how to grow courgettes in Kenya

This is the full guide with all information on how to grow courgettes in Kenya. Whether you want to start courgettes farming or you are a courgette farmer this blog post will help you improve on your farming. Some of the main questions asked on courgette farming in Kenya include;

  • Areas where Courgette farming is done in Kenya?
  • How many kilograms of courgettes can one acre of land produce?
  • How to start a courgette farm
  • How profitable is courgette farming in Kenya
  • Courgettes  pests and diseases in Kenya
  • What is the best fertilizer for courgettes farming?
  • Which is the best month for growing courgettes
  • How long does it take for courgettes  to mature
  • Courgette seed rate per acre in Kenya
  • What is the market for courgettes  in Kenya
  • Courgette varieties in Kenya

HOW TO GROW COURGETTES IN KENYA

Courgette or Zucchini is a green fleshy vegetable grown mainly for sale or for subsistence consumption. Some of the health benefits of courgette consumption include;

  • Zucchini or courgettes is rich in vitamins and nutrients
  • Zucchini is rich in antioxidants which are beneficial plant compounds
  • Zucchini contributes in healthy digestion because it contains soluble and insoluble fiber
  • Zucchini helps lower blood sugar levels
  • Zucchini helps improve heart health

For more health benefits of zucchini visit the health line website

ECOLOGICAL REQUIREMENTS OF COURGETTES

There are many varieties of courgettes grown in Kenya the main varieties of courgettes include Ambassador F1, Simba F1, Black beauty, Cera F1 and Green Zucchini, among others.

Courgettes are easy to grow and the climatic conditions include a temperature of 15-22 degrees Celsius, water supply of 800mm during the vegetative growth period. However irrigation can be used to supplement in areas with dry conditions, Zucchini requires an altitude of 500-2000m above sea level and a well-drained fertile soil.

PLANTING

Courgettes are always easy to plant and are grown from seeds. You can choose to plant on seed bed then transplant on 3-4 leaf stage

Seedlings are planted on a well ploughed and harrowed land free from weeds, organic fertilizers are preferred fertilizers.

On the land to be planted, Create mounds of about 10 inches high, up to 2 feet in diameter. The spacing between mounds should be about 4 feet apart. You can plant six seeds per mount. Ensure even spacing. Cover the seeds with loose soil.  

Courgettes does not tolerate humidity it is therefore important to transplant in full sun

Regular farm practices for courgette farm continue throughout the growth period these practices include;

Weeding: this is the removal of unwanted plants on the area where you may have grown your courgettes. Weeds harm the proper growth of the courgettes

Mulching; the courgettes should be mulched to retain soil moisture and keep the fruits clean. When decomposed, the mulch releases nutrients into the soil which are absorbed by the courgettes

Watering/Irrigation; the courgette soil should be kept moderately moist throughout, and more when the plants are in flowering and fruiting stages.

Monitoring: this is done by frequently checking for pest and diseases. Some pests may invest in courgettes making it necessary for integration of pest management practices

Some of the pests and diseases affecting courgettes farming include

PESTS

  • Cut worms
  • Fruit flies
  • Aphids
  • Red spider mites
  • Leaf miners
  • Epilachna beetles

DISEASES

  • Damping off
  • Anthracnose
  • Downy mildew
  • Powdery mildew
  • Mosaic

HARVESTING OF COURGETTES

Courgettes mature at 2 to 2 and half months harvesting can begin at this period and continues up to 3 to 4 months. Harvesting is done by cutting the fruits that are 10-20cm long. A short peduncle is left on the fruit. Regular picking 3 times a week is advised to encourage production of new fruits. Courgettes can be eaten fresh or stored for few days on the fridge.

COURGETTE MARKET IN KENYA
Courgettes can be exported to oversee markets or sold locally in markets, supermarkets and institutions

The average yields of Zucchini in Kenya according to production is squashes of up to 400 to 1500 kg/ha

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