How To Start Tomatoes Farming In Lesotho [Beginners Kit]

How to grow tomatoes in Lesotho- Tomatoes are a much sought-after fruit because of their diverse use in the preparation of meals. Also, the fruit is high in antioxidants, which aid in the fight against cancerous growth. It is also high in vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene, and other nutrients.

Land preparation, tomato species selection, nursery preparation, transplanting, weed control, mulching, fertilizer application, consistent watering, and harvesting are all part of the process to start tomato farming in Lesotho.

Tomato farming is both profitable and rewarding. Here’s a step-by-step guide to start growing a profitable tomato farming business in Lesotho.

How To Start Tomatoes Farming In Lesotho [Beginners Kit]

If you are in a loop on how to start tomato farming in Lesotho, you are reading the right material that contains all the information you need to know.

Read Also: How To Start Cashew Farming Step By Step Guide

Step 1: Land Preparation

The first step to growing tomatoes in Lesotho is to purchase or lease land that has fertile black loamy soil. Divide the land into two sections: a nursery bed and the main field for transplanting.

Clear the grass/debris from the ground and loosen the soil with hand trowels and hoes.

To avoid pests and diseases attacking your crop, you must treat the soil with insecticides and fungicides. Tomatoes do not fare well when infected with diseases.

Read Also: How To Grow Cucumber In Pots & Container

Step 2: Tomato Species Selection

There are numerous tomato seedling varieties available on the market, so select a good tomato species with improved high yield quality. It is best to use hybridized tomato seeds. This tomato species is distinguished by its low water content and tough epicarp, which allows it to outlive other tomato species such as cherry.

Step 3: Nursery Preparation

It is best to first plant your tomato seeds in a nursery around the start of the rainy season in April. Sow seeds in the soil, and cover the soil with dry grasses to prevent soil moisture loss and birds from picking up the seeds.

Also, remove grasses after 12-14 days to allow proper growth, and plant in cool weather, preferably early morning or evening.

Step 4: Transplanting

Transplanting is best done after 6 weeks of seed growth on nursery beds. At this point, you are to transfer the seedlings to the main field you’ve prepared.

To avoid dehydration, transplant tomato seedlings the same day they are uprooted from the nursery bed.

Tomato seedlings are extremely fragile and tender. As a result, it should be handled with caution. Open the soil with a small knife or cutlass, insert the seedling, and cover it with soil.

Step 5: Weed Control

Weeding is performed 8 weeks after transplant. Weeding is necessary to prevent unwanted grasses from competing with tomatoes planted for soil nutrients, space, water, and other resources.

Step 6: Adequate Watering

Tomato requires a consistent water supply just as it does need sunlight. It is best to create a sprinkler irrigation system on the farm to avoid the soil being overwatered.

Step 7: Fertilizer application

It is critical to fertilize your crop and water it regularly if you want a good harvest. NPK fertilizer can be used to replenish soil nutrients depleted by weeds and boost tomato growth.

Step 8: Harvesting

Once a tomato plant begins to bear fruit, it will continue to do so until the dry season, when the plant will die due to the heat. This means that once you begin harvesting, you will continue to harvest until the end of the season. The first harvest occurs within three months of planting.

How Profitable Is Tomato Farming?

Tomato farming is highly profitable considering the high demand for everyday use. Although, tomato farming is a seasonal industry that depends on weather conditions, crop prices, and consumer demand, and while there are growing concerns about global warming, rising food costs, and reduced yields due to climactic changes and pests, farmers still make a decent income from selling tomatoes.

How Do Tomatoes Farmers Make Money?

There are several ways through which tomato farmers make money considering the diverse opportunities available. Tomato farmers can make money from:

  1. Supplies of Farm Inputs. Tomato farmers who supply inputs to other farmers also make extra money. It is common for farmers to demand tools so that they can farm tomatoes successfully. Inputs such as herbicides, pesticides, and farm tools, among others. To make money, you can engage in supplies of farm inputs.
  2. Supplying Tomatoes Seeds to farmers. Due to the increasing number of tomato farmers, there has been a continuous demand for tomato seedlings. Farmers with high-yield tomato plants tend to be patronized, becoming an avenue to make money.
  3. Sales of tomato fruits. This is the major means by which tomato farmers earn money. Tomato fruits are always in high demand daily by processing companies and individual consumers. So, sales of excess tomato production by the farmers serve as another means of making money.
  4. Tomato Processing.

How Many Tomato Plants Can You Have Per Acre?

Tomatoes are typically started as transplants in the greenhouse 42 to 56 days before planting in the field. Tomatoes should be grown in raised beds that are mulched with red or black plastic.

Drip irrigation ensures optimal plant growth and yields while also allowing for easy fertilizer application during the growing season.

You can get up to 2,600 to 5,800 tomato plants per acre in single rows with 18 to 30 inches between plants.

Can You Make Money Selling Tomatoes?

Yes! You can make money selling tomatoes. There are tons of tomatoes seller in the market, most of them fending for themselves and their families from the money they make from the business.

The interesting part is that you don’t need an enormous amount to start, with a little amount of purchasing a basket or two, you can venture into tomato sales. Most tomato sellers often sell off all their products in a day with customers returning to buy more.

Tomato Production Guide PDF

The book’s step-by-step instructions cover everything from planting and harvesting through grading, which is essential for businesses that produce fresh produce. Interestingly, there are tips to help you with tomato production in the most possible way. you can click here for further reading on Lesotho farming guide

How To Grow Tomato

Tomatoes are commonly grown from seedlings that are started in a nursery as early as 8 to 6 weeks and then transplanted into the main farmland where they will grow to maturity. The transplants are covered and protected to keep them safe.

Early-season tomatoes take 50 to 60 days to mature after transplanting; mid-season tomatoes take 60 to 80 days, and late-season tomatoes take 80 or more days.

Follow the steps below to start growing tomatoes.

  1. Start first by planting tomato seeds indoors about 6 to 8 weeks before the end of the winter season.
  2. Before transplanting, prepare to plant beds by adding 2 to 4 inches (5-10cm) of aged compost or commercial organic planting mix. Before planting, turn the soil to a depth of at least 12 inches (30cm).
  3. Once the tomato plants are 3 to 4 weeks old, you can transplant tomato seedlings with the spacing of 24 to 25 inches apart in the garden.
  4. Ensure you weed regularly. Also, mulch the soil to avoid moisture loss.
  5. Add fertilizer if necessary, to replenish soil nutrients.
  6. Ensure you water the plants daily.

How To Harvest Tomatoes At Home

Harvesting tomatoes at home is not a tedious task. It can be done easily by holding the stem with one hand and the fruit with the other, pulling the fruit from the plant, and breaking the stalk just above the calyx that has formed to protect the bud. Once the tomatoes have been harvested, store them indoors to continue to ripen.

Agriculture In Lesotho PDF

Reading through agriculture in Lesotho PDF material will provide you with all the necessary information you need. The informative piece describes agriculture in Lesotho, including the country’s agricultural products, distribution, food requirements, and market.

The book will be useful for research papers on the agricultural sector in Lesotho and all those interested to go into agricultural farming in Lesotho. The author compiled the information from different sources which include government reports, national and international studies, and reports where relevant.

Tomato Varieties PDF

Tomato Varieties is a comprehensive, up-to-date reference for vegetable gardeners who have their sights set on growing the best tomatoes ever. Tomatoes are the most popular vegetable crop grown in the world and can be found in the produce department of just about every supermarket, farmer’s market, and garden center.

There are an incredible number of tomato varieties available to choose from — 17 different shapes and sizes with many different colors and textures. Reading books on tomato varieties PDF, you’ll not only learn more about tomato varieties but also how to select, grow and care for them as well.

Interestingly, there are lots of guide to the many tomato varieties available that offers tips on how to grow them. Also, you will learn about a variety of tomato plants, including synonyms and common cultivars. Get information on the botanical, cultural, and economic characteristics of each variety; their similarities and differences from other varieties; how to select, plant, and grow them.

Tomato Yield Per Plant In Kg

To find out the yield per plant in Kg is not a tedious task. It’s easy as simply counting the plants. Tomatoes typically yield 9 to 12 kg of tomatoes per plant.

When To Plant Potatoes In Lesotho

Lesotho’s climatic conditions, with warm summers and cold winters, allow for only one production season across the entire country. Potatoes are grown as a summer crop, and planting can begin at any time between mid-September and December, though there is a risk of late frost up until the beginning of October.

Conclusion

I believe you have learned all that you need to know on how to start tomato farming in Lesotho. Ensure you read carefully the tips provided to maximize the opportunity available in tomato farming.

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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