In Summary
  • Laundry water contains detergents that could alter the pH within ruminants thereby limiting microbial activity. This in the long run would affect the overall performance of the animal.
  • The correct amount of watering and lots of exposure to sunlight are the two most important factors to ensure the successful growth of your avocado trees.
  • Ginger is propagated from the rhizomes, which are separated into sets of 2.5cm.
  • You cannot lack market for ginger in Kenya because most of the produce consumed locally is imported from India, Tanzania, South Africa and Uganda.

GIVING ANIMALS LAUNDRY WATER

Is it advisable to give water that has been used for washing clothes to animals and if not, what are the effects?

Alphayo

Water is essential for life and it accounts for a bigger percentage of animal body weight. For maintenance, production and reproduction purposes, good quality water is needed to ensure optimal metabolic activities are undertaken within the animal for better performance.

Laundry water contains detergents that could alter the pH within ruminants thereby limiting microbial activity. This in the long run would affect the overall performance of the animal.

Always strive to give good quality and clean water ad lib for maximum growth, maintenance, production and reproduction functions within animals.
Fredrick Agutu,
Department of Animal Sciences, Egerton University.

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TAKING CARE OF AVOCADO

I would be grateful If I get brief notes on how to care for avocado trees for maximum yield. I have planted a few grafted trees, which have borne the first fruit.

David Bor, Kericho

The correct amount of watering and lots of exposure to sunlight are the two most important factors to ensure the successful growth of your avocado trees.

Over-watering can kill an avocado tree. Invest in a moisture gauge or poke your finger in the soil to check. If it feels dry and crumbly, it’s time to water again.

The colour of the leaves is also a good indicator of moisture levels. If the leaves turn yellow, the tree is getting too much water. If they turn brown at the tips, it’s probably thirsty.

Your avocado tree needs a sunny, well-drained spot. Water regularly during dry spells to keep the soil moist but never wet.

Twice a month should suffice for watering as long as the soil never dries out. Apply a 10-15cm layer of mulch beneath the avocado tree’s canopy, once or twice a year.

An avocado farmer checks on the fruits in a farm in Nyeri.

An avocado farmer checks on the fruits in a farm in Nyeri. Avocado trees need a sunny, well-drained spot. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

This helps the soil retain moisture, which is especially useful during warm summers. Organic compost also adds needed nutrients to the soil, which can directly affect the quality of the fruits.

If you planted Hass avocado trees, feed with a nitrogen fertiliser in the beginning of rains. For established avocado trees that are at least five years old, apply recommended rates NPK regularly and annually.

However, first perform a soil analysis once a year or so to check for common nutrient deficiencies, such as iron or zinc. Correct deficiencies with fertilisers.

Pruning: When the plant grows to about one foot tall, trim it to half its size. This will encourage a rounder, fuller plant. Prune your avocado trees when fruit is present or immediately after harvest.

This timing ensures that you don’t accidentally snip off next season’s fruit. Remove dead branches and crossing branches that can breed disease.

Peter Caleb Otieno,
Department of Crops, Horticulture and Soils, Egerton University.

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CANOLA SEEDS

I am looking for canola seeds, where can I get them?

Hamza

For best canola seeds, contact Kalro Njoro on 0723466237.

Peter Caleb Otieno,
Department of Crops, Horticulture and Soils, Egerton University.

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PRODUCTION OF MORINGA

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