Welcome to Greenlife newsletter for the month of April. Today we shall be discussing about onion production. As you are aware, onion farming in Kenya is gaining popularity every day this is as result of its high returns and small operating capital. Before one thinks of engaging in onion farming it’s important to think about the market this will guide the farmer in knowing when to produce to avoid entering the market when there is over supply which may lead to poor prices.
Onion seedlings are first established in a nursery. Preparation of nursery is done as follows;
- Make a raised nursery bed 1 meter wide and any desired length.
- Apply well decomposed manure at rate of 15 kg per square meter
- Mix DAP at rate of 20g per square meter
- Make shallow furrows 15cm apart and mix the seeds with sand to help spread the seeds.
- Drill the seeds and cover lightly with soil and apply mulch.
- After drilling the seeds, mix 10g of loyalty, 100g of pyramid, 20mls of optimizer with water and apply the solution in the nursery. This mixture helps to control early pests and diseases and also breaks the seed dormancy.
Done 6 weeks after germination. Transplant the seedlings when they have a pencil size thickness and 15cm in length. The seedlings should also have 3-5 well formed leaves.
Keep the onion field free from weeds. This is because weeds will not only act as alternate host for pests and diseases but will also compete for nutrients.
Chemical control of weeds is the most ideal method of controlling weeds in onion field.
This is done by application of a selective herbicide known as commander two weeks after transplanting. Once sprayed, the herbicide will kill all the weeds which have already germinated and also supress further germination of weeds.
Pests and diseases
suck sap from the onion crop. Attacked leaves turn silvery white and affects bulb formation.
Alternate Profile and Alonze at rate of 30mls / 20 litres and 5mls per 20 litres respectively
Leaf eating caterpillar
Alternate Escort and Profile at rate of 30mls and 10 mils per knapsack respectively.
1) Downey mildew
Affected leaves turn yellow and die from the tip downwards.
Alternate absolute with Fortress Gold at rate of 10g and 50g per knapsack respectively
Characterized by water soaked lesions on the leaves that quickly develops with white centers.
Spray Tower/ Fortress gold at rate of 50g per knapsack.