This article focuses on asparagus farming in Kenya. Asparagus is one of the most expensive vegetables in Kenya. It is a perennial vegetable that is very nutritious.
Varieties of Asparagus Grown in Kenya
- Mary Washington
- Jersey Giant F1
- Jersey King F1
Health Benefits of Asparagus
- Has anti-ageing properties.
- Rich in fibre which is good for digestive health.
- Aids in foetal growth during pregnancy.
- Full of antioxidants such as Vitamin E, flavonoids and polyphenols which help to protect cells from the effects of free radicals and oxidative stress.
Ecological Conditions for Growing Asparagus
- Fertile and well-drained Sandy loam soils with pH of 6.0- 6.8.
- Day temperature that ranges between 23°C to 29°C and night temperature that ranges from 13°C to 19°C.
- Altitude of above 1000m.
Land Preparation and Propagation
- Land should be well ploughed, about 20-25 cm deep.
- Asparagus can be propagated through seeds or crowns.
- If propagation is through seeds, sow the seeds in a nursery with a spacing of 25-30cm apart.
- Experts recommend the use of fertilisers such as DAP during planting (30g/ square metres) and 30g/ square metres of CAN during top dressing.
Pest and Disease Management
- Pests such as asparagus beetle may be a nuisance to your plant. To control such pests, you can use insecticides such as pyrethrin.
- To control diseases, you can use fungicides such as cupracaflarowc.
- Asparagus is best harvested during the third year. Harvesting can be done during the first 2 years. However, it is not recommended to allow the asparagus to establish deep roots.
- An acre of land can yield about 2-8 tons of asparagus.
Asparagus Market in Kenya
Asparagus in Kenya is grown for the local market and export market. Locally, asparagus can be sold in open-air markets, hotels, restaurants and supermarkets. A kilo of asparagus retails between Kshs 700-1000.