Tips for farmers suffering from late rain

1)   Land preparation: Don’t waste time, money and moisture ploughing- ploughing will delay planting and reduce your yields significantly due to shortening daylight hours. You can worry about weeds once the crop is up and growing. Clear the planting rows of grass using a hoe; just one width of a hoe is enough. Don’t waste time clearing in between rows just yet.

2)   Planting: GET YOUR SEED IN THE GROUND AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.

If you don’t have potholes already, you can plant quickly and accurately using a dibble stick or hoe to make small holes for the seeds. A Magoye ripper works fine too.

3)   Fertiliser: You can put your fertiliser or manure beside the seed hole or in the ripper line.

 

4)   Don’t forget to cover seed and fertiliser quickly before the sun steals the nitrogen!

 

 

5)  Cover Crops: We recommend planting legumes like pigeon peas or velvet beans next the maize to help with fertility and building organic cover and improve your soil for next year. Our grandparents did this before chemical fertiliser and arrived and got good yields.

2 seeds for every maize plant in between the maize stations.

6) Weeding: Now you can cut the grass and weeds back using a slasher. This is much quicker than hoeing which can be done later when planting is over. The weeds won’t harm you crop  as much as planting late will. Slashing is effective anytime the weeds get away. Below, Seb is slashing the velvet beans to produce top dressing from the rotting plants.

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