Planting in a nursery
- Make fine tilth seedbed
- Drill seeds in rows 15 - 20cm apart, 7cm between seeds and 1 cm deep.
- Keep soil moist but not water logged.
- After germination thin to 7cm apart in a row to ensure strong seedlings.
- Note that the seed rate in a nursery is 150 to 200 gm/ha.
- Space holes1m by 0.5 m to get a population of 20,000 plants per Ha.
- Apply manure at a rate of 2 handfuls per hole and mix thoroughly.
- Apply 1 tea spoon per hole of DSP or DAP (this is equivalent to 200kg /Ha).
- Transplant about 1 month after germination when the seedling has 4 – 6 true leaves
- Space holes 0.75-1m between rows and 0.5m between plants.
- Apply manure at the rate of 2 handfuls per hole and mix thoroughly.
- Apply 1 teaspoon per hole of DSP or DAP (this is equivalent to 200kg/ha)
- Direct planting seed rate is 800 to 1000gms per hectare
Caring for the crop
- Top-dress at 4 weeks after transplanting with CAN at the rate of 100kg/ha
- Four weeks later top dress again with a compound fertilizer or a recommended foliar feed.
- Maintain mulch especially for determinate varieties (It keeps the fruits clean, suppresses weeds, conserves moisture and keeps soil temperatures low)
- Weed regularly (Weeds compete for nutrients and also act as hosts for diseases and pests)
- Irrigate the crop 2 – 3 times a week during dry weather
- For tall growing indeterminate varieties
- Push a 3m long stake firmly into the ground next to each plant.
- Train the stem loosely to the stake as the plant grows
- Use suitable training material e.gbanana twine.
- Pruning is necessary for indeterminate varieties.
- Allow one or two main stems to grow per plant.
- Pinch off all other lateral shoots once a week.
- When the plant forms 6 to 8 trusses, pinch off its growing top.
- Remove leaves close to the ground to prevent entry of blight.