Ultimate guide to Best fertilizer for each plant in Kenya

Fertlizer application rates

Are you looking for the best planting or topdressing fertilizer for each plant in Kenya? This article lists has the recommended fertilizer application rates for each crop in Kenya in 2021. The recommended rates listed here are the doses according to the  Ministry of Agriculture guidelines (2012): Crops Extension Pocket Handbook. The crops include vegetables like tomato, cabbage and carrots. Cereals like barley, maize and wheat and other cash crops like tea, coffee and sugarcane. The recommended rates are given in Kgs/Ha or g/tree for avocado, mango and citrus fruit trees.

The use of fertilizers can help you to double your farm yields and profits. But you must use the right types and amounts. The national ministry of agriculture provides the recommendations in the extension handbooks. Using the latest publication, these are the fertilizer recommended application rates at planting and top dressing.

Related: What you need to know about fertilizers

Best Fertilizer for vegetables in Kenya

  • Irish potatoes: The application rate for planting Irish potatoes is 500kg/Ha of DAP fertilizer.
  • Beetroot: Plant beetroot using 300kg/Ha of DAP phosphorus fertilizer.
  • Eggplants: To plant the Brinjals or the eggplant vegetable, use 120kg/Ha of NPK 23:23:0 compound fertilizer.
  • Broccoli: Broccoli vegetable needs planting fertilizer only. The recommended rate is 500kg/Ha pf DAP.
  • Cabbage: The cabbage vegetable needs 250kg/Ha of DAP planting fertilizer. For topdressing, use 250Kg/Ha of CAN nitrogen fertilizer.
  • Melon: To plant the vine vegetable, apply 200kg/Ha of TSP or DAP. For topdressing, apply 250kg/Ha of CAN fertilizer.
  • Carrots: The carrot vegetable has a recommended application rate of 200kg/Ha of DAP. The other option is 220 kg/Ha of DSP planting fertilizer. The application rate for topdressing is 200kg/Ha of CAN nitrogen fertilizer.
  • Cucumber: The vine vegetable requires 200kg/Ha of DSP planting fertilizer.
  • French beans: To plant the French beans, apply 200kg/Ha of DAP fertilizer and top-dress it by applying 100kg/Ha of CAN nitrogen fertilizer.
  • Garden Peas: Apply 200kg/ha of the TSP planting fertilizer to plant garden peas. Top dress with 150kg/ha of the CAN fertilizer.
  • Kales: During planting, apply 500 kg/Ha of DSP or 250kg/ha of Kales or vegetables. To topdress, apply 200kg/Ha of the CAN fertilizer in ha the sukumawiki vegetables.
  • Leeks: Leek vegetables require 250kg/Ha of DAP fertilizer to plant. In topdressing, apply 125kg/Ha of the CAN fertilizer.
  • Lettuce: During the planting stage, apply 200kg/Ha of lettuce vegetables. You can also use 400kg/Ha of the DSP fertilizer. It requires a top dressing of 125kg/Ha of the CAN fertilizer.
  • Onions: Plant the bulb onions in Kenya, apply 400kg/Ha of DSP K fertilizer. Other alternatives are 200Kg/Ha of TSP or 150Kg of DAP fertilizers. Onions require topdressing of 300kg/ha of CAN fertilizer.
  • Snow peas: To plant the Snow peas vegetables, apply 250kg/Ha of DAP K fertilizer. During topdressing, apply 200kg/Ha of CAN N fertilizer.
  • Tomato: Tomatoes require fertilizer application at the planting stage only. The recommended application rate is 200kg/Ha of DSP phosphate fertilizer or 100kg/Ha of DAP or TSP fertilizers.
  • Beans For most beans and other legume plant requires fertilizer for planting only. Its recommended application rate is 200kg/ha of DAP Fertilizers. The same rate is recommended for NPK 23:23:0 or the NPK 17:17:17 compound fertilizers.
  • Cowpeas Apply 100kg/Ha of DSP or 80Kg/Ha of the TSP fertilizer when planting the cowpeas for vegetables or pulses. For topdressing apply 150kg/Ha of CAN or 100Kg/Ha of Urea. Where the two are not available, plant using 150Kg/Ha pf the NPK 20:20:20 compound fertilizer. This does not need any topdressing.

Best Fertilizer for cereals in Kenya


If you are planting the normal barley, apply 90 kgs/ha of DAP planting fertilizer and top dress it by applying either 300kg/Ha of CAN or 90kg/Ha of ASN. If you grow barley intended for malting, then plant it using 90 kg/ha of DAP and top dress it with 180 kg of CAN fertilizer per Ha.  The alternative is applying 100 kg/Ha of MAP and top dress it with 90kg/Ha ASN.


To plant maize, use either 150-200 kg/Ha of DAP, 150 kg/Ha per of TSP or 200 kg/Ha of NPK 23:23:0. When maize is almost flowering, top dress it using either 250Kg/Ha of CAN or 150 kg of Urea.


The volume of fertilizers you use to grow wheat depends on the year of the crop. For virgin land use 130kg/Ha of NPK 11:52:0 fertilizer. If you are doing it for the 2nd year using 130 kg/Ha of DAP. In the 3rd year, apply 109 kg/ha and 87Kg/Ha of DAP in the 4th year. In over 4 years, use 200kg/Ha of NPK fertilizer 20:20:0.


To prepare rice in the nursery use 160 kg/Ha of DAP fertilizer. During transplanting, use either the 100kg/Ha of DAP, 100kg/Ha of NPK 17:17:17 or the NPK 23:23:0. For top dressing, the agronomists’ book recommends you use 180 kg/Ha of SA fertilizer or 100Kg/Ha of CAN.

Millet & Sorghum

To plant millet, use 120kg/Ha of DAP or 180Kg/Ha of MAP phosphate fertilizer. During the topdressing stage, use 125kg/Ha of CAN nitrogen fertilizer.

The sorghum cereal crop needs 120kg/Ha of DAP or 180 Kg/Ha of MAP for basal application when you are planting. For topdressing apply 100kg/Ha of the CAN fertilizer.


The fertilizer application rate for the avocado trees depends on the age. The table below summarizes the rate in g/tree for CAN and TSP fertilizers.

Age of citrus fruit tree CAN fertilizer (g/tree) TSP fertilizer (g/tree)
1-3 years 120 120
4-5 years 220 450
6-7 years 450 650
Over 8 years 650 650
Recommended fertilizer application rates for Hass and Fuerte avocado trees per age


 To plant the Bananas, apply 200kg/Ha of DAP planting fertilizer or 150Kg/Ha of NPK 23:23:0. During topdressing, apply 300kg of CAN fertilizer.


The fertilizer application rate for citrus fruits like lemon, lime, pixie oranges depends on the age of the tree. The table below summarizes the rate in g/tree for CAN and TSP fertilizers.

Age of citrus fruit tree CAN fertilizer (g/tree) TSP fertilizer (g/tree)
1-3 years 200 150
4-5 years 400 500
Over 5 years 600 1000
Recommended fertilizer application rates for orange and other citrus fruits


The recommended fertilizer application rate for Mango trees depends on the age of the tree. In year 1-3 apply 150g/tree of TSP or DAP fertilizer and 240g/tree of CAN. In year 4-5 apply 400g/tree of CAN and 500g/tree of TSP or DAP. Over 5-7 years apply 400g/mango tree of CAN and 1000g/tree of DAP or TSP phosphate(K) fertilizers.

Age of mango tree CAN fertilizer (g/tree) TSP or DAP fertilizer (g/tree)
1-3 years 240 150
4-5 years 400 500
Over 5 years 400 1000
Recommended fertilizer application rates for mango trees

Passion Fruits

To establish passion fruits, the recommended fertilizer application rate is 200Kg/Ha of TSP or DAP phosphorus (P) fertilizer. For topdressing apply 300Kg/Ha of the CAN fertilizer.


The sweet fruit has a recommendation rate of 500 kg/ha of DAP. Besides you can use 250kg/Ha of NPK 23:23:0 to plant pineapples or 200kg/Ha of the SA fertilizer. To get sweet pineapples, top-dress them by applying 200kg/Ha of urea nitrogen fertilizer


To plant and top-dress tea, use an acidic compound fertilizer like NPK 26:5:5 or 20:10:10.

Age of tea Bushes NPK 26:5:5 or 20:10:10. (g/tree) NPK 26:5:5 or 20:10:10. (Kg/Ha)
Year 1 6 180*6
Year 2 15 160*4
Year 3 67 720*1
Year 4 86 920
Year 5 56 600
Recommended fertilizer application rates for tea

In the 1st year, apply 180kg/ha (6g per plant) 6 weeks after transplanting and thereafter at 8 weeks intervals up to the end of the first year. In the 2nd year, apply 160kg/ha (15g/bush) every 3 months. In the 3rd year, Apply 720kg/ha (67g/bush) once. The same applies in the 4th year where you Apply 920kg/ha (86g/bush) once.5th year, Prune and then apply 600kg/ha (56 g/bush) at tipping.


Plant sugarcane with 2-3.5 bags/ha of DAP or 6-9 bags/ha of the SSP fertilizer. To top dress apply 4-5 bags/ha of urea or 8-9 bags/ha CAN depending on your agrozone and crop cycle.

Read more:

  •  Ministry of Agriculture (2012): Crops Extension Pocket Handbook  Vol. 1 – Field Crops.

Read Next : Where to buy fertilizers in Kenya

Samuel S.K.

S.K is the founder and senior agribusiness development consultant at Agcenture. He can be reached at info@agcenture.com

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1 Response

  1. April 9, 2021

    […] Related: Recommended Fertilizer Application Rates […]

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