Before we begin there are a few things that you need to know about strawberry farming in Kenya.
Strawberry varieties in Kenya include:
- Tioga selva
Facts about strawberries
- They are easy to grow
- When planting strawberries you use seedlings called splits
- They dont require a large piece of land
- They thrive between mild and hot temperature (They do not tolerate cold weather)
- The crop lasts for 3 years
Diseases that you need to keep a look out for are:
- Fusarium Oxysponium
- Fusarium Wilt
NB: Due to susceptibility to Verticillium wilt a viral disease you should avoid planting strawberries where the following crops were recently planted; Capsicum, Okra, Tomatoes, Eggplant or brinjals
Before planting you have to be equipped with the following:
- Garden spades
- Garden Trowels
- Source of water
- Garden Shears
- Fungicides and Pesticides
- Packaging materials for end product
STEP BY STEP PLANTING PROCESS
- You must prepare your land very well in order for you to have a healthy crop.
- Prepare a bed that is raised 20cm and width of 1 metre (the length depends with the number of crops you want to plant)
- Mix one bucket of manure per square metre into the soil.
- The planting holes should be 30 cm from row to row and 30 cm from plant to plant.
- Before planting the bed should be watered thoroughly
- The roots should be covered well but not to deep to prevent rotting of the stem
- Mulching is recommended after planting. This will help in moisture retainment and weed control.
- During the first month of planting the strawberries should be irrigated daily in the afternoons. After the first month is over you should irrigate 2-3 times a week.
- You should remove the flowers of the strawberries during the first two months to avoid premature fruit development. This will lead to stunting and poor growth of the crop.
- This is done after 21/2 months- 3 months of planting.
- Thinning the strawberries to 2-3 splits per crown is done every 7 months to enable it to rejuvenate and increase crop yields.
- Old leaves and runners are removed from the strawberries
- Foliar feeds can be added during the growing period to increase crop yield
Seek knowledge and training before planting strawberries is a necessary step during the planning period because any mistake made cannot be corrected until the 3 years is up.
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