DECIDING WHAT TO GROW

By Albert Makendenge

Below is a list of factors to consider when deciding what crops to grow at any given time.

  • Available space or land

Crops that take up a lot of space and take a long time to mature (pumpkins or butternuts) are obviously best suited for larger pieces of land whilst those quick growing crops that take around 60 days or less (beans, lettuce, tomatoes, tomatoes, herbs) are great for small spaces.

  • Warm or cool season crop

Timing is everything in farming. There are crops that can be grown all year round and then some that can only be grown in winter or in summer. This is because crops come with different temperature and rainfall preferences.

  • Soil type and fertility

Whilst it may vary from crop to crop, most crops require a soil pH of about 7. Soil assessments are always important to determine the soil’s nutrient status which will in turn affect the crop growth and development potential.

  • Popularity of the crop

If considering putting up the product for sale, one has to consider a variety of a crop that people already like to avoid what might turn out to be a waste of time and space. Producing and marketing a completely new product might be met with mixed reactions and it is always best to do thorough market research prior to production.

  • Market price

Of one goes into farming with profit motives then they are certainly going to go for that crop variety with the maximum return per given area. This will also come down to the financial resources that the farmer has budgeted for that particular crop.

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