Cucumber farming in Kenya


Cucumbers are a popular food around the world, but there is not enough supply. This means there is opportunity for farmers like you to make money from growing them.

There are many benefits to cucumber farming, but it can also be hard work. It takes time and effort to make sure that your farm thrives and provides you with the best returns.

This blog post will teach you how to get started with cucumber farming in Kenya so that you can reap the benefits of this lucrative business!

Cucumber growth conditions

Cucumbers are highly nutritious vegetables that can be grown in most climates. If you want to try growing them, there are many factors which need to be considered before planting the seeds.

Below are the ecological conditions required for optimal growth;

Soil

They grow well in drained loamy soils that have a PH range of 6.5-7.5.

If the soil is too acidic, it will lead to stunted growth.If the soil is too alkaline, it will lead to an increase in nitrates that can harm plant growth.

Water

They require a lot of water so you must pay attention to the weather and keep irrigating when the need arises.

One of the risks associated with farming this crop is drought; if your area suffers from this, then it’s best not to plant them at all.

Pests and diseases

The plants are prone to aphids which can be controlled by using ladybugs.

The plants also have a high vulnerability to powdery mildew which can be avoided with good hygiene practices.

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Temperature

They do well in places whose temperature is 15 degrees to 30 degrees.

How to plant cucumbers in Kenya

  1. Prepare and plough the land that you are going to plant the crops in.
  2. Dig holes that are 90 cm by 30 cm apart.
  3. Mix the soils with manure and DAP fertilizer to ensure that the soil is fertile.
  4. Plant the seeds at a depth of 45 cm and top dress them with CAN after 3-4 weeks.
  5. Weed regularly to avoid competition for nutrients.
  6. Water and irrigate often to prevent drought which can lead to stunted growth of the plants.
  7. If you are growing them in an open field, apply mulching to conserve moisture.
  8. If growing in a greenhouse, ensure you expose them to sunlight for 6- 8 hours.

Harvesting of cucumbers

Cucumbers are ready for harvesting when the fruit is long and thick.They should feel firm on handling because of their thickness.

Harvest them when they become less glossy in appearance, because this indicates low water content. If they are harvested too early , they will be small and could have a bitter taste.

When harvesting ,cut them off with scissors or knife to avoid damaging the skin surface which may lead to decay during storage.

The best time to harvest cumbers is early in the morning.

Storing cucumbers after harvesting

They should be stored in a cool and dry place.

Avoid storing them near apples, pears or other fruit that give off ethylene gas which causes them to become too soft.

It is also important to store the fresh produce separately from things like onions as they can cause wilting of the vegetables because of their strong and sometimes noxious odor.

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Cucumber seeds

Cucumber seeds are readily available in Kenya.You can purchase seeds from any Agrovet across the country.

A sachet of 50g of cucumber seeds from simlaw cost Ksh 375/=.

Cost of planting an acre of cucumber in Kenya

Below is the breakdown of the cost you will incur in planting an acre of cucumber in Kenya.

Expense AmountCost
Seeds2kg3,000/=
DAP 2 bags each of 50kg6,200
CAN4 bags each of 50kg8,000/=
Chemicals such as herbacides and pesticides 10,000=
Labour 20,000/=
Harvesting 20,000/=
Total67,000

Conclusion

In a world where we struggle to feed everyone, cucumbers may be the answer.

Cucumber farming in Kenya is an excellent way of providing food for those who have very little access to it.

With your help, many more people will get the chance to enjoy fresh produce and make their own meals from scratch!

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