This is How to grow managu African nightshade full guide to enable you start and grow your managu farm. Whether for commercial or domestic purpose, we intend to answer all the questions regarding managu farming in Kenya in this guide. Narrow-leaved African nightshades, also called managu in Swahili, is widely distributed throughout the tropics and can be found throughout East Africa. Before venturing into managu farming in Kenya there are some of the questions you usually ask yourself some of these questions regarding managu farming include:
- How profitable is managu farming in Kenya?
- How long does managu take to mature?
- Does managu grow back after cutting?
- How do you trim managu or harvest managu so that it keeps growing?
- What is the best fertilizer for managu
- What diseases affect managu vegetables?
- managu yield per acre in Kenya
- How to grow managu
HOW TO PLANT AFRICAN NIGHTSHADE
The seed rate for the African nightshade (Managu) is 50g per acre. ensure you purchase only certified seeds planting can be done by preparing a nursery bed first or simply planting directly on a well prepared field. Nursery preparation: Loosen the nursery soil and apply well-decomposed manure or DAP, making sure that the manure is well incorporated into the soil. Make drills that are 10 to 20 centimeters apart, where you will then sow the seeds and cover them lightly with soil. You may also choose to raise the nursery bed to aid in loosening the soil. The size of the nursery bed will depend on the amount of African nightshade you want to plant.
Regulars farm practices of the nursery bed which include watering once daily especially at the evenings, weeding and thinning continues. The African Nightshade seedlings will be ready for transplanting 30 days after seeding or when they have 5 to 6 true leaves and a height of between 10 to 15 centimeters.
The land where the vegetable is to be transplanted should be ready , fertile and free from weeds if the area is not that fertile, Phosphorus fertilizer should be applied in the form of DSP at the rate of 75 kgs per acre. In the field to be transplanted, Plant the seeds in the already prepared rows of 30 cm apart, with the spacing between the plants being 15cm. ensure you uproot the seedlings from the nursery after application of water to ensure softening of the soil and to avoid loosing roots in the hard soil.
After transplanting, your African night shade seedlings 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 African nightshade 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 managu vegetable although this vegetable is drought resistant its important to grow with enough moisture to increase productivity
Weeding: this is done by uprooting unwanted plants that grows with the African nightshade to ensure that pest and diseases are prevented and also competition for nutrients with plants are reduced and discouraged.
collards, cabbages, broccoli are the best intercropping partners for African Nightshade. Research in Egerton University, Kenya has shown that intercropping crops from the nightshade family increase the leaf yield of kales (Sukuma Wiki).
PESTS AND DISEASES AFFECTING AFRICAN NIGHTSHADE
Aphids are a major pest, causing leaves to curl and become unattractive to customers. Aphids feed by sucking plant sap. Small aphid populations may be relatively harmless, but heavily infested plants usually have wrinkled leaves, stunted growth and deformed pods. Plants, in particular young plants, may dry out and die under heavy aphid attack. Heavy attack on older plants may cause crop loss by decreasing flower and seed production. Damage may also reduce seed viability.
The plant’s leaves and growth tips are susceptible to mites (very small, sucking arthropods) that result in twisted growth and low productivity. Generally, spider mites feeding may cause reduction in plant growth, flowering, number and length of berries, and number of seeds per berry. Damage is most severe when mites attack young plants. Mite damage may be particularly severe during the dry season.
Leaf spots of early blight are circular, up to 1 cm in brown, and often show a circular pattern which distinguishes this disease from other leaf spots. Early blight thrives best under warm wet conditions. Leaf spots first appear on the oldest leaves and progress upward on the plant. Entire plant could be defoliated and killed. Controlling early blight once it has established is very difficult. The most important way of controlling early blight is attempting to prevent its establishment and further spread.
Both organic and inorganic pesticides can be used to control pests and diseases on your managu vegetables, seek advice from an agriculture extension worker on pest and disease identification and management.
HARVESTING OF AFRICAN NIGHTSHADE
African nightshade is ready for harvesting starting from 4 weeks after transplanting. The stems are cut approximately 15 cm above the ground. This allows new side shoots to develop. Picking is done at weekly intervals. Picking should be done very early in the morning and the produce sold the same day. Alternatively, the managu crop can be harvested late in the afternoon and placed on banana leaves. These should be tied in small bundles. The flowers should be removed before the crop is taken to market. Water these bundles sparingly to retain freshness of the crop. This method of harvesting is the most preferred as it gives the farmer continual produce for 3 to 4 months. Remove the flowers regularly to ensure the managu plant continues to produce more leaves, instead of focusing its resources on developing the fruits.
MARKET FOR AFRICAN NIGHTSHADE
High demand for African Nightshade vegetable has provided ready market for this kind of vegetable. It is important to note that this crop is highly perishable vegetable harvesting should be done with ready market or likewise, refrigeration can be done by placing stems on cold water to keep them fresh. Managu can be sold in;
- Open air market
- Hotels and schools
- Groceries and supermarket
- Consumers market
The yield per acre for AFRICAN NIGHTSHADE is between 4 tonnes and 8 tonnes per acre, depending on the management and variety of Managu planted.
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