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 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 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 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.
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.
How huge is the potential for the fruits farming and export business in Kenya? You’re about to find out…
As millions of people around the world look for healthier and organic foods, fruits are growing in demand both locally and globally.
Apart from the millions of fruits that we eat at home in Kenya, many of us do not notice the huge volumes of bananas, avocados, pineapples, mangoes and several other tropical fruit varieties that are shipped to Europe, the Middle East and USA every week!
Kenya has a unique advantage to profit from this very lucrative market for tropical fruits which grow abundantly on our continent.
Why is the market potential for tropical fruits huge for Kenya?
In line with our tradition on Small starter, it’s important to us that our readers understand the market forces and economic opportunities behind every business opportunity we share.
Our research has identified three strong reasons why Africa’s future in the tropical fruits business is shining very bright.
Africa has a strong geographic advantage
More than 70 percent of fruits consumed on earth come from the tropics, which is why they’re called ‘tropical fruits’.
A very large portion of our dear continent is located in the tropics – a region that enjoys all-year-round sunlight and has a perfect climate for fruits to thrive and grow abundantly.
As a result, Africa remains one of the world’s largest producers of some of the most popular fruits on the planet – citrus, pineapples, bananas and many others.
Despite our continent’s huge potential to produce fruits for the world, a lot of fruits grown in Kenya are consumed locally.
Because fruits are highly perishable (spoil very quickly) and many farmers have little access to good storage facilities, Kenya currently exports less than 5 percent of the fruits it produces every year.
Due to the revelations by modern science about the health benefits of eating fruits and, millions of people around the world (especially in developed countries) now include some form of fruit in their daily diets.
Apart from their rich nutrient, mineral and vitamin content, fruits are now known to lower blood pressure; reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, and probably some cancers; and help to lower the risk of eye and digestive system problems.
The growing consciousness in Western countries to adopt fruit-rich diets is one of the major drivers of the growing demand for tropical fruits which are abundant in Africa. As a result, countries like Ghana, South Africa, Ivory Coast and Kenya earn millions of dollars every year from fruit exports to Europe, the Middle East and USA.
According to the World Health Organisation, millions of people around the world still die prematurely from diseases associated with low fruit consumption. While this is sad, it signals a promising and lucrative growth in the demand for African tropical fruits now and in the future as more people add fruits to their diets.
A rapidly growing fruits juice industry
This rapid growth is driven by a rising preference by customers for healthy drinks (like fruit juices) over soft drinks (such as carbonated drinks – like Coke and Pepsi). There is also a rising demand for organic, super fruit and 100 percent natural fruit juices without any sweeteners and preservatives.
This means that in the very near future, producers will require more raw fruits to make a glass of juice.
As more manufacturers shop for fruits to produce more juice to serve the growing demand, Africa will become a huge supplier due to the abundance of fruits that grow on the continent. This added demand from fruit juice manufacturers is allowing farmers across Africa to process their harvested fruits into less perishable concentrates thereby reducing spoilage and earning them more money.
Make an effort today by calling us. We have all types of tree fruits. Book Now!
Hass Avocado is the new goldmine for modern farmers. Ever thought why county governments are insisting on Hass-Avocado farming?
Most of you must by now know that many county governments are encouraging farmers to plant avocados. This is so because hass-avocado does not require much labor and time to maintain. In addition, demand for avocado is extremely high and we just can’t satisfy the current local demand and in European countries.
Before the market was regulated, farmers used to sell a fruit for as low as Sh1. Now they sell one for Sh8. Hass-avocado exporters sell the fruit for as high as KSh 30. Just last year farmers in Murang’a county earned Sh500 million from hass-avocados according to Governor Mwangi Wa-Iria. Hass avocado investment is bigger than coffee. One properly watered tree of hass avocado can give you 1,000 fruits a year, which comes to Sh8,000.
Avocados’ nutritional health benefit is also a factor that is boosting its demand. People around the world have the knowledge on its health benefits and wide variety of its uses. Guacamole food, with avocado as its main ingredient is very popular especially in America, greatly increases avocado consumption and importation
Which are the Suitable Counties that Hass-Avocado Be Planted in Kenya?
Kenya is one of the few countries that enjoys equatorial climate. Most counties in Kenya receive a minimum of two rainy season. Avocados are highly adapted to different rainfall conditions; however, the rain should be an average of 1,000–1,600mm per annum and well-distributed throughout the year.
Irrigation is essential where rainfall is not adequate. Although an avocado tree cannot tolerate wet soil, it needs at least 25mm of water every week during periods of insufficient rainfall such as in eastern Kenya.
Too much rain during flowering leads to shedding of flowers resulting in significant reduction in production. Fungal diseases also normally become problematic in very wet weather. A short period of dry weather of up to two months usually triggers flowering especially in tropical climates not subject to marked falls in temperature. The avocado tree needs high relative humidity at flowering (70-80 per cent), then moderate levels during the fruit swelling stage. Too much humidity encourages the proliferation of pests and diseases such as thrips, scales, cercospora spot, scab and anthracnose.
Counties in central Kenya, Eastern, Central rift valley, Lower Nyanza and all western Kenya counties have the best climatic conditions for hass-Avocado cultivation. In Eastern Kenya, avocadoes do well in certain pockets such as Kang’undo, Mua Hills, Kathiani (Iveti hills), parts of Mbooni, all in Machakos County, and the high potential areas of the larger Embu and Meru counties.
In Kenya, avocado is one of the most consumed fruits that is readily available in the market all year round. Going by the latest HCDA statistics, avocado has a fair share among the leading export crops and Kenya stands out as a major player in the avocado export market. Locally avocado is sold at the market place from between Kshs10 to KSh 50 depending on the size and quality. Avocado trees are very productive and can fruit all year round. At maximum production, a single mature tree can produce 70 to 100 kg of fruits per year. Kenya has witnessed a sharp increase in the number of countries interested in Kenya avocados, these counties are, Russia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Belgium, Germany, Netherlands, France, Spain, Iran, Libya, and Egypt among others
For those of you who might not have the greenest of thumbs, here may be a good productive plant for you to start growing, tree-tomato. Learn more now!
The tree-tomato, typically referred to as the tamarillo, may be a member of tomato family, that additionally includes different staples like regular eggplants, capsicums and potatoes.
It isn’t all that acknowledged here in Kenya. However, if you raise a relative or friend from Central Kenya, they’ll presently need to be your best buddy after they hear you have got a tree that is roofed with these delicious fruits. Firstly, they originated from South and Central America. Tamarillos were introduced to Kenya by Asia back within the late 1800’s.
The Tree-tomato may be a quick growing, however short lived tiny tree, lasting solely five to seven years. However, fruit are often expected in eighteen months from planting. You don’t get a lot of quicker results than that once it involves perennial plants. For a longer-lived tree (approximately fifteen years) grow a grafted tree-tomato.
When planting tree-tomato, it’s vital to understand that they’re a shallow non-moving. Choosing for a sunny spot that has some protection against hot wind and smart clearing is crucial. If you reside in a frosty space that drops below -3ºC, think about putting a lightweight cowl over your tree in winter time. If there’s any injury to the soft fleshy growth, simply tip out these shoots and your tree can recover easily. Tamarillos may also be fully grown in giant pots. Expect your tree-tomato to induce roughly 2-3 metres tall and 1-2 meters wide. Lop seed plant fully grown plants at the 1m tall stage, as they have some encouragement to grow bushy.
We all realize that fruits have lots of health edges, however growing them in your farm provides several benefits. Not solely you’re assured of a constant offer of recent fruits, however tending to them right in your own farm adds physical activity to your daily routine. Additionally, growing them, yourself can provide you with additional management over that fertilizers and pesticides that are applied – or not applied – to those fruits. However, lots of householders realize growing fruits is discouraging. We believe that the exercise needs excessive amount of attention, time, and space. and the very fact is that growing fruit reception isn’t as tough as everybody may suppose.
If you intend on moving a longtime flowering tree or fruit plant or planting a vacant root or potted tree, make sure you dig a hole doubly as wide and doubly as deep. Back fill the opening with loose soil and a layer of compost. If any of the roots are broken, take them away before planting. Keep the extent of soil at a similar level as it was in the nursery. Produce a depression around the base of the tree to allow the water to filter down onto the roots rather than running off into the encircling soil or land. The soil can settle and you’ll be ready to see wherever you would like to add more soil. Don’t over water within the rainy months.
Throughout the primary sunny season, you’ll be required to water the plant once per week if there is rain fall. Even within the highlands areas of Kenya, you’ll still wish to follow the rule of watering deeply once per week with a recently planted tree.
Picking Your style of Fruit
An important issue to recollect once planting your flowering trees is to make sure you either decide a pollination fruit tree otherwise you will be required to purchase 2 varieties that may fertilize. A crab apple will fertilize most fruit tree varieties because it blooms for an extended amount of time than an everyday apple, permitting it to fertilize early, mid, and late season apples. You’ll be able to conjointly purchase “fruit cocktail” trees, wherever many varieties are grafted onto one stock. although a fruit selection is pollination, you’ll get a bigger harvest if a cross-pollinator is near.
Best Fruits to Plant These Days
One shrub big in sensible fertile soil will bear additional fruits than a median family will eat for three months. The fruits are consumed recent by scooping the flesh from halved items. For alternative uses the skin should be removed that is well done by gushing boiling water over the fruits and material possession four minutes before peeling. The shrub flesh is more to stews to form distinctive flavor. The shrub fruits are tasty and ornamental in salads creating savory desserts.
Fresh shrub is usually integrated with sugar and water to form refreshing juice. The fruits shouldn’t be cut on wood or alternative leaky surface because the juice can build an ineradicable mark. The shrub plants are tiny appealing, woody and evergreen. The leaves are alternate and evergreen with a heart formed base and a pointed apex. The shrub plants are brittle and shallow frozen growing to a height of 3M to 5.5M. The fruits are long pedunculate and support, in clusters of three to twelve swish, egg formed and pointed at each end. The color is also deep purple, blood red, orange or yellow.
Although grape vines aren’t exhausting to grow, you’ll face stiff competition at time of year, from birds and alternative animals. Grapes would like some style of trellis or support to grow on. There are lots of recommendations of a way to prune them, however many folks grow them quite with success with a way additional casual approach. Refer to Oxfarm for the most effective varieties for your space and make sure you select the sort you’re yearning for, either recent ingestion or wine grapes.
A well-established fruit tree could be a real quality, And there’s an apple to suit each size of garden. select your apple rigorously to fit your tastes and the size of your garden. If your farm permits then select 2 varieties that may fertilize each other. In smaller gardens attempt growing fruit trees in tubs. A dwarf Family Apple has three completely different varieties on a similar tree – simply good for a instrumentation on the area. Or if you fancy one thing extremely completely different then a step-over fruit tree can produce a true talking point!
Apple trees solely do not give the impression of being stunning and supply shade, they’ll conjointly give twenty-five years or additional of fruit for you and your family. Fruit that may build some superb homemade merchandise, like applesauce, conserve, apple pie. And that’s not even numeration the easy pleasure of biting into a crisp ripe apple plucked straight from the tree!
A lot of parents withdraw from planting apple trees in their yards, thinking they grow too huge or take an excessive amount of care. However, with several dwarf and semi-dwarf varieties, you’ll be able to match some apple trees within the tightest of areas.
Peach trees tend to be sufficiently little to suit in any size curtilage. Once the peaches are ripening, you’ll be able to smell their sweetness many yards away. they are doing need some pruning, to stay the branches productive and accessible, and a little of cutting the young fruits, so you get a smaller crop of enormous items, instead of a significant crop of small peaches.
With the year virtually coming back to an end let’s take a glance on ways that to form cash out of pawpaw. If you’re thinking of beginning an orchard and you don’t have a thought, pawpaw fruit is additionally a decent begin. Pawpaw could be a fruit enclosed by lots of thought and plenty of farmers shun from it. Botanically, the pawpaw could be a giant herb, while not wood tissue, thereafter it’s not a tree. It’s a bent to be dioecian, which means that male and feminine flowers don’t grow on a similar plant. Therefore, the plant is either male or feminine. Male plants are fully unproductive however are required for cross-pollination, at the speed of concerning one male plant to twenty feminine plants (the cross-pollination is finished by insects and to a lesser extent, by wind and birds). Today, let’s take all plant a pawpaw and that we can notice however we are able to profit each financially and health wise.
Grafted Purple Passion fruit
Passion fruit is an evergreen, flowering tracheophyte that originated from Brazil that climbs by tendrils. Its height and unfold varies looking on the structure it climbs on. Passion fruits were introduced within the Twenties in Kenya for business growing. There are many species and varieties, of that the purple passion fruit (Passiflora edulis power unit edulis) has the most important business potential. Most of the fruits are processed, however it’s conjointly consumed recent. The yellow passion is analogous to the purple passion, however is additional vigorous, additional tailored to tropical lowlands and additional drought resistant. The fruit pulp is incredibly aromatic however rather acidic. The common fruit is slightly larger and turns from inexperienced to yellow at maturity. Ripe fruits drop from the tracheophyte. The purple passion is grafted with the yellow passion to allow it handle harsh weather conditions.
For these fruit seedlings, contact us or visit our offices.
The short 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.
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 3 feet 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.
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.
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.
Grafted Tree tomato is a fast-growing tree that grows up to 2-5 meters. The tree usually forms a single upright trunk with lateral branches. We graft our tree with ‘muthakwa’ for several reasons.
Resistant to Nematodes.
Higher life span.
CLIMATE, SOIL REQUIREMENT & GROWTH
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 25 °C. It is intolerant to frost (below -2 °C) and drought stress. Tree tomato plants grow best in light, deep, fertile soils, however, soils must be permeable since the plants are not tolerant to water-logging. They grow well on soils with a pH of 5 to 7.5.
Land, Manure, Grafted seedlings, Irrigation system, Labour, Pest and Diseases control,
At a good spacing an acre can accommodate 1200 – 1500 plants.
Require a recommended spacing measuring 6ft by 6ft, then dig dip holes measuring 2ft by 2ft this helps in roots penetration and also to be able to accommodate enough manure.
Add a bucket of well rotten manure into per hole and mix well with top soil.
Plant your grafted seedlings by first ensuring you have watered your soil well or plant during rainy season. Add mulching to every stem of your plants.
In case of a dry season apply irrigation either drip irrigation or bucket irrigation.
For those that need to grow organically consult your agronomist about organic farming.
For conventional farming apply NPK fertilizer after two weeks of planting this will ensure faster growth and root development.
Protect you plant from pest and diseases from early stages by splaying at a good interval depending with the rate of infestation with pesticides and fungicides both protective and curing ones.
During entire growth season apply CAN fertilizer three times.
Splay your plants with foliar feed to ensure faster and stronger plants and also during flowering to boost more flowers and ensure they do not drop.
PEST AND DISEASES
Tree tomato is fairly resistant to most diseases and pests. However, the tree is prone to powdery mildew, which causes the leaves to fall off. Application of copper oxychloride (allowed in organic farming) can control the disease. The main pests that attack the tree include the aphids, thrips, whiteflies and nematodes (grafted tree tomato is best in control of nematodes).
We buy all the fruits from our Farmers both for export (organically grown) and for local market and for value addition. We have never satisfied even a fraction of the local market. Our main buyers for local market are Super markets, Marigiti and Githurai in Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu and Eldoret. We buy from all comers of our country.
COST AND RETURNS ESTIMATES OF PLANTING TREE TOMATO IN ONE ACRE LAND
PLANT POPULATION 1200 PLANTS
Preparation of land (digging ,fallowing) to attain fine tillage
Buying of seedlings from reputable dealers @100 each
Digging of holes 2ft by 2ft @10 each
Buying and application of manure per hole @30 per bucket
Planting, mulching of seedlings
Fertilizer for the entire season
Chemicals for the entire season
Water expenses (for irrigation)
Management and miscellaneous.
Expected average output 20-50kg per tree Ksh @80 for the first one year
Unit Cost and return of growing grafted tree tomato.
One of the best investment we have ever done is Farming tree tomato, it was not a smooth journey to master this type of farming, and we encountered failures like not planting the hybrid varieties, and also planting non grafted plants that survived only for one season then withered. Our success story have lead us to be featured in local TV and Radio programs also in Newspapers. We came to a conclusion that we needed to ensure the success of our farmers interested in commercial tree tomato farming. We ensure we remove barriers that hinder successful tree tomato farming like enlightening our customers on.
Type of manure to use.
Why and how to use drip system in your farm.
How to control pest and diseases.
Management of the farm.
Management of the farms.
We do visit farms in any part of Kenya to advice farmers on what’s suitable on their farms depending on their area. Apart from tree tomato we grow other types of fruit trees like passion fruits, Hass avocado, Macadamia, Oranges, Apples etc. We also do manage the farms on behalf of our customers. We deliver seedlings and fruits in any part of the country. Contact us and be part of the community that believe money grows on trees.
Watch the following video on tree tomato farming (Kikuyu version)
There are very few farmers who grow tree tomatoes for the market. Tree tomatoes are easy to grow, resistant to diseases and in great demand. Tree tomato is a small, half woody plant with shallow roots. It grows to an average height of 3.5 – 5.0 m depending on the variety.
It produces an egg-shaped oval fruit. The fruit tree prefers well-drained soils and grows best in climates with long hours of sunlight. In hot and dry climates, the trees may require shade to maintain adequate moisture in the soil.
The tree tomato does not tolerate tightly compacted soil since it needs well-aerated soil. The soil must be fertile and light in texture and rich in organic matter. Good drainage is necessary since water logged soils can kill the plants. Tree tomatoes cannot survive in areas with prolonged drought. They must have ample water during the dry season.
The best way to retain moisture in a tree tomato plantation is to apply mulch, which also reduces weed growth. At fruit bearing stage, tree tomatoes need support to prevent branches from breaking off when laden with fruits. The trees can easily be blown over by the wind as they are shallow rooted.
Propagation: Tree tomatoes can be grown from seeds or cuttings. Seeds produce trees with more branches that are erect tree and ideal for sheltered locations. Cuttings develop into shorter bushy plants with low-lying branches, suitable for growing in areas prone to wind or areas without protection from wind. Transplanting can be done at 6 weeks.
Planting: Dig holes measuring by feet, put the top soil on one side and the subsoil on the other. The distance from one plant to the next should be 4 feet and space between one row and the next should be 5 feet. Mix one and a half wheelbarrow of well-prepared compost (chickens and pig manure are preferred) with two spadefuls of topsoil to plant the seedlings. Leave a shallow depression in every plant for placing the mulching material – only 1 feet of the tree tomato seedling should be buried while planting just enough to cover the root hairs. Selection of planting site is very important; tree tomatoes do well when planted on land that has not had any crop for two or three seasons. An acre can accommodate about 1200 trees.
Fertilization: To maintain a healthy growth, tree tomatoes require continuous fertilization. Mix farmyard manure with water and apply as slurry and apply in the shallow depression around the plant once every two months.
Disease and pest control: Tree tomato is fairly resistant to most diseases and pests. However, the tree is prone to powdery mildew, which causes the leaves to fall off. Application of copper oxychloride (allowed in organic farming) can control the disease. Neem extracts can also be used to control the disease. The main pests that attack the tree include the aphids, thrips whiteflies and nematodes. Pests can be prevented by continuous application of plant extracts (chilies, African marigold, garlic, neem) at least three times a week. Good field sanitation also controls pests and diseases.
Seedlings are pruned back the first year after planting to a height of 3 to 4 feet (0.9- 1.2m) to encourage branching. In plantations, tree tomatoes reach a height of not more than 1.50m. Annual pruning thereafter is advisable to eliminate branches that are no longer fruiting. New shoots close to the main branches should be allowed to grow so that the tree does not develop a broad top with fruits on the outer edges, which are prone to wind damage.
Varieties: The main varieties grown in Kenya are the Goldmine, Inca red, Rothamer, Solid gold and Ruby red. New varieties being introduced into the country give better yields and a shorter growing period. With grafted tree tomato one can achieve even a higher production.
Yield: New varieties can produce up to 800 fruits per tree every year under good management. The current price for one fruit is Ksh.10.