- A vegetable is any crop that is grown and eaten fresh.
- Vegetables are important both for nutritional and commercial reasons.
- They are categorized on the basis of the part used as food. Such parts include;
Vegetables are grouped into the following categories:
- Leaf vegetablesfor example kales and cabbages.
- Root vegetablesfor example carrots, beets, radishes and turnips.
- Fruit vegetablesfor example French beans and okra.
- Stem vegetablesfor example asparagus, leeks and spring onions.
- Bulb vegetablesfor example bulbed onions and garlic.
Tomatoes (Lycopersicon esculentum)
- Tomatoes are fruit vegetables widely grown in Kenya.
- The ripe fruit may be eaten raw cooked or processed to make tomato sauces, juices and pastes.
- Altitude: 0-2100 m above sea level.
- Rainfall: 750-1300 mm per annum.
- Soils: deep, fertile and well drained.
Fresh market varieties:
- Money maker,
- Marglobe, hundred fold,
- Beef eater,
- Hot set,
- Super marmande
- Kenya beauty,
- San -marzano,
- Heinz 1350,
- Rutgers hybrid
- Choose a site which has not been grown Solanaceae crop in the last three years.
- Nursery beds are raised about 15cm above the ground level.
- Make drills of 20cm apart and 1cm deep drill and cover the seeds.
- Provide shade or mulch material.
- Water twice a day.
- Apply phosphatic fertilizers during planting.
- The land should be dug deeply to control weeds.
- Seedlings are ready for transplanting when they are 10-15cm high after about one month.
- Holes are made at a spacing of 60cm x 90cm.
- Apply 20gm of DSP in the planting hole.
- Transplant with a ball of soil around the roots.
- Apply mulch around each seedling.
- Transplanting is normally in the evening or on a cloudy day.
- Early control of weeds is necessary.
- Top dressing is done after crop establishes.
- Pruning and staking are done to train the plants to grow vertically.
- Nature of damage: boring holes on the fruits.
- Control: spraying insecticides.
Tobacco White Fly
- Nature of damage: suck plant sap from the underside of the leaf, hence may transmit viral diseases.
- Control: Destroy infected plant and spray insecticides.
- Cause: Fungus
- Symptoms: dry patches on the leaves and fruits.
- Control: use of fungicides, crop rotation and destruction of affected materials.
- Too much nitrogen in early stages.
- Irregular or infrequent watering.
- Calcium deficiency.
- Control: Apply calcium ammonium nitrate and correction of the above problems.
- For canning, fruits should be fully ripe.
- For fresh market, fruits should be partially ripe and packed in crates to avoid damage.
- The fruits should be graded according to;
- Freedom from blemishes.