- Topology: The land should be more or less flat and access to a source of water. Onion is a cool crop.
- Soil Type: The soil should be light and well drained fertile sandy loam non compacted soils, it should be free from aggressive weeds like couch grass and be also in full sun. Test the soil to determine your soil fertility.
- Soil PH: Red coach F1 performs better within a PH 5.8-6.8.If the PH is below 5 apply calctic lime at the rate recommended by your soil test results
- Seed Rate: 1kg of Red coach F1 is enough for one acre-mix them with the same amount of sand then fill farrows evenly with seed-sand mix when sowing.
Important Attributes of Red Coach F1
- Early maturing variety; 80-90 days from transplanting
- It’s a mid-short day hybrid red bulb onion variety
- It’s flattened globe shape bulb onion
- Produces medium to large dark red bulbs
- Very vigorous plant with strong root system which makes it ideal for hot growing conditions
- Has firm bulbs with good storage ability of up to 3 months
- It’s a pink rot resistant variety which makes it ideal for most Kenyan soils
- It produces 25-30 tons of uniformly mature deep red bulbs
- Make raised beds in rainy seasons and sunken beds in dry seasons of 1m width and of any desired length
- Apply well decomposed manure at the rate of 5kgs per square meter-mix and apply D.A.P at 0.5kgs/square meter
- Make shallow furrows of 15cm apart and 1-2cm deep
- Plant the seeds and cover lightly with the soil and apply mulch
NB: Ensure that your nursery is protected against fungal infections, Soil-borne pests and seed dormancy is worked on by embracing new nursery technology called PLO; which means a combination of three quality chemicals that controls soil-borne pests and diseases, P is Pyramid – a fungicide that controls soil-borne diseases such as damping off and downy mildew, L is Loyalty – an insecticide for control of soil-borne pests such as cutworms and Ois Optimizer – a bio stimulant fertilizer that manages crop stress. Mix 50 gm of pyramid plus 10 gm of Loyalty and 20 ml of Optimizer all in 20 L of water and do soil drench in the nursery.
- After sowing, irrigate the nursery bed literally two times a day for 10 days and then continue watering regularly; every evening or morning, depending on the prevailing weather conditions.
- Germination takes about 7 days, remove mulch and erect the shade above the tender seedlings
- Transplant of seedlings takes 6-8 weeks after sowing when they have attained pencil thickness and 15cm of height
- Transplant when seedlings have 3-5 well-formed leaves
- Two weeks before transplanting, reduce the shade to improve seedling survival rate in the field
NB: Spray Optimizer at a rate of 20 ml/20L of water three days before transplanting to minimize transplanting shock, Optimizer is a biostimulant & foliar fertilizer that manages crop stress, improves crop immunity and boosts the overall growth of onion crops.
Onions are spaced at 30cm by 7-10 cm
Apply 3-5 tons of well-decomposed farm yard manure in an acre at the time of final land preparation
Apply 100 kg of N.P.K 17:17:17 when planting/transplanting, 60kgs of CAN as top dress (30 days after transplanting)-5 cm below the seedling and 2 cm to the sides gives the plant efficient use of fertilizer
Red coach F1 takes 3 months to full physiological maturity
Onions are ready to harvest when they form a shiny membranous cover around the bulbs or when the foliage withers. Harvest when rains are little or during dry season, Harvesting is done by pulling the bulbs carefully from the soil then chopping off the leaves or by bunching the onions together and hanging them up in an airy space for about a week until all the outer leaves are nicely dried then bulbs can be easily pulled from the bunches.
Don’t store freshly harvested bulbs on the floor, the floor increases humidity hence high rate of rotting. Put onions in loose bags/nets and store them in a well-constructed storage facility
10000 seeds, 25000 seeds