On this edition of Food For Mzansi’ Gather To Grow session on twitter, experts shares tips on farming with one of the most reliable crops in Mzansi – butternut. Butternut is quite versatile and fairly easy to grow.
Butternuts – versatile and fairly easy to grow – are heat weather plants, and therefore planting is typically concentrated over the spring and early summer months. In South Africa that is from August to December.
But be careful, timing is everything when it comes to planting butternut, Leshalagae Mojapelo, founder of BK Agric Traders warns. “When you are planting butternut, you don’t want to have your area waterlogged, because too much moisture in the soil causes too many diseases.”
What’s great about cultivating this hour-glass shaped vegetable, is that it does not require too much attention and most challenges a farmer my run into are solvable.
Caring for your plants
In the episode, farmer and founder of Ya Maja Bital, Segwarihle Siesegoan, explains why he personally recommends seedlings to plant butternuts.
Butternut squash has a long growing season of about 110 days. Follow a few care tips to keep these plants healthy all season long. If you’re going the seeds route there are a few critical steps follow. In the episode, Siesegoan also heard unpacks drip irrigation and how these soft, orange fleshed vegetable does well with drip irrigation.
In the twitter session that is now available on YouTube, market research and market access was also up for discussion, with Mojapelo unpacking the importance to farmers doing market research before planting.
“I’ve learned that as an emerging farmer for you to make something out of your crop, you got to do explore street markets. Street markets give us reasonable returns, unlike when you’re going for your supermarkets, hypermarkets and agencies. They will rip you off, they will negotiate for your crops and at the end you’ll lose”
On this edition of Gather To Grow farmers also discuss:
- Spacing method while growing butternuts;
- Tools you’ll need for planting and harvesting;
- Ways to prevent common crop diseases and more.
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