Sukumawiki farming in Kenya comprehensive guide

This is the Sukumawiki farming in Kenya comprehensive guide to enable you start and grow your Sukumawiki for domestic or commercial purposes. Sukumawiki in other words known as Kale is a common vegetable grown in Kenya. It is common because it is mainly served with the staple food ugali. Sukumawiki is a green vegetable with wide leaves. Before venturing into Sukumawiki farming in Kenya there are a variety of questions you have asked yourselves, we intend to guide you on Sukumawiki farming and answer all these questions here.

  • How long does it take for Sukumawiki to grow?
  • Which is the best fertilizer for Sukumawiki?
  • How to grow Sukumawiki in Kenya?
  • How profitable is Sukumawiki farming in Kenya
  • How long does it take for Sukumawiki seedlings to germinate?
  • Sukumawiki market in Kenya
  • Sukumawiki seeds prices in Kenya
  • Sukumawiki diseases

HOW TO GROW SUKUMAWIKI IN KENYA

Sukuma wiki vegetable requires well-drained fertile soil high in organic matter and soil with PH of 6.0 to 7.0. It is also important to note that Sukuma wiki can tolerate slightly alkaline soil. Nearly every household in Kenya consume Sukumawiki as a vegetable hence raising the market demand for this kind of vegetable. There are various varieties of Sukumawiki grown in Kenya listed below

  • Mfalme F1 Sukumawiki: This is produced by East Africa seed company, it is less acidic type which tolerates pest and diseases its harvesting period is normally 40 to 50 days
  • Thousand headed Sukumawiki: this is a Sukumawiki variety which has smaller leaves and have a very lengthy harvesting period
  • Sukumawiki hybrid: this variety on maturity yields soft curly leaves with a very nice flavor
  • Collard southern Georgia Sukumawiki; It is a Sukumawiki variety with A very high tolerance to heat

PLANTING

Sukuma wiki is first sown in nursery beds before transplanting. Nursery beds for Sukuma wiki are created by raising soil and creating Furrow like lines to sow seeds which are then covered with thin soil. The nursery bed should be properly taken care of by watering twice daily and mulching is also preferred to conserve the moisture on soil.

For about a period of four to five weeks when the seedlings have produced true leaves, transplanting can be done to the actual planting field or land. The land to be transplanted to should be ploughed and harrowed so as to bring the soil to fine tilt and to avoid hardpans which may hinder the growth of Sukumawiki roots and the plant development

On the land where the kales or Sukumawiki are to be transplanted dig holes to a spacing of 30 by 30 cm in uniform rows and columns. You should allow spacing between rows that one can pass when handling the Sukumawiki plants. On those holes add farmyard manure while mixing it with soil. When planting in the rainy season go on with transplanting the Sukumawiki seedling one in each hole then cover it firmly with soil.

In a period of minimal or low rainfall, transplant the seedlings at the evening period and after application of manure add water in each hole while you repeat the same step of planting mentioned above.

After transplanting your Sukumawiki on the farm regular farming practices continues for a period of about two weeks when the vegetables have adapted. These farm practices include;

Mulching: This is done by adding materials such as grass waste beneath the soil to ensure the kale plant conserve moisture and also the weeds are suppressed.

Irrigation: this is done by application of water to the plants mainly in the evening to ensure frequent and adequate moisture supply to the kale plant.

Weeding: this is done by uprooting unwanted plants that grows with the Sukumawiki to ensure that pest and diseases are prevented and also competition for nutrients with plants are reduced and discouraged.

HARVESTING OF SUKUMAWIKI
after around 4 weeks of transplanting your Sukumawiki vegetables with proper care you will have noticed that your kales have attained maturity. This is when the leaves have grown rapidly. You can now harvest your Sukumawiki by manually picking using your thumb. Keep in mind that it is important to only harvest the outer leaves so that the inner leaves can continue to grow and allow you to continue harvesting your crops.

MARKET

High demand for Sukumawiki vegetable has provided ready market for this kind of vegetables. Sukumawiki can be sold in;

  • Open air market
  • Hotels and schools
  • Groceries and supermarket
  • Consumers market

Sukumawiki can yield up to 8000kgs per acre if you follow the well laid guidelines on this site

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ON SUKUMAWIKI FARMING IN KENYA

  • How long does it take for Sukumawiki to grow?

After around 4 weeks of transplanting your Sukumawiki vegetables, with proper care you will have noticed that your kales have attained maturity. This is when the leaves have grown rapidly. You can now harvest your Sukumawiki by manually picking using your thumb. Keep in mind that it is important to only harvest the outer leaves so that the inner leaves can continue to grow and allow you to continue harvesting your crops.

  • Which is the best fertilizer for Sukumawiki?

Sukumawiki as a vegetable is not a complicated plant to grow and with necessary organic farmyard manure you can use to successfully manage the nutritional value of your soil, if you can’t access this I highly recommend you to use DAP fertilizer

  • How long does it take for Sukumawiki seedlings to germinate?

Sukumawiki germinates very faster as seeds but for about a period of four to five weeks when the seedlings have produced true leaves, transplanting can be done to the actual planting field or land

  • Sukumawiki seeds prices in Kenya

COLLARD SUKUMA WIKI by (Simlaw select) is a collard variety with leaves that are tasty, tender, mild & juicy. It is a vigorous and hardy variety. It is relatively tolerant to adverse weather & soil conditions. It is a non-heading type that grows 2-3 feet & bolts slowly and tolerates heat and poor/sandy soils. It matures in 45 days you can get 10 grams from any agro store at 150 kshs

  • Sukumawiki diseases

Diseases affecting Sukumawiki include

  • Powdery mildew: When this kale disease attacks a plant, the underside of the leaves develops small whitish grey patches
  • Pythium Root Rot Disease: The seedlings develop water-soaked spots on their tender roots
  • Black Rot Disease: Sukumawiki develops black spots on the stem of the plant.
  • Leaf spots
  • Damping off
  • Downy mildew

These diseases can be controlled by application of necessary pesticides and insecticides.

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