, etc. Outside of this mini-fence cover the ground with an inch of rotted manure extended all the way to eight feet from the tree. Cover the circle in turn with about a foot of hay mulch.

A regular fruit tree should be planted at least twenty feet from its nearest neighbor. Dwarf fruit trees can be spaced as close as ten feet apart. Set the tree straight to ever so slightly leaning in the direction of any prevailing winds. The largest branch, like a weather vane, should point into the prevailing wind. Prune back the branches of a newly planted tree a little more, proportionately, than the root loss. This will give it a chance to build a good strong root system. Give the trunk a pole support to prevent wind whipping from loosening the roots.

One final thought on planting. Science is discovering more and more about the roles bacteria and fungi play in crop growth. There is no doubt some of both interacting with the orchard. An old farmer I know would never plant a new fruit or nut tree without going around to an orchard he particularly admired and, picking the best tree of the kind he was planting, “borrowing” a shovelful of dirt as a “starter” for his own tree. Now I’m not saying this is necessary … the only reason I mention it is because his new trees never failed, and they were always covered in season with the most incredibly delicious fruit.

related Content: drip irrigation in fruits

Points to consider when choosing an orchard enterprise

  • Location
  • Costs and returns on investment
  • Complexity of management
  • Markets
  • Labor requirements
  • Water security

The key areas of risk to production include: pollination, pests and diseases, and climatic factors such as, drought, frost, hail, wind and heat. Orchard yield and quality is determined by the integrated management of the soil, irrigation, tree canopy and nutrition. These inputs are dependent on each other as water and nutrients cannot be separated from the soil that supports the root system that in turn dictates the performance of the canopy and therefore the yield.

Key factors for success

  • Growing the right varieties (meeting market demand)
  • Business and orchard management and mechanization
  • Economic return on investment
  • Efficient use of water
  • Shortest lead time to first commercial harvest
  • Consistency of production including yield and quality
  • Choosing the right region, soil type, available water and land aspect

Tree density may range from one hundred to several thousand trees per hectare. The relationship between tree spacing and yield illustrates that the more trees planted on a hectare of land, the higher the initial yield. However, at higher densities, unless trees are trained carefully they will eventually compete for sunlight resulting in a reduction in yield per hectare and quality of fruit and nuts produced. Higher density plantings will have greater establishment costs but there will be earlier economic return on investment.

For more information, visit our offices today. Book your seedlings today and establish an orchard of your choice.

 

 

 

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How to improve your fruit harvest

Growing your own fruit means that you can enjoy the pick of delicious varieties fresh from the tree or bush, turn them into pies, jellies and jams or store for future use. And you don’t need a lot of space, either – in small gardens, you can grow fruit as cordons or trained trees. You can also grow fruit in containers.

With a little care throughout the year, you can enjoy the best possible harvests – here’s how.

Plant at least two fruit trees

Plant at least two fruit trees so that they can cross pollinate. Where space is limited, choose self-pollinating varieties that fruit on their own, or try family trees with several varieties grafted onto a single trunk.

Protect blossom

Protect blossom from frost if possible, by covering with fleece. Remove the covers by midday so that pollinating insects can get in, then recover at night.

Mulch

Mulch around the base of plants with well-rotted organic matter in autumn, to lock in nutrients and water into the soil, and suppress weeds. Use pine needles around berries as they create the acidic conditions they love. Scatter slow-release fertiliser, such as chicken manure, each spring onto moist soil.

Water regularly

Water new fruit plants regularly until they are established, and continue to water any plants in pots. Water all fruit plants when they have ripening fruit, but be careful not to over-water as this can lead to tasteless fruit and can leach nutrients from the soil.

Related Post: drip irrigation in fruits

Pick off fruits

Pick off baby fruits from newly planted fruit trees in their first season. It takes willpower, but it allows the tree to concentrate on establishing well. Mature trees will drop fruits early in the season (called the ‘June drop’) but it’s a good idea to thin fruits growing too close together so that those remaining have room to mature.

Underplant with flowers

Underplant fruit with nectar-rich flowers such as nepeta, lavender or annual flower mixes to attract bees and other pollinating insects – they’ll pollinate your blossom at the same time.

Let fruit ripen fully

Let fruits ripen fully on the plant or tree, so that they have more time to build up nutrients. But pick them before they become overripe as they may rot and spread disease – and will attract wasps too.

For more information, visit our offices, and book your seedlings early enough.

 

 

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Status of Passion Fruit Production in Kenya

Several years back, Republic of Kenya was among high producers of passion fruits, however overtime production has stagnated. however, we’ve seen improvement in sweet yellow selection production since 2011 when it was introduced and it’s currently wide fully grown. This is often as a result of its proof against bacterial wilt and woodiness.

Most farmers grow the yellow and purple varieties. Yellow is good for processing while the other variety is good for fresh juice extraction. This has boosted the production cycle that is now two years yet our competitors like Zimbabwe and South Africa take five years. However, our average production is still 3.3 metric tonnes (MT) per hectare compared to 8 tonnes per hectare for other nations.

According to HCD, in 2015, total production stood at 46,628MT but this fell in subsequent years to 31,571MT on average. The low production is due to pests and diseases and reliance of rain-fed agriculture and farmers are not providing enough nutrients to grow to optimum.

Woodiness disease is a major hindrance to the production of the fruit and is characterized by the crop’s leaves turning yellowish. It is a viral infection that occurs in cooler areas or seasons, with symptoms including one getting malformed fruits with hard rind producing no pulp. These cannot be sold in any market.

New Varieties in The Market

Since 2011, there has been a number of varieties released by Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization like KPF 8, KPF 11 and KPF 12.  These varieties can withstand pests and erratic weather patterns. But there is also a purple variety called Esther, which is bigger, sweet and promises better yields. Most farmers are yet to grow it. The variety takes time before it shrivels or loses moisture compared existing ones.

Related Content: Why Hass Avocado is the new Cash Crop

Hindrances to the Export Market

Various markets normally set requirements for active ingredient for a specific crop. The challenge has been that we don’t have appropriate chemicals for use on the crop. There is only one herbicide and one pesticide approved by Pesticide Control Board (PCB) for use by farmers.

However, there are a wide range of pests such as white flies and mealy-bugs that attack this crop. Export markets such as the Europe Union require that the use of these products must be registered and approved.

So, the challenge is that if farmers use a pesticide that is not within those approved, then automatically they are not conforming to the set requirements. Secondly, by default the residue level is set at 0.01, (which is level set for those products that have not been approved). So, if they spray using a pesticide that is not approved, it is detected immediately and the produce intercepted. Most exporters have been unable to export because they fear that their produce would be rejected by the EU market. Yet, spraying to kill pests and diseases is inevitable because of the tropical climate we live in.

The government responsibility is to protect farmers and the PCB is currently working to correct the situation. We are also working with the competent existing horticultural structures to assist farmers comply with market requirements not just for the EU, but also American, Australian and Oman market that have stringent measures.

Related Content: Tips on how to get over 20Kgs/Tree from Tree-tomato farming

Other Challenges in This Sector and How They Can Be Handled

Most smallholder farmers rely on rain-fed agriculture so that when the rains fail, you get small sizes of fruits that are rejected in the export market.

Counties should support farmers by developing irrigation agriculture to ensure the quality of the produce is improved.

Role of The Horticultural Crops Directorate in Assisting Farmers Access Better Market

HCD is encouraging farmers to work in groups. They also encourage them to grow certified seedlings from nurseries licensed or registered by HCD or county governments. In addition, they also follow the contractual agreement between farmers and an exporter as a witness to ensure that they are not exploited. It is a requirement that the exporter must also have a certificate from HCD and a plant health certificate from Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service before exporting produce.

(Source, Seeds of Gold)

Related Content: How to establish grafted purple passion Fruits Orchard

Book your seedlings from us today:

 

Purple passion fruit seedling

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Take Advantage Of The Long Rains And Plant Passion Fruits

The rains are here with us once again. If you as a farmer have been thinking of becoming a great passion fruits farmer, this is the time.

Passion fruits are known to make the best juice and this makes the demand for export very high consequently making the price go high. Due to its acidity nature, passion fruit is highly recommended for juice blending. Passion fruit is commercially produced here in Kenya and is ranked third in categories of fruits exported. This is more reason farmers should establish passion fruits orchards.

There are two common species that are grown commercially in Kenya. The purple passion fruit is heavily grown in the highlands of Kenya mainly because of its flavor and aromatic taste while the yellow passion fruit is mostly grown `in the coastal region mainly for juice extraction due to its high acidity.

Now that the farmer knows where to establish the fruit farm and the two varieties that fits his location, lets learn how to make the best out of it. A light joke is made “passion fruits are like tourists”, they do well when there is enough light and sunlight. With the purple passion fruit, you can have more than three harvesting seasons and a long harvesting season for the yellow passion. This only happens if there is enough water and sunlight.

Before embarking on fruit farming, it is always right to conduct soil test and adjust if need be. Oxfarm Organic conducts soil test at very favorable prices.
I want to take you through how you establish a passion fruit orchard without much struggle and capital. I will assume you have a quarter acre of land ready to make your own orchard.

COMMON REQUIREMENTS

Requirements; you need about150-200 grafted seedlings from Oxfarm Organic Ltd. You can grow your own seedlings from seed but the disadvantages are enormous. Yellow passion fruit plants are drought resistant and are also disease resistant. So, Oxfarm organic and other modern farmers have invented a way of grafting the purple fruit with the yellow passion fruit. The purple is grafted on top of the yellow passion fruits which is used as rootstocks. Purple passion fruit is the darling of the market. One grafted seedling goes for Ksh 70 at Oxfarm Organic ltd. Since passion fruit is a climbing plant, you need two rolls of barbed wire, nails and around 240 pole to suspend the vines. The seedlings should be spaced by 3 by 2 meters and the holes filled with top soil mixed with compost manure. After all this is done and you have acquired your seedlings, it is time for transplanting.

Also Read: Hass Avocado Farmers From Central-Kenya Enjoying Export Opportunity

Passion fruit plants have deep roots and proper harrowing is necessary to ensure the roots don’t hustle with the hard pans in the soil. Your relationship with your passion fruit orchard must have commitment if you are to enjoy the fruits of the passion plant. Prune unproductive shoots and dead wood. Passion fruits tend to have whiskers like cats, called tendrils; these must be pruned to allow for free air and light penetration and reduce incidences of diseases and pest epidemics.

In four to five months if the required care is carried out, you are ready for your first harvest abnd your ¼ Acre is likely to give you 2500Kg/ha the first year and 6000kg/ha in the subsequent years. When the fields register sharp declines in the fourth and the third years, its best for the farmer to replace his fields.

Market

Passion fruits go for more than ksh 80/kg in major towns. The export market fetches further prices because it is the best. Grade one is the one that is three-quarter ripe, smooth with no bruises and of the standard size. The other grades include what is commonly found on our Kenyan markets. However, we all know the passion fruits with wrinkles are very sweet.

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“PASSION FRUIT” FARMING GUIDE

Introduction

Over the past few months, you may have heard some chatter about the immense benefits of growing passion fruit. Not surprising. Passion fruit is the third most popular fruit in Kenya after mangoes and bananas respectively, and this enterprise already boasts an area of 6000 hectares under production. Passion fruit is only growing in popularity as the hottest new gold mine, and that’s why in 2010, passion fruit made Hit Wise’s list of the top most lucrative fruit ventures in Kenya, currently sitting at #3 and beating out big names like papaya and avocados (Christopher Makomere 2017).

Growing passion fruit step by step

Passion fruit is a perennial plant that allows farmers to enjoy yields for longer periods often exceeding three years depending on management. As with most other fruits, you can intercrop passion fruit with vegetables such as leeks, onions, beetroots, spinach, strawberries and any other crop that does not share pest and diseases with the passions. Popular cultivars include purple passion fruit and yellow passion fruit. ​ The purple passion fruit (​Passiflora edulis f. edulis) Suitable for areas with an altitude of 1100 to 2500m above sea level. The fruit has an aromatic flavor with a diameter of 4-5 cm.

Yellow passion fruit is suitable for low altitudes such as coastal lowlands. It’s more hardy and vigorous as compared to the purple passion. The fruit is bigger with a diameter of 5-7 cm, relatively acidic and used for juice extraction. Of course, it’s also yellow, ha. More fundamentally, yellow passion fruit is used as a rootstalk to purple passion fruit since it’s resistant to most diseases affecting the passion fruits such as Phytophthora blight, Fusarium, wilt, brown spot, and nematodes. Yellow form – Brazilian golden, golden giant.

Soil Preparation and Planting

If you have already plowed and harrowed your soil to a fine texture. We are again assuming that you have a very clear plan of your yard depending on the size of your land. Next you need to sterilize the soil since passion fruits are very sensitive to nematodes (the more you need grafted seedlings) and other disease-causing agents such as Fusarium sp. There are several ways for you to choose from when it comes to soil sterilization 1.

  • You can use fumigation method and
  • Solarisation

 

Of course, there are many more other ways. Please feel free to use them. In this case, I am going to focus on one that is cheap, economical and efficient – Solarisation How to sterilize the soil using solarisation method ●

  • Wet the ground that you intend to grow the passions into – this ensures that the heat reaches lower horizons
  • Cover the soil entirely with a polythene paper
  • Leave it there for at least a week

Assumption: You have at least five to seven hours of sunshine a day. After this period elapses, remove the polythene and inoculate the area with the beneficial microorganism. The popular brand is the EM.1 found on amazon and shipped anywhere for free by Amazon.com. This is because solarisation kills all micro-organism (both harmful and beneficial ones).

Your soil is now safe for growing passion fruits. The best way to get good results is by growing your purple passion fruit from grafted seedlings. Yellow passion fruits serve as rootstalk. Plant the seedlings at a reasonable depth and recommended spacing for your area. While doing this, ensure that the graft union is not covered by the soil to avoid rotting. Remember to water the newly planted seedlings before you call it a day.

Crop management

After 1-2 weeks, it is expected that the seedlings have acclimatized to their new environment, and therefore, you should start seeing some remarkable changes in growth. This only marks the beginning of more work to come. And yes, it’s general crop management. Growing passion fruits require some necessities; for example, feeding, and crop protection. The most important management practices will entail;

  • Water application in the right proportions (Avoid under-watering or over-watering).
  • Application of necessary nutrients in the form of fertilizers and foliar sprays (Always conduct periodical soil analysis to determine which nutrient elements needs supplementing). – Too much or too little nutrients might injure your plants.
  • Periodical soil conditioning, for example, addition of compost and organic materials
  • Weeding – or mulching with a polythene that suppresses weeds
  • Frequent monitoring of the crop for pest and diseases and taking the necessary precautions (Use a holistic approach or Integrated Pest Management strategies to combat pest and diseases).

It is also worth noting that in case you must spray, use only recommended pesticides and observe Minimum Residue Levels (MRLs). Support and training If you’ve done all your homework up to this point, your young plants should be growing more and more vigorously. You’ll realize this when you see dense foliage and emergence of tendrils. (Tendrils are rope-like structures used by passion vines to support themselves against other objects).

Flowering

Purple Passion Fruit Tendrils are an indication that your plants need support. You can support your passion fruit seedlings by erecting poles and some strong ropes or wires. Personally, I’d go for meshed wires – they do an excellent job! Once you’ve put the support structure in place, it’s time to guide the growth of those plants along the support. In a nutshell, guiding your passion seedlings to grow in the desired way is what we call training. We don’t want the fruits lying on the ground.

Maturity and Harvesting

For most beginners, this is where the dilemma starts. How do you tell when your passion fruits have matured? How do you know when to start harvesting? You don’t have to know! Unlike other fruits that need an understanding of maturity indices, passion fruits are different. Once they attain a proper physiological maturity, they detach from the mother plant and falls on the ground. Now, all you must do is get a crate and pick them one by one. This can be done twice a day depending on their volume. Just make sure you don’t leave them too long on the ground.

Also Read: Growing Pawpaw in Kenya: Everything you need to Know

Packing and packaging

How do you present your precious produce to your consumer? The answer to this question will differentiate you from your competition. Think deeply about your brand and communicate it through your packaging. You’ve worked so hard to feed the world don’t lose the opportunity to reap big by failing to pay attention to your presentation.

Source ( Hort zone)