Watermelon Farming in Kenya 2018

Watermelon Farming in Kenya 2018

Watermelon farming in Kenya in 2018 is a very lucrative agribusiness, Watermelons not only do well in the marginal belts with low rainfall, you also have 2 seasons an year which can double your earnings. The demand is also very high; no fruit stall or fruit salad is complete without the juicy redness of a water melon.

Healthy watermelon plant
The popular varieties when it comes to watermelon farming in Kenya 2018 are;
  • Sukari F1 hybrid 
  • Pato F1
  • Charleston Grey
  • Sugar Baby
  • Early Scarlet F1
To start watermelon farming in Kenya, all you need is enough sunlight, enough water, space is fertile soil. Some varieties like the sugar baby take as little as 2 months to mature. You are therefore assured to have your invested cash back in no time; and this is with 4 times as much profit. For just 15,000, you can plant an acre of water melons in your own land. This will bring a profit of about 80, 000 kenyan shillings in just three months.

Planting Watermelons

When it comes to watermelon farming in Kenya in 2018, you first need to decide which variety you need to work with. While some are big and take a longer time to mature like the Sukari F1 Hybrid, others like the Charleston Grey are drought resistant. You do not need to prepare a nursery because these fruits are planted straight from the seeds in their final growing spaces.

Ensure that the farm is well tilled and soft for soil aeration. The location should also be able to get at least 6 hours of sunlight each day since watermelons need much sunlight to thrive. Plant the seeds 1 meter apart and at least 1.5 meters between the rows. Adequate rainfall or irrigation is required for the first few weeks after planting.

If the soil is fertile enough, you do not need to use fertilizer when planting.
All images courtesy of pixabay.com

Caring for your Watermelons

Once the seedlings have spouted and grown to a couple of inches long, consider thinning them to three seedlings a hole. This reduces the competition for water and nutrients between the plants making the remaining ones healthier.

Watermelons do not need much pampering after this. All you have to do is ensure that the farm is completely free from weeds. When the vines start spreading out you need to apply a fertilizer with balanced potassium nitrogen and phosphorus. Watering should be done once every week if there are no rains. After spreading out, as long as it rains once every two weeks, you need not water at all. The less water they get later on, the sweeter and crispier they turn out.

Remember to protect your plants from insects and pests such as aphids and also diseases using appropriate pesticides.

Harvesting of the Watermelons

Different varieties mature at different times. The quickest type can mature in just 60 days while most of the other varieties take at least 80 days. To know when they are ready, look out for the following signs:
  • The water melon have stopped being shiny
  • The coil near the stem is brown and dried up
  • There's a hollow thud when you tap the fruit
  •  The underside of the fruit is a rich yellow color as opposed to white.
When all these signs manifest themselves, it is time to harvest the watermelons, just  use garden shears to cut the watermelon from the vine.

Are you interested in watermelon farming in Kenya? Are you already ventured in the business? Do you have more tips you'd like to share. Leave us a comment below.

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