In Summary
  • Papayas can grow in a variety of soil types. The most critical requirement is drainage. Poor drainage leads to the development of root-rot problems.
  • For the information on growing of yellow passion, I recommend you contact Kalro-Thika.
  • Low soil moisture in papayas tends to shift the sex type to male resulting in lower fruit yields, while high moisture levels can lead to excessive production of misshaped fruits with rapid tree growth. Under rain-fed conditions, a minimum of 100mm per month is needed.
  • Post-plant application of 100g per plant of 10:2:16 fertiliser can also be given at 2-3 month intervals. In the second year, about 250g/plant can be given.

GROWING PAPAYAS

I am planning to grow pawpaws but the sample of soil I sent for testing did not give me a clear guide. My farm is in Nyando, Kisumu.

I have prepared a nursery for Solo-sunrise variety. Kindly guide me on soil fertility requirements and management.

Solomon

Papayas can grow in a variety of soil types. The most critical requirement is drainage. Poor drainage leads to the development of root-rot problems.

A porous loam or sandy loam soil with a pH range of 5.0 to 7.0 (optimum is 5.5–6.5), is the most preferred for papaya production.

Fertiliser: Fertilisation regimes for papaya should be based on soil analysis, preferably foliar analysis. In general, production in sandy loam soils requires a pre-plant application of 0.5kg of 5:7:4 compound fertiliser and 0.25kg of superphosphate per plant.

Post-plant application of 100g per plant of 10:2:16 fertiliser can also be given at 2-3 month intervals. In the second year, about 250g/plant can be given.

Weed management: Hand weeding, especially around young seedlings, is beneficial. Mowing and mulching are often practised on mature trees.

Plastic mulch is very effective against broad-leaved weeds but ineffective on perennial grasses and sedges. Post-emergence herbicides such as Paraquat and Glyphosate are also used.

Cover-cropping can also be done in papaya.
Irrigation: Low soil moisture in papayas tends to shift the sex type to male resulting in lower fruit yields, while high moisture levels can lead to excessive production of misshaped fruits with rapid tree growth. Under rain-fed conditions, a minimum of 100mm per month is needed.

Where rainfall falls short, irrigation is required to avoid the sex reversal tendency of the plant. Good production occurs with 60-90l/tree/week immediately after planting or during the wet season and 120–240l/tree/week during the dry period.

Carol Mutua,
Department of Crops, Horticulture, and Soils, Egerton University.

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FARMING YELLOW PASSION FRUITS

I am interested in growing yellow passion on a small-scale though in Murang’a County. Kindly advice on how to go about it.

Eunine Muturi

For the information on growing of yellow passion, I recommend you contact Kalro-Thika, just in your neighbourhood that will help you with sufficient information on crop agronomy and the related technical information.

The Yellow passionfruit when grown in ideal conditions will yield more fruit than the purple variety.

The Yellow passionfruit when grown in ideal conditions will yield more fruit than the purple variety and is rich in riboflavin, niacin, amino acids, citric acid and carotene. FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

You can reach them on 020-20550038 or email- [email protected]

Tom C. Owino,
Department of Crops, Horticulture, and Soils, Egerton University.

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I HAVE 13 ACRES, WHAT SHOULD I DO ON IT?

My name is Harrison Karanja, an accountant who took early retirement from formal employment, joining the informal sector in 2011. I have two parcels of land acquired partly through bank loans.

These land, 10 acres and three acres, are in the Moi Ndabi, Naivasha. I am seeking advice and linkages to persons or organisations that may offer me guidance and professional advice in determining the most suitable and profitable ventures to undertake.

I have been toying with horticulture – fruits and vegetables, hay and even pyrethrum and bamboo and eucalyptus.

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