Strawberry is grown for its fruits that are widely appreciated for their bright red color, aroma, sweetness and juicy texture.
This article focuses on strawberry farming in Kenya. Strawberry is a type of fruit that is widely enjoyed due to its sweetness, juicy texture and aroma.
Strawberry farming in Kenya is mainly practised in areas such as Kiambu, Nyeri, Naivasha, some parts of Machakos, Embu, Molo, some parts of Western region, Kirinyaga and Nairobi.
Varieties of strawberry grown in Kenya
- Tioga Selva
Ecological conditions for growing strawberry
- Well drained soils with pH of 5.5-6.5.
- Hot climate. Strawberry does well in hot climate.
- Slightly higher/levelled grounds.
- Farming should be done outdoors.
- Altitude of 1250-2200m above sea level.
- Access to sunlight daily. They require direct sunlight for 6-10 hours on a daily basis.
- Temperature of about 10-30°c.
- Well distributed rainfall of about 1200mm.
- Weed free soils.
Planting of strawberry
Strawberry can be transplanted or grown from seeds.
The first step of planting will involve tilling of land and removal of weeds. You can use herbicides such as Clampdown to eradicate any type of weed. Weeds can lower yields because they compete for the available nutrients with the berries or plants.
After tilling land, you will have to add manure and fertilisers such as DAP to ensure the crop has enough nutrients supply.
Prepare planting holes which should be about 7.5 cm deep and and a spacing of approximately 30cm by 40-45cm.
Watering needs to be done from time to time. Strawberries need a lot of water especially when the flowers are developing. Irrigation (drip irrigation) can be a good option if necessary.
Strawberries take about 70 days to mature. Fruits can be harvested 4-6 weeks after blossoming. Experts recommend harvesting the berries when fully ripe. Once harvested, they don’t continue to ripen.
While harvesting strawberry, you should be very careful as it is very fragile and can easily be damaged.
The best time for harvesting is early in the morning when the fruits are still cool.