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Shade nets and why they are important in today’s farming

Shade nets are made from lightweight knitted polythene fabric that provides people and plants with protection from the sun. Shade cloth fabric is available in densities ranging from 50% to 90% to suit the unique needs of different types of plants, flowers and crops. It can be used with greenhouses, hoop structures and in field applications. Additional uses include fences, windscreens and privacy barriers. Shade material is rot and mildew resistant, does not become brittle and is water permeable. It offers superior ventilation, improves light diffusion and keeps greenhouses cooler. As a result, shade cloth can help to lower energy costs by reducing the need to run fans as often in the warmer months. Installing shade net is quick and easy as is taking it down during the off-peak season.

Read: Reasons Why You Should Start an Agribusiness in Kenya Today

Reflective shade and how is it beneficial in a greenhouse

Reflective shade is beneficial since it helps to create an optimum growing climate because it reflects the sun’s radiation rather than absorbing it. It assists in controlling the light, temperature and humidity balance. Reflective shade screens are also energy-saving. Excellent climate characteristics include low daytime temperature due to maximum reflection and high energy savings at night, which keeps crop temperature close to ambient.

Difference between standard shade net and reflective shade nets

Standard shade net is an affordable, extremely durable means of protecting plants and crops from direct sunlight. Shade net is placed on the exterior roof of a greenhouse, cold frame or high tunnel where it blocks a percentage of light from penetrating the building, hence keeping plants more comfortable. This type of shade material is appropriate for general gardening, farming and greenhouse applications and is widely used in the commercial farming and gardening industry.

Read: How Many Years Will It Take To Get Returns On Invested Capital Under Hass Avocado Farming

Recommended shade Net Material to use

Shade nets are of various materials and what to use depends on the type of your crop. The shade materials help in protecting plants, pets, livestock and people from direct sunlight and also works as a windscreen. Depending on the climatic conditions also, growers use 50% and 60% density in colder areas while in hotter areas, they use 70% to 80%. Many farmers find that using a high-density shade on roofs and a lower density shade on walls is a good method for creating ideal shade conditions. Farmers should check with their local Agricultural Extension office to determine the shade cloth density that is appropriate for both the climate and plant variety.

Why shade percentage is important

The density of the shade is determined by the amount of the light blocked by the shade. For instance, the definition of 80% shade is that only 20% of light passes through it. Vegetables require a shade percentage of between 30 and 50 %.

Read: How to write a business plan for your agribusiness venture/dairy farming/horticultural farming

Advantages of shade net:

  • It is easy to wash
  • Do not get Decay
  • Nets are easy to carry and easy to install
  • Easy to relocate
  • A shade percentage of 30-50% is ideal for vegetables and flowers.
  • They are ideal for gardens, plant nurseries, home terrace gardening.
  • Minimizes plant hassle and wind pressures to avoid damage to plants, enhances photosynthesis to stimulate plant growth.
  • Conserves water
  • Protects plants from pests and diseases

If you can afford green houses, think shade nets and you will save yourself a fortune.

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The Most Cost-Effective Greenhouse Which Every Farmer Can Construct

Green houses are meant to help the farmer make more money, its therefore very crucial for the farmer to know how to manage the project financially. You should be aware about what you will be expected to pay. Some suppliers will quote the price of the green house alone leaving out other essentials like water tank, drip lines and seeds; other will quote the total cost inclusive of all those packages. As a farmer who is after money you should go for the supplier who is giving a complete quote in order to avoid hidden cost and the cost of purchasing the rest of the equipment’s needed. The supplier should give the details of installation, whether they charge the installation or they give the after services for free. In case of new and inexperienced farmers consider technical support before making the final choice of the supplier. Some suppliers will offer the structure and refer you to other suppliers where you will get the materials at an affordable price.

The structure

Structure of the green house is very important this will include details like the height and the length, make sure you study the demonstration or the showroom. The type of the crop you grow will dictate the size of the greenhouse, like in the case of tomatoes there are those which grow upwards.

Details of the Farm

Factors like the size of the farm and the soil type should be considered before, most greenhouses come with water tanks, the farmer should work out ways of pumping the water to the tank, try to minimize the cost by avoiding using fuel to pump water for this will reduce the profits. The type of the soil can be reduced by using fertilizer or manure which should be added before planting, it is good to do soil testing in order to get the details of soil type, testing of soils is done by us at an affordable price.


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Management of green house is paramount. Why?

Good greenhouse management is critical for the proficiency and health of the farm. It might appear to be straightforward — put a seed in a tray with soil, include water, and voila, there are youthful plants to transplant into the field. In writing, truly, it’s as simple as that. Be that as it may, ideal air temperature and water delivery are essential for the advancement of seedlings. Additionally, hidden in the air all around us, in the water leaving a hose, and in the ground inside a greenhouse, there are numerous baffling little living things prepared to wreak destruction on youthful plants. The three most imperative nursery management practices are ideal temperature control, consistent air circulation and appropriate moisture delivery.

Optimal Temperature Control

Air and soil temperature are generally known to be critical for seed germination, yet the details for each kind of seed are so extraordinary it can be difficult to oversee. For example, solanums (tomatoes, eggplant, and so forth) require an ideal soil temperature of around 90 degrees while spinach needs an ideal soil temperature of 70 degrees. For tomatoes, if the temperature is too low, the seeds will stay lethargic; for spinach, soil temperature that is too high can cause thermo-lethargy, averting germination.

So how can one deal with the soil temperatures per specific crops? For the most part keeping up the temperature of a nursery in the 70-80 degree range is best for all crops. Appropriate ventilation and air dissemination help keep up that temperature in warm months. Making sure to open the greenhouse before it’s excessively hot and shutting it before it’s cool (to keep the warmth in) are imperative practices. In the winter months, a few people use electric or propane radiators to keep up warm temperatures. In hot atmospheres, shade fabric can be hung over a greenhouse to keep the temperature down if necessary. Overseeing soil temps for various cropss should be done using area particular warming mats to raise the soil temperature or utilizing little shade structures to keep flats cooler on your greenhouse tables.

All together for the greater part of this to work, keep in mind to use quality soil and surrounding air thermometers. On the off chance that assets are accessible, buying a framework that is programmed, where the ventilation is guided straightforwardly into your thermometer, can make life considerably less demanding. Make sure to keep monitoring your greenhouse. Greenhouses are to a great degree fastidious and the slightest changes in sunlight and wind, or technological troubles can leave your greenhouse very dry and seedlings shriveled or dead.

Air Circulation

To help keep up temperature and prevent pests of the insect or fungal kingdoms, proper air flow is urgent. A greenhouse ventilation framework ought to be comprised of low, side-wall and end-wall vents to permit cool air in, and edge vents to enable the hot air to debilitate out. Fans at the end walls and in the edge are essential to circle the air around the greenhouse and in addition make a slight  breeze easily get through the plants, keeping spores and insects from hanging out on small starts. Air circulation is also very vital in relieving abundance moistness in the greenhouse that molds and “damping off” organisms love. “Damping off” living beings are fungal pathogens.

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Proper Moisture Delivery

Maybe the most imperative piece of germinating a seed is water. For some, reasons, observing the moisture levels of your soil media is critical and the ideal moisture required for germination may not be natural. Seeds require steady moisture to germinate, however they don’t require profound watering. Seeds ought to be watered all the time sufficiently only to keep up a shallow and high moisture content in the upper part of the soil media where the seed lies. Permitting the extremely top soils to dry down once in a while is critical in forestalling soil borne pathogens.

Once the seed has sprouted and developed, it is critical to start incorporating a consistent wet-dry swing in your media to both advance dry season resilience for their opportunity in the field and avert “damping off” organisms from growing. As discussed, “damping off” organisms are fungal pathogens that occupy the soil surface of your seedling flass and trays frequently shaping a green hard covering. These living organisms can influence the stems of seedlings to decay and the plants at last die.

The depth of the watering is also an incredibly important aspect of moisture management practices in the greenhouse. Once the seedlings begin to grow, the deeper their roots are. Incorporating longer and deeper waterings less frequently gives the plants the needed wet-dry swing (especially on the soil surface) but also promotes good root growth and drought tolerance.

Utilizing these ideal practices will give you beautiful seedlings that will have a greater success rate in the field.

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How profitable is tomato farming in a green house?

Greenhouse tomato farming in Kenya has caused a huge increase in tomato production. Most tomato farmers in Kenya exercise small scale greenhouse farming of popular greenhouse tomato types inclusive of Anna F1. You could make easy money in Kenya through greenhouse farming of tomato.

Growing plant life in a greenhouse permits for less complicated implementation of appropriate agronomic practices and decreases tomato production prices. Capsicum and onions are the other crops in Kenya that are generally grown in a greenhouse. With nearly all sorts, greenhouse tomato farming is greater worthwhile than growing tomatoes in an open field.

It is easier to control the temperature in a greenhouse and much less water is used when the suitable irrigation method is used. Most Kenyan farmers use drip irrigation for their greenhouses. Excess nutrients in a tomato farm will lead to immoderate weed boom on the expense of tomato growth, leading to smaller and lighter fruits, and hollow tomatoes that perish quickly.

Farmers are recommended to deliver liquid fertilizers with the drip irrigation kits to keep away from giving their tomatoes extra nutrients. Tomatoes are a popular vegetable and are continually in high demand

It takes a shorter duration —  months — for greenhouse-produced tomatoes to mature, while it takes no less than three months with outdoor farming.

Advantages of Green Houses

Due to controlled irrigation and temperatures, the tomatoes sports a continuous output of flowers and fruits, all at different levels.

One plant has a potential of up to 15 kg at the start of the harvest, going as much as 60 kg by the point it has completed its full cycle — recommended at 365 days.

Assuming you have 2000 plants each gives you 60kg per year, that is 120,000 Kgs of tomato. If at the gate you sell at KSh 30, then you can get at least KSh 3, 600, 000 annually. That translates to KSh 120, 000 each month.

The plant vines are supported inside the greenhouse with sticks and strings, developing as much as 5 meters high. If properly looked after, the minimal plot of land under greenhouse production can yield up to 25,000 tonnes of tomatoes.

Tomatoes are usually very vulnerable to diseases requiring heavy application of insecticides but under the greenhouse growing strategies, which come with simple training on hygiene, most of common infections are without difficulty kept at bay. Also stored at bay are bugs and other pests regarded to invade the crop as well as weeds.

Apart from big savings on crop safety chemicals, which constitute a big part of production expenses, much less labor is needed in a greenhouse, whilst exposure to chemical toxins related to application is minimized or eliminated altogether. It is also exact for the environment.

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