Agronomy tips for organic vegetables

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Agronomy tips for organic vegetables
Agronomy tips for organic vegetables

Africa-Press – Ethiopia. A diet rich in vegetables and fruits can lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke and prevent some types of cancer, lower risk of eye and digestive problems.

These have a positive effect upon blood sugar, which can help regulate appetite. Eating non-starchy vegetables and fruits such as apples, pears, and green leafy vegetables may even promote weight loss.

This is because the low glycemic loads prevent blood sugar spikes that can increase hunger.

Background

Agricultural experts note that at least nine different families of fruits and vegetables exist, each with potentially hundreds of different plant compounds that are beneficial to health.

Consumers are advised to eat various varieties depending on the colours the produce in order to give the body the mix of nutrients it needs. This not only ensures a greater diversity of beneficial plant chemicals but also creates eye-appealing meals.

During the just concluded agricultural show in Jinja, crop scientists called on farmers who displayed their gardens to follow the recommended agronomy practices to get more from their vegetables.

One such garden was the one shared by Syngenta a leading developer and seed producer and Faith Company dealing mainly in agro chemicals.

Seeds of Gold interacted with the agronomists of Syngenta seed company Bakimu Twinamastiko who helped in sensitising farmers about growing different vegetables successfully.

He noted that most of vegetables in their garden such as tomatoes, onions, pepper, cabbages, watermelon and coli flowers, are grown from seed imported from the Netherlands.

He says most of the vegetables grow within four months and are ready for harvesting. To successfully grow vegetables he shared the following agronomy for each individual vegetable.

Cabbages

The varieties include purple cabbages with round to conical shape; with flat or curly, tight, or loose leaves. Other hybrid varieties are, Gloria star 1, queen F1 and escazu F1 all greenish in colour including Kilele F1, Papamo F1 and Pitson which are huge in size.

If a farmer plants 1,000 seeds in an acre, they will harvest between nine and 10 tonne provided during plant. They should apply folia fertiliser after two weeks of planting and constant watering in the morning and evening.

There is need to apply fungicide to fight mainly late and early blight including Anthracnose diseases which are common in tomatoes.

Farmers must ensure proper spacing of 60cm by 60cm for indigenous tomatoes but the tall hybrid varieties require 90cm by 90 cm spacing.

Sweet pepper

The available varieties include Bell Boy which are meaty measuring between four and five inches. Others are California Wonder which is juicy, Corno di Toro, Early Pimento, Golden Bell, Gypsy, Jupiter and Sweet Banana.

The Indra F1 and Crusader F1 which are extremely huge and they require maximum spacing of more than 60cm.

The spacing for other varieties is 60cm by 60 cm and farmers must ensure the garden is free of pests such as aphids, thrips, white flies, caterpillars, spiders and mites among others.

Cauliflower

The available varieties included attribute hybrid, cheddar hybrid, depurple hybrid, early white hybrid, fioretto 60, fioretto 85, flame star hybrid and graffiti hybrid.

These varieties are of different colours ranging from yellow, orange, light green, purple and white. Other colours are grown by farmers in Kenya because most Ugandan farmers grow the white colour variety.

The common diseases include alternaria leaf spot, bacterial soft rot, blackleg, black rot, cauliflower mosaic virus, club root, damping off, and downy mildew.

The pests are aphids, cabbage loopers, cabbage moths, cabbage root maggots, cabbage white butterflies, cabbage whiteflies, cross-striped cabbage worms and flea beetles.

The spacing and land preparation is not different from that of cabbages where you can grow them on raised land to avoid soil washing by soil erosion.

Onions

The common varieties grown by farmers include, culinary luxury, yellow onions, sweet onions, white onions, red onions, green onions, spring onions and leeks among others.

They contain heavy bulbs while others are medium sized and have good leaves with good aroma.

Although it can be hard to tell apart without careful examination, there are different diseases commonly seen in commercial and small scale farmers’ fields and these include botrytis, downy mildew, stemphylium leaf blight and black mould.

The common pests are nematodes, stem and bulb eelworm, thrips and onion fly or maggot among others.

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