Feedback: Using bio-stimulants on crops
You can use FitoMaat from Kenya Biologics Ltd. For more information, please contact the farm based in Naivasha on 0710724629. Mycorrhizae are beneficial fungi that are found in plant roots and they promote plant growth and vigour.
Visit hotels and butcheries in Siaya and place an order. The main challenge is that the number you are supplying is too low. I will encourage you to keep more and do market survey before production.
Another way is to produce them in groups to strengthen the bargaining power in terms of buying feed ingredients and equipment while selling your products. Contact Otieno 0716116062 in Siaya who keeps them.
Transplanting: Sow 2—3 seeds per 2-inch container or plug flat about three weeks before transplanting. Germinate at 24—35°C. Handle seedlings carefully when transplanting, as they dislike root disturbance. Seedlings are very sensitive to cold temperatures, thus, use cloches or row cover if necessary to protect newly transplanted seedlings from cool nights.
Where pest pressure is high, cucumber beetles can destroy young plants. Apply row cover immediately after planting and remove as soon as plants begin to flower; otherwise, pollinators will not be able to access the flowers. Keep the plants well-watered.
After the first bloom, ensure the plants receive a litre of water every four days (or more frequently in extremely hot weather). Sandy soils and/or drip irrigation systems may necessitate more frequent, lighter irrigation than heavier soils or overhead irrigation. Do not overwater to the point where the soil is consistently saturated.
Large-scale growers are encouraged to maintain at least one hive of honeybees per acre of pumpkins to help with pollination. Yield increases have been achieved with up to three hives per acre. Native bees are usually adequate for home gardens.
Avoid picking up fruits by the handles and take care not to damage the skin/rind. Curing is recommended. Curing heals wounds to the fruit, enhances colour, and ensures a longer shelf-life. Sun cure the fruits in the field for 5—7 days or cure indoors by keeping fruits at 80—27—29°C and 75—85 per cent relative humidity with good air ventilation.