Before I take you into nitty-gritty details about tomato farming in Kenya I will first expose you to vitamin C, Vitamin A, and lycopene nutrients which are highly concentrated in all tomato varieties.
This nutrient composition uniquely makes tomatoes to significantly reduce cancer risks. From this revelation, I hope you have a better reason to include tomatoes in almost all your cuisines. For health and taste reasons of course.
Types of Tomatoes Varieties Found In Kenya
There are eight major types of tomatoes found in Kenya. I bet you have noticed a difference if you’re a regular grocery person.
Here we go, and the eight most eaten tomato varieties in Kenya are:
Heil Room tomatoes
Red Beefsteak Tomatoes
Tomatoes in the vine
Green Beef Steak Tomatoes
Mistakes farmers make when planting tomatoes
Weak tomato seedlings
Seedlings in the soils that don’t cement properly expose seedlings to be washed away by running water or fallen by wind movements.
Poor soil management
Collecting anything that looks like organic manure to top-dress during tomato planting highly exposes tomato seedlings to diseases.
This is because tomato seedlings are very delicate. Therefore, farmers should ensure they use organic manure that is nutritious and not ‘dirt’.
Plant tomatoes without focussing on the right measurements between each tomato seed lead to low yields.
When tomatoes are close to each other then the competition for nutrients from the soil and sunlight becomes stiff and this might disadvantage some seedlings.
Equally important, when you plant tomatoes closely the potential for disease and pest infection increases in case one plant is affected. Always consult on pacing from your seedling supplier.
Simply by planting the wrong type of tomatoes
This is a simple logic to understand but often missed by many tomato farmers. You need to understand that each tomato does well in the right type of soil that they match with.
So, most tomato farmers in Kenya go out there and buy tomato seeds without consulting on the type of soil in their land that matches with the right tomato seed.
As a result, they experience poor growth rate that further leads to low yields. Note that each tomato seed goes with the ideal PH soil environment.
Shading your tomato seedlings
When tomato seeds are actively growing into a plant. As such they require a lot of energy to go through this intense process.
One important stage for these seedlings to make energy is through photosynthesis. As such, tomato seedlings need a minimum of seven hours to make get average glucose. Shading tomato seedlings from sunlight limits their full growth potential.
Not pruning tomato plants
This is a quick one, not pruning tomatoes limits air circulation on the plant structure and also waste plant food to leafy pats that are not needed. All these limit the full potential growth of tomatoes.
Using too much fertilizer.
Here the rule of diminishing results does apply. Even though using fertilizer boosts nutrients in tomato plants, going overboard could actually be poisoning the plants.
From the above challenges in regards to tomato planting, I am confident that you now have a better understanding, as a beginner on tomato planting on how to engage in this venture productively
Step by step Guide to Planting Tomatoes
I wouldn’t call this a day without taking you through a guide on how to plant tomatoes. Below are the steps that you should know.
How do tomatoes grow in Kenya?
Prepare the soil by removing the weed and applying manure or fertilizer in a good time. This should be done at least two weeks before actual planting.
Measure the spacing on the ground on how seedlings should be planted from each other. There is no standard spacing as every manufacturer advises differently.
Remove the seedlings from the seedbed, then plant on the holes that were prepared on step 2.
Add water to the newly planted tomato seedlings.
Fence the tomato farm to ensure that no chickens, animals or kids come into the field.
Ensure that the farm has no shade. the tomato seedlings should at least have 7 hours of sunshine.
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