Saturday, 16 June 2012

Organically grown spider plants vegetables in Kenya

Kenyan farmer
Spider plants are indigenous vegetables which are propagated directly by seed in Kenya. They are known to be nutritious, medicinal and therefore very rich in iron, calcium, magnesium, proteins and fibre. The spider plants are erect herbs growing to a height of ½ -1metre depending on management. They are common in western Kenya, Nyanza and major urban markets in the country. The local names for these vegetables are chisaka, saka, thageti, esaka, chisaga and isakiat. The popularity of spider plants vegetables is growing due to increasing knowledge of benefits of healthy eating. The main feature of spider plants vegetables is the ability to grow widely with very little management, and it can grow anywhere in East Africa. According to research at regional research centre kakamega Kenya, spider plants yields better with organic manure than when inorganic fertilizers are applied. No chemical sprays are required for pest and disease control

The stems are hairy and often deep pink in colour. The leaves grow on long stalks and are divided into 5 leaflets. These vegetables require soils that are rich in organic matter. Manure application is recommended at a rate of 30 tons per hectare. The seeds are directly drilled at a rate of 500g per acre, in furrows30- 45 cm apart. Thinning to 15cm follows after 4 weeks at about 6cm height and thinning are utilized as vegetables. After flowering, the growing tip should be pinched off to encourage branching and high leaf yields. However if the crop is intended for seed production, the tipped off spider plants should be allowed to flower and harvesting of leaves minimized.

The crop is ready for harvesting 45 days after sowing. Harvesting is done before pods formation by selective picking of leaves with the leaf stalk attached. Mature pods yellow in colour, should be harvested for a crop intended for seed production. They should be dried for five days in the shade and one day in the sun. The pods should then be shelled and the seeds winnowed. Clean seeds are mixed with one handful of wood ash per 5kg of seed for preservation and storage. The vegetables can yield 1bag of seeds and 100 bags of leaves per acre of land. These crops have minimal pests and disease problems other than a small beetle causing holes on the leaves and bacterial blight. Crop rotation is therefore very important for spider plants growing.Market connection .Read absolutelyorganic