Bulb Onion farming
Greetings from the Greenlife newsletter, focusing on the month of April. In this edition, we will delve into the topic of onion cultivation. It’s worth noting that onion farming is rapidly gaining recognition in Kenya due to its lucrative returns and minimal initial investment. However, before embarking on onion farming, it is crucial to consider the market dynamics. This understanding will assist farmers in determining the optimal timing for production, preventing situations of oversupply that can result in unfavorable prices.
To establish onion seedlings in a nursery, the following preparation steps should be followed:
- Create a raised nursery bed with a width of 1 meter and any desired length.
- Apply well-decomposed manure at a rate of 15 kg per square meter to enrich the soil.
- Mix DAP (Diammonium phosphate) at a rate of 20g per square meter to provide essential nutrients.
- Create shallow furrows that are 15cm apart and mix the onion seeds with sand. This helps in spreading the seeds evenly.
- Sow the seeds in the furrows and lightly cover them with soil. Apply a layer of mulch over the seeded area.
- After sowing the seeds, prepare a solution by mixing 10g of loyalty, 100g of pyramid, and 20mls of optimizer with water.
- Apply this solution to the nursery. It serves the purpose of controlling early pests and diseases while also breaking the seed dormancy.
By following these steps, you can establish a well-prepared nursery for onion seedlings.
Once the onion seedlings have germinated, approximately six weeks later, it is time to proceed with transplantation. The seedlings should be transplanted when they have reached a pencil-size thickness and have grown to a length of 15cm. Additionally, the seedlings should have developed 3-5 well-formed leaves. These criteria indicate that the seedlings are at an appropriate stage for successful transplantation.
Maintaining a weed-free onion field is crucial. Weeds serve as potential hosts for pests and diseases, while also competing with the onion plants for essential nutrients.
The most effective approach to weed control in an onion field is through chemical means. One recommended method is the application of a selective herbicide called Commander. This herbicide should be applied two weeks after transplanting. Once sprayed, Commander will eliminate any germinated weeds present in the field, as well as inhibit the future germination of weeds.
Now, let’s move on to discussing pests and diseases in the onion field.
There is a specific pest that poses a threat to onion crops by sucking sap from the plants. When these pests attack, the affected leaves undergo a noticeable change, turning silvery white and negatively impacting the formation of onion bulbs.
To control this issue, it is recommended to use Alternate Profile and Alonze at the following rates: 30mls per 20 liters of water for Alternate Profile and 5mls per 20 liters of water for Alonze. Alonze Greenlife is an insecticide/miticide/nematicide that demonstrates excellent efficacy through contact and translaminar activities. It is specifically designed to combat spider mites, thrips, leaf miners, and nematodes on a wide range of edible crops and ornamental plants.
Leaf eating caterpillar
To address the issue of pests such as caterpillars, thrips, spider mites, and diamondback moths in agricultural settings, the recommended approach is to utilize a combination of Alternate Escort and Profile. These should be applied at rates of 30mls and 10mls per knapsack respectively.
Escort Greenlife is a highly effective insecticide widely utilized in agriculture. It is particularly known for its broad-spectrum control capabilities, specifically targeting caterpillars, thrips, spider mites, and diamondback moths. This insecticide is commonly employed in various crops such as roses, French beans, runner beans, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, capsicum, onion, and tomato.
Downy mildew is a fungal disease that impacts plants, causing the affected leaves to turn yellow and gradually die from the tip downwards.
To control downy mildew, it is recommended to use a combination of Alternate Absolute and Fortress Gold. These should be applied at rates of 10g and 50g per knapsack respectively.
Fortress Gold Greenlife is a powerful fungicide known for its enhanced effectiveness against various diseases. It exhibits systemic and contact actions, providing preventive, curative, and protective properties. This fungicide is capable of targeting a wide range of diseases, including downy mildew, and can be relied upon for effective control measures.
Purple blotch is a fungal disease that manifests as water-soaked lesions on the leaves. These lesions rapidly progress, eventually developing white centers.
To effectively control purple blotch, it is recommended to spray Tower/Fortress Gold fungicide at a rate of 50g per knapsack.
Greenlife Tower is a powerful fungicide known for its systemic and contact actions. It offers both protective and curative properties against a wide range of diseases, with a particular focus on downy mildew and blights in various agricultural crops. It serves as an excellent solution for combating purple blotch and maintaining plant health.