How To Start Tomatoes Farming Kenya [Beginners Guide]

Growing tomatoes in kenya are one of the most useful plants that you can grow. Tomato farming is a profitable agricultural activity in Kenya. This is understandable because tomatoes are in high demand by consumers in the country. As a result, the market is vast and ready, which has prompted many people to invest in large-scale tomato farming.

The steps involved in tomato farming in Kenya include soil preparation, nursery seedbed preparation, transplanting, fertilizer application, irrigation and weeding, and pest and disease control, among others.

Tomato farming can be done by everyone interested. Continue reading to learn all that you can.

How To Start Tomatoes Farming Kenya

Without any further ado, read through the steps below to get an informed decision that will help you in your tomato farming journey.

Read Also: [Beginners Guide Pdf] How To Grow Onions In Kenya 2022

Step 1: Prepare the soil

Once you’ve gotten ideal farmland that has the right weather condition and soil properties. What you need to do is to prepare the soil for planting.

The soil should be cleared, properly tilled, and leveled. Manure or fertilizer should be introduced at the early stage so that the soil nutrient can be strengthened.

Read Also: [Beginners Guide] How To Grow Carrots In Kenya 2022

Step 2: Preparing Nursery Seed Bed

You can also start your tomato nursery if you have a garden or a small space in your backyard.  This can be done in March/April when the rain is just beginning to fall in most parts of the country.

Another option for the nursery is to grow tomatoes in pots or containers.  When growing tomato seeds in pots or containers, you may need to purchase a soilless potting mix or seeding mix.

Read Also: [Beginners Guide] How To Grow Pepper In Kenya 2022

A soilless potting mix is a typical homemade soilless mix that contains equal parts peat moss, perlite (and/or vermiculite), and sand.

Wood bark replaces sand in the absence of sand, while coconut coir replaces peat moss. However, a small pot at least 3 or 4 inches tall and wide is preferable so that the seedlings can grow to a healthy size without their roots being constricted.

Step 3: Transplanting

It is now time to transplant your tomato seedlings outside after they have been prepared in the nursery.

Transplanting should be done when seedling stems are 4-6 mm in diameter and about 1 foot tall. After thoroughly watering the seedlings, remove them from the nursery bed. Keep them in a shady area, out of direct sunlight. Plant one seedling in each hole and firm the soil around the roots with your hands. Water thoroughly but not excessively.

Plant the seedlings 45cm apart by 60cm apart. Dig the planting holes 6 inches deep.

Step 4: Fertilizer application

The first fertilizer application should be done after 4 weeks of transplanting with 50kgs of CAN or UREA per acre. Apply another dose of Harmony 30-40ml/20ltrs to the flower buds during the flower set. You can also combine soluble foliar fertilizers with high potassium and calcium levels. After flowering, avoid nitrogen-rich fertilizers such as CAN, NPK, and Urea.

Step 5: Irrigation and Weeding

Irrigate to keep the soil moist but not wet or muddy. Drip irrigation is typically the best method for watering tomatoes because it delivers water directly to the roots.

Step 6: Pest and Disease Control

Every day, look for signs of insect damage, especially in hot, dry weather. Also, look for Blight, Mildew, and Canker.

If you spot any disease or pest, you can spray pesticides and fungicides at the recommended amount to get rid of them.

Step 7: Staking and Pruning

Staking is the process of tying a plant with string and poles. A wire connects two poles, and plants are suspended by strings tied to them. This method increases tomato productivity. The plants grow vertically and have several fruit clusters along the stem. Staking is best done soon after transplanting while the plant is still young.

Prune your tomato plants by removing side shoots, old leaves, diseased leaves, and laterals. Pruning should be done every week to remove side shoots before they develop.

Hot To Grow Tomatos For Beginners

If you are interested in farming but have little or no knowledge, the step to begin to include:

  1. Suitable farmland acquisition
  2. Purchase of high-yield tomato specie
  3. Planting/nursery preparation
  4. Transplanting
  5. Irrigation
  6. Weeding and pest control
  7. harvest

How Lucrative Is Tomato Farming?

Tomato farming can be very profitable and rewarding if done correctly.

Best Time To Plant Tomatoes In Kenya

The best time to plant tomatoes is determined by where you live and the weather conditions. However, the best growing seasons are between December and April, as well as August and January.

How Long Do Tomatoes Take To Grow In Kenya?

Tomatoes take about 30 to 50 days after seed sowing to grow in Kenya.

How Much Does It Cost To Farm An Acre Of Tomatoes In Kenya?

The total production cost for tomatoes on an acre farm is approximately Sh250, 000. This includes the cost of irrigation materials (ideally, drip kits) as well as other farm equipment.

Which Is The Best Month To Plant Tomatoes In Kenya?

The month of February is ideal for growing tomatoes. Tomatoes are well-known to be a popular crop in Kenya. It thrives in warm to hot climates because it is a warm-season crop. It requires a daytime temperature of 20 to 25 degrees Celsius and a nighttime temperature of 15 to 17 degrees Celsius.

How Profitable Is Tomato Growing In Kenya?

Tomato farming is a profitable agricultural venture in Kenya. This is the reason why there are numerous tomato farmers in the country.

How Much Can One Earn From An Acre Of Tomatoes In Kenya?

Tomato farmers in Kenya can earn around KES750,000 per acre. However, this is an estimate and not a guarantee of earnings because there is a chance of earning more or slightly less than the stated amount.

How Much Can I Earn From An Acre Of Tomatoes?

Tomato farming is doubtless a lucrative venture. The amount you can earn depends on the level of demand also, the season because if your product is available when there is a surplus provision, the price will be very low.

How Much Is A Kg Of Tomatoes In Kenya?

The price of a Kg of tomatoes in Kenya is KES 310.15

How Much Do I Need To Start Tomato Farming In Kenya?

To start tomato farming in Kenya, you will need an estimate of KES350,000 to set up a moderate commercial tomato farm.

How Do Tomato Farmers Make Money?

There are various ways tomato farmers can make money. Through supplies of tomato seedlings to farmers, setting up of greenhouses, supplies of farm inputs, leasing of farmlands, supplies of farm equipment, and more.

How Many Boxes Of Tomatoes Make A Hectare?

A tomato farmer can get about 11000 to 15000 boxes of tomatoes from hectare farmland.

How Do You Prepare Land For Growing Tomatoes?

To prepare your farmland for growing tomatoes, it is important that

  • You must loosen the soil to a depth of at least 8 inches before planting.
  • You must till the ground and thoroughly mix compost into the soil.
  • Then, using the loose soil, form a low mound. The mound should be approximately 4 feet wide.
  • Farmland should be irrigated. It is preferable to use a drip irrigation system.

What Is The Best Fertilizer For Tomato Plants?

Before applying fertilizer to your tomato farm, ensure you check the nutrient level of your soil. It is best to use a fertilizer that is slightly lower in nitrogen and higher in phosphorus (i.e., 5-10-5 or a 5-10-10 mixed fertilizer) if your soil is properly balanced or high in nitrogen. Use a balanced fertilizer such as 8-8-8 or 10-10-10 if you have a slight nitrogen deficiency.

Where Do Tomatoes Do Well In Kenya?

Tomatoes grow best in deep, well-drained soils in warm or hot climates. The best place to farm tomatoes in Kenya is located along rivers in Narok, Kajiado, Makueni, Southern Embu, Laikipia, and lower Kirinyaga.

How Many Kg Does A Tomato Plant Produce?

When properly cared for and staked, a tomato plant can produce up to 9 kg of fruit per plant.

How Many Crates Of Tomatoes Do You Need Per Acre?

You can expect to get 3000 to 4000 crates of tomatoes per acre.

How Do You Succeed In Tomato Farming?

If you want to succeed in tomato farming, it is important to consider the following.

  • Type of soil. Tomato thrive in a loosed loamy soil
  • Soil nutrient. Tomatoes thrive in slightly acidic soil, with optimal pH levels ranging from 6.2 to 6.8
  • Weather condition. Tomato thrive in temperate to sunny weather

How Long Do Tomatoes Take To Mature?

It takes tomato plants about 70 to 100 days to grow into full maturity.

What Is The Spacing For Tomatoes?

The ideal spacing for tomato plants is 25 to 30 inches. Any spacing less than 25 inches is disastrous.

Where Tomatoes Are Grown In Kenya?

Kirinyaga, Kajiado, and Taita Taveta are the major tomato-producing counties in Kenya.

How Much Is A Crate Of Tomatoes In Kenya?

Because of the climatic conditions that have caused a shortage of the commodity, the price of one crate of tomatoes has risen to 6,000 shillings.

What Is The Right Time To Plant Tomatoes?

Tomatoes are tender warm-season crops that thrive in the sun and cannot withstand frost. As such, the best time to plant tomatoes is December to March when the rain is not much.

Open Field Tomato Farming In Kenya

Open field tomato farming in Kenya entails clearing the land of stones, stumps, plastics, and roots, among other things.

Because tomato roots can penetrate up to 60cm deep, plowing is done thoroughly.

Before transplanting, irrigate the field to capacity. Depending on the plant type and vigor, the spacing should be 25 to 30 inches apart.

Tomato Farming Guide Pdf Download

There are numerous tomato farming guide PDFs on the internet. You can surf through and download the material that best appeal to you.

What Is Tomato Spacing In Kenya?

In Kenya, the ideal tomato plant spacing is 45cm by 60cm.

How Many Kg Is A Basket Of Tomatoes?

A basket of tomatoes weighs approximately 60 kilograms.

How Many Tomatoes Can You Plant Per Acre?

You can plant 25 tonnes of tomato plants per acre

Conclusion

To start tomato farming and become a successful farmer in Kenya, you should give keen attention to the steps outlined and discussed in this informative piece.

Author: Adewebs

David is a seasoned farmer with over 8years experience on the field and teaching. He has about 20 acres of Palm farm, 10acres of livestock farm where he spent most of his time tending and caring for his farm. He offer profffesional services and consultancy services to clients who are interested in venturing into farming.

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