This article focuses on broccoli farming in Kenya. Broccoli is a highly nutritious vegetable that is grown in Kenya for local consumption and export. Kenya is actually one of the leading exporters of broccoli in Africa.
Broccoli grows well in certain parts of the country. This includes Central region, Rift Valley, parts of Eastern and Western regions.
Nutritional benefits of broccoli
- Good source of dietary fiber which can aid in improving digestion and solving issues such as constipation.
- Rich in vitamin D.
- Has components that play a role in body detoxification.
- Broccoli is a good choice for those working on lowering cholesterol.
Ecological conditions for growing broccoli
- Well drained and slightly acidic soil with pH of 6.0 to 7.0. It can be grown on any type of soil as long as the soils meet the mentioned conditions. This can be sandy, loam or clay soils.
- Temperature of between 45-50°F.
- Adequate supply of soil moisture.
- It is a heavy feeder and therefore performs best in soils with enough organic matter.
How broccoli can be planted
- Planting can be done by transplanting or direct seeding. In the case of transplanting, you will first have to plant in a nursery bed then after about 4 weeks do the transplanting.
- Soil depth should be about 30-50 cm, with a good layer of compost manure.
- It is important to do soil nutrient tests to determine fertilisation rates. Broccoli is actually a high nutrient demanding crop.
- Constant weeding needs to be done. Weeds can be eradicated by using herbicides or practising other mechanisms such as crop rotation.
- Pests and diseases also need to be controlled early enough for the purposes of good yields. You can use available and recommended pesticides to eradicate any pests.
Harvesting of broccoli
- Broccoli matures after about 2-3 months.
- The best option for harvesting is hand harvesting. This should be done early in the morning when there is no sun.
- Hand harvesting is best done when no yellow petals show, that is when broccoli heads are tight and closed.
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