News and knowhow for farmers

Soil testing crucial for crop bag planting

Nematodes and bacterial wilt are some of the deadliest infections affecting tomatoes, pepper, capsicum and other crops in the solanacea family.

No amount of chemical fumigation can control these soil-borne diseases. Once they attack the crops, nothing can be done to save either the seedlings or the resources that have been spruced up.

In addition to crops rotation, planting bags are helping farmers avoid such losses.

Chris Mutune of Amiran Kenya says famers must, however, test their soils against the various infections and parasites before filling the plastic containers.

“Farm hygiene is key in controlling the spread of many diseases, whether treatable or not. In the cases of soil-borne diseases-which do not have remedy, farmers must collect soils from where a crop affected by a particular infection has not been grown for a while,” he says.

Knowing that solanacea family has not been grown in a particular place for years does not shield a farmer. Confirming that the soil is actually safe for use is the first step to successful use of bags, Mutune says.

READ ALSO: Benefits of growing crops in bags

Other crops in the solanacea family include, sweet and Irish potatoes, eggplant, among others.

Amiran runs learning lessons for interested, who yearn to know how to do the tests on their own before packing soils into planting bags.

The bags are available in most agrovets, with Amiran Kenya selling theirs at Sh25 each.

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