Sukuma wiki diseases:
Is your sukuma wiki under disease attack and you do not know what to do?
If that describes your situation you have come to the right place.
Here, I outline some of the kale diseases in Kenya, and what to do about them…
So that they no longer bother you.
Ready to get started?
Just like in any plant, a number of diseases attack sukuma wiki.
Majority of the kale diseases never cause significant loses as the kale plant has developed some resistance to them.
Other kale diseases cause mild damages.
For that reason, the kale diseases can easily be controled using fungicides.
However, there are 3 diseases that are a sukuma wiki farmer’s worst nightmare.
These diseases are very difficult to control.
Once they attack a kale farm, the loss is very substancial.
They can wipe your whole kale farm In A MATTER OF DAYS .
So if you want to protect your farm and get consistent income from sukuma wiki, you need to learn the following…
3 Top Sukuma Wiki Diseases
# 1. Powdery mildew
This is the most serious sukuma wiki disease in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania.
Many kale growers have no idea whatsoever on what to do to control the disease.
They try using one fungicide to another only to fail face down.
Majority of the existing fungicides CANNOT control this disease so…
Farmers report up to 70% loss of harvests in severe disease infections.
So if you have a kale farm, PAY CLOSE ATTENTION to this disease.
Whenever you spot the signs and symptoms of the disease…
take the necessary steps IMMEDIATELY lest it destroys your entire farm!
Powdery mildew symptoms
When this kale disease attacks a plant you will see:
- Small whitish grey patches.
- As the disease severity increases, the whitish patches join and cover the entire underside of the plant leaves.
- When that happens, the kale leaves start paling, and hardening.
- Pale and hardened leaves are unsightly, and unpalatable hence unmarketable.
- Eventually, as disease gets to peak levels, the entire plant dries and dies.
One heartbreaking thing about this disease is, “It is prevalent during the dry season.”
Therefore, many kale farmers think its the lack of water that is causing this condition.
That is bad news to farmers as that’s the time for peak sukuma wiki demand.
Any loss of quality and even plant death at this time is a serious dent to farmer’s earnings per acre.
To make the matters worse, the disease is highly resistant to fungicides.
That said what options do farmers have?
How To Control Powdery Mildew
First, to control kale powdery mildew, we have to look at the conditions that favor its development.
Research has shown…
Hot weather during the day coupled with cold temperatures at night favor the development of the disease.
So to effectively control the disease, you need to manipulate the environmental conditions that favor the disease.
You can do this by, “irritating the kale during the evenings and night.”
You can also use broad spectrum fungicides in conjunction with irrigation.
Farmers who have adopted the practice normally report success in controlling the disease.
Good News: SulGuard Destroys Kale Powdery Mildew
Sulguard clears all powdery mildew in Kale, Broccoli, Spinach, Cauliflower, Brussel sprouts and Canola
In two days, the fungus dries out and the infection stops spreading.
#2. Pythium Root Rot
This is another deadly sukuma wiki disease.
It often kills young seedlings in the nursery within hours.
If your nursery is unattended in a day or 2, when the disease has set in, it will destroy the entire nursery.
You and I know how important a nursery is to a farmer.
Without having a healthy sukuma wiki nursery you are not in the kale farming business.
That’s why I consider Pythium root rot disease to be a SPECIAL WATCH kale disease.
Pythium Root Rot Disease Symptoms
The seedlings develop water-soaked spots on their tender roots.
With the advancement of the disease, the water-soaked spots shrink and dry leading to the blockage of the root.
The blockage means that the roots can no longer transport water or nutrients to other parts of the seedling.
Consequently, the seedling dies by wilting.
How To Control Pythium Root Rot
The good news is, “It is much easier to control this disease.”
You can do that by applying preventive fungicides sprays and you’ll be good to go.
Another important practice you need to adopt is the daily checking of the nursery.
Doing so will enable you to spot disease development sooner before a lot of damage is done.
# 3. Black Rot
In my opinion, this disease is less severe than the two above.
I’m saying that because the specific condition that favors the development of the disease is having excessive water in the growing field.
If your farm is a on a gentle slope you can create drainage channels to remove excess water from the farm.
However, if your farm is on a flat area where drainage is a problem, then this disease will be a major problem to you.
Black Rot Kale Disease Symptoms
- Black spots develop on the stem of the plant.
- As the disease increases in severity, the spots become bigger and bigger.
- The spots then become water soaked then rotting starts.
- The rotting stems and leaf stalks emit a foul smell.
- During severe infestation, this sukuma wiki disease can destroy a whole farm.
The best and only way to control the disease is to grow your kale in a well drained area.
If that is not possible, you can dig drainage channels to remove excess water from the farm.
If you don’t have any other well drained land, then you can use the flat land to grow sukuma during the dry season when there is no excess water.
Key Takeaway On Sukuma Wiki Diseases:
Never let the existence of this three major sukuma wiki/ kale diseases, discourage you from growing kale.
They are an ordinary challenge that you can get over.
What are your thoughts on THIS?
How can i control disease and pest in my kales
Hi Julius Oguyo.
Pests and disease are often a nightmare for every kale/ Sukuma wiki farmer. Unfortunately, it is getting very expensive to control pests and disease as the pesticides are very expensive.
The pests are getting resistant to the pesticides thus adding more pain.
Nevertheless, you can’t give up.
To adequately fight disease and pests,
1. Grow your kale in the right environment. By this I mean grow the kale in fertile soils free of waterlogging and weed. By doing this the plants develop a resistance to pests and disease.
2. Give your plants the Right nutrition. This involves the use of lots of farmyard manure as opposed to chemical fertilizers. Use chemical fertilizers only on a need basis.
3. Use the right water when mixing pesticides in a Knapsack sprayer. (THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT). If you use dirty water, or borehole water that has so many minerals in it, this water NEGATIVELY affects the chemical composition of the pesticide. Always use soft water (Preferably rain water) to mix your pesticides.
4. To increase the efficiency of pesticides, use agricultural stickers in the spray mix.
Thanks, I hope I’ve been of help to you
Would like to reach out and learn about Sukuma Wiki as I intend to grow some in Kitengela
maybe a whatsapp contact or number I can call
Mine is 0725469742
Thanks Amos reading our blog reaching out for help.
Growing Kale is very easy–and Kitengela happens to be the perfect place for Kale farming.
All you need to start is a reliable source of water, a some land, and the courage to get going.
If you are a beginner farmer, start small. 1/8-1/4 acre is enough to start with.
learn as you grow and you’ll eventually become an expert!
Wow! What a great post that shows how to fight kale diseases that devastate farmers in Kenya. Keep going strong!