A few months ago, i visited my neighbor’s farm.I initially took the trip to learn how my neighbor succeeded in greenhouse farming as he had a couple of them. The trip ended up with me developing an interest in bulb onion farming. At the time he had 4week old onions in the farm looking healthy and at first look it dint look like much as from what i knew, greenhouse farming was the ultimate farming technique. However, this nortion changed after hearing how he had reaped from it.
The type of onons planted was Jamber F1. From his experience he advised me to get one of two high quality breeds. Jamber F1 and another i cant quite remember(My apologies). The previous season, he planted 2kgs seeds of the plant with the seeds costing around 20,000. On harvest day, he harvested 20 tonnes of the crop and sold it at gate price of Ksh50 per Kg. Well, assuming you have done the math(as i did) the numbers must be exciting you. So you can understand why i took up the venture myself.
After buying the seeds, i prepared the seedbed and planted the seeds which soon sprouted. This i did without any fertilizer. I had intended to apply urea after they sprouted but did not acquire it in time. However the onions turned out okay. I however advice farmers to apply urea or any other fertilizer adviced by specialists.
It has been more than a month now(around 2weeks) and i intend to transplant the seedlings in a weeks time after they developed their third shoot/leaf. I have experienced two challenges so far:
Watering was a challenge as the seedlings are not few as i had earlier imagined.We had to make 2 large seedbeds to fit raise the seedling.Since i used watering cans, we had to make several trips to the water point and back to water the 2 beds.This can become tiresome considering it is a daily event.
Weeds provided another challenge.Unfortunately, i left them to overgrow and this provided a problem during weeding/uprooting of the weeds as some had grown so close to the seedlings that uprooting the weeds threatened to distort the soil around the seedling.I lost a couple of them during this exercise.So my advice, weed early to avoid this problem.Or use trays instead of traditional methods.
I also noticed something rather strange.The tips turned yellow at times.I was concerned at first but then noticed that this happened when it has been sunny for a while but they turned back to normal when the rains came back. I am yet to get professional advice on this.
So i transplant next week and remain hopeful. I will update you on my experience after the transplanting. Wish me luck!!
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