A Simple Guide On Courgette Farming In Kenya
Courgette is also known as Zucchini. It is dark green in color and firm. They are closely related to Cucumber. The squash is very high in demand both in the local and export market. It is majorly used in salads and pickles. The crop is easy to grow. Very important, you need to keep the soil moderately moist throughout and grow during the warm season.
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
Amongst the best varieties to grow include: GREEN ZUCHINNI from Royal Seed and
AMBASSADOR F1 from Kenya Seed.
You need 1 kg of seeds per acre (6-8 kg of seeds/ha)
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.
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
- Cut worms
- Fruit flies
- Red spider mites
- Leaf miners
- Epilachna beetles
- Damping off
- Downy mildew
- Powdery mildew
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
Leave a Reply