This article focuses on garden peas farming in Kenya. Garden peas are locally known as Minji. They require very little farming and management skills to grow.
Garden peas do well in counties such as Nyahururu, Kiambu, Murang’a and Meru.
Varieties of Garden Peas / Minji Grown in Kenya
There are very many varieties of garden peas. However, the most common varieties grown in Kenya are;
- Green feasts.
- Deep, fertile and well-drained sandy- loam soils.
- Soil pH of 5.6- 6.5.
- Temperature range between 10-30°c.
- Average rainfall of 400-500mm.
Propagation of garden peas is by direct sowing of seeds on moist soil. Planting in rows is highly recommended. The rows can be drilled with a spacing of 45cm apart and 7cm from each other. With this kind of spacing, 8-10kg of garden peas is enough for an acre.
The best planting time is at the onset of rain. The plants require a lot of moisture. Irrigation can be done during the dry seasons.
After about 7days of planting, it is advisable to do top-dressing with Di-ammonium phosphate (DAP).
Pests and Diseases
Just like any other plant, garden peas are susceptible to pests and diseases. Common pests include caterpillars, thrips, spider mites, aphids and cutworms. To control the pests, you can practice crop rotation or use pesticides and insecticides such as thunder.
Common diseases include black spots and blight. They can be controlled by practising proper field hygiene, crop rotation and using sprays such as redomil.
Garden peas take a short time to mature. Most varieties mature after about 60-70 days. They can be harvested when still green or when dry. It all depends on the needs of the consumers.
The Market for Garden Peas/Minji in Kenya
Garden peas have a ready market both locally and internationally. They can locally be sold in open-air markets, groceries, supermarkets or hotels and restaurants.
They can also be sold to fresh produce exporters for export to the international market.
Locally, a kilo of garden peas retails between Kshs 60-85.