7 Modern Onion Farming Tips in Kenya
Onion farming is rising in popularity in Kenya because it is very affordable to start and run. This kind of agriculture has high returns. Again, onion farming can be done comfortably in greenhouses and open gardens. For you to succeed as an onion farmer, you have to apply various onion farming tips. These tips will enable you to enjoy massive profits from your onion farming efforts.
Some Top Onion Farming Tips
To start with you should select a location that is free of shade and one that can access full sun directly. The soils of the area need to be well drained and with high nitrogen content. Loose soil is the most preferable since compact soil lowers bulb development.
- Nourishment Tips
Apply aged manure during planting or use fertilizer on the fall before planting. Note that onions are one of a kind plant that show heavy feeding and demand continued nourishment for them to produce large bulbs desired in the market. During planting, it’s advisable to mix in some nitrogen fertilizer. Side dressing at the end of every two weeks is an excellent idea too.
- How Is Seeding Done?
It is paramount to note that onion seeds are short-lived. Start with fresh seeds each year when planting seeds indoors. Start seeds indoors prior to transplanting and preferably before six weeks. Plant onions at late March and April and ensure that the temperature remains above 20 degrees F.
More Tips during Planting
For transplants, plant the smaller sets 1 inch in depth with a spacing of 4 to 5 inches between each plant and 12 to 18 inches apart between lows. Keep remembering that an onion is a leaf plant, not a root plant and therefore, should not be buried more than 1 inch deep. If the onion is buried deeper, bulb growth is restricted.
Onion Caring Tips
Stop fertilizing when soil has been pushed away by the onion and the process of bulbing has started. Avoid putting the soil around the onions since this could prevent the bulb from emerging from the soil. Ensure that you water the onions during the dry seasons. Ensure that the soil is well drained. Use mulch to retain moisture.
Harvest and Storage Tips
There are various onion harvesting and storage tips that should applied during harvesting and storage time to ensure their safety. The tips are as listed below.
- Loosen the Soil to Fasten Drying
- Pull the onions when the color of the tops changes to brown
- Ensure that you harvest your onions in late summer, mature onions may spoil quicker if otherwise harvested.
- Let the onions dry for few weeks before storing them in the storage area.
- Ensure that storage is done at a temperature of between 4 to 10 degrees Celsius with stems broken off.
- Store the mature bulbs in a cool and dry place.
To test for the presence of thrips, which are very tiny insects, knock the onion tops against a dark piece of paper. If the insects are present, you will notice their colored bodies on the paper. Continued treatments with insecticidal soap will kill them. Ensure that you strictly follow the package directions. The thrips should disappear after spraying the plants twice in every three days.
The above onion farming tips have been proved to be very effective for a majority of farmers worldwide. Farmers who have applied them have realized very high profits. Go on and give them a try to see the magic difference in your productions.
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