Which is the best Kales seeds variety in Kenya?

Thousand headed kales

Are you searching for the highest yielding kales seeds to grow in Kenya? In this post, we give you the high yielding kales varieties in Kenya. The guide is best for you if you are growing them for sale or in a kitchen garden for use at home.

Kales are popularly known as “sukuma wiki” in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. Also known as collard greens, it’s the most popular vegetable in Kenya. Each household takes a meal of sukuma wiki with ugali almost on a daily basis. Given its high demand, you need to plant the best for high yields and profits.

Benefits of growing the best kale varieties

There are many benefits to farmers and traders who do crop seed selection. The major goals for growing the highest quality kale seeds for your farm are;

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  • To give you high quality yields and farm profits.
  • To access a ready market for your kales by growing what consumers are demanding
  • To lower cost of production by planting disease and pest resistant seed varieties that are most suitable in your agro ecological zone.

How to pick quality kales seeds?

Given the above benefits, the following are typical factors to consider while selecting your kales seeds.

  1. Highly preferred by traders and consumers with a high demand in the vegetable markets.
  2. Fast growth rate to mature fast to enjoy income from an early period.
  3. High tolerant to pests, diseases, and extreme temperatures.
  4. A delayed flowering period to enjoy a long harvesting period.
  5. High yielding rate per stem or per acre.

Which are the best Kales seed varieties in Kenya today?

Having understood the benefits and criteria for choosing the best kales seeds in Kenya, we will give you a list of the best varieties in the market. They include collard greens, Ethiopian Kales, hybrid varieties and the indigenous types like the Kinale.

The list below, is a summary of the top kales varieties in Kenya. It will give you the leaf yield per acre, maturing period to harvest after transplanting, time to 50% teleporting and the altitude range for optimal production. The specific features for each seed variety is given in detail after the summary.

List of kales Varieties in Kenya

  1. Ethiopian Kale (kanzira)
  2. Kinale
  3. Tosha
  4. Marrow Stem
  5. Thousand headed
  6. Moss Curly Kales/ Malkia F1
  7. Mfalme F1
  8. Tausi F1
  9. Collards Southern Georgia

Kinale

The Kinale kale variety is your best kale variety if you are looking to harvest your crop for long periods. Its known to last for 3 months to 3 years under proper crop management. Kinale Kale variety is high in nutrient content and the easiest kale variety to cultivate in Kenya. The vegetable is high yielding making it among the best even for small kitchen gardening.

Other features of Kinale making it your best kale variety to grow in Kenya are;

  • Kinale is an early maturing variety ready for harvesting 1 month after transplanting. 
  • It has wide altitude range of 1100m – 2500m above sea level. 
  • The leaf yield is high ranging from 90 – 245 t/ha. 
  • The seed yield is also very high.

Tosha

The Tosha Kale variety is a good kale variety if you are looking for a seed variety with long harvesting period. It’s the highest yielding kale variety in Kenya giving you between 119-245 tons per ha. Its other winning features are;

  • Tosha Sukuma wiki variety is an early maturing variety ready for harvesting 1 month after transplanting.
  • It has wide altitude adaptability ranging from 1100m – 2500m above sea level.
  • The leaf yield from Tosha Kales variety is high ranging from 119 – 218 T/ ha.

Thousand headed

The Thousand headed kales variety is popular for warm climates in Kenya. Its suitable to grow it in an area with little rainfall or minimal irrigation. It’s a fast maturing type taking around 2 months from transplanting. The Thousand headed is an indeterminate type and you can harvest it several times before second sowing.

According to the successful Sukuma wiki farmers, it has following features.

  • Thousand headed is a popular Kale variety widely adapted to warm areas.
  • It is drought and heat tolerant variety 
  • The leaves are light green in colour.
  • It matures early (60 days). 
  • The stem has prolific branching
  • The stem can grow upto 2m long.
  • The variety is high yielding (8 T/ acre).

Collard Southern Georgia

The southern Georgia collard variety is the most popular Kale variety in Kenya. Its widely adapted to both cold and warm areas. It is drought and heat tolerant.  In addition it’s tolerant to soft rot and black rot diseases. It matures early within 90 days after transplanting. Its high in vitamin A and C.

  • Tolerant to Soft Rot and Black Rot
  • Widely adapted even to warmer areas
  • Flowers after a short period of harvesting
  • Yield: 15,000kg per acre

Marrow Stem

Marrow stem is a popular Kale variety adapted to cool areas with low temperatures and good distribution of rainfall.  It has dark green leaves with low dry matter content.  The variety has thick stem and large leaves. It is a tall variety that grows up to 2m long.

  • Dark green leaves with sweet taste and little fibre
  • Good digestibility
  • Low dry-matter content
  • Yield: 15,000kg per acre

Mfalme F1

Are you looking for the best kale variety for an organic kitchen garden? The Mfalme f1 is the best variety. Its tolerant to powdery mildew disease, white flies and aphids. It’s a highly prolific kale variety with long harvesting period of more than a year. Its known to be very profitable for its low use of pesticides. Besides, its leaves are less acidic hence a good choice if you have stomach ulcers.

  • Harvesting starts 45 days after transplanting.
  • Has uniform dark bluish green leaves.
  • Has soft tender leaves that are easy to cook.
  • Very sweet taste, non-acidic and highly palatable.
  • Yields of15,000-20,000kg per acre depending on level of management.

Ethiopian Kales (Kanzira)

This is a traditional crop of the western and coastal communities though it has gained popularity in major towns. Kanzira leaves are less acidic when cooked hence preferred choice among people with stomach ulcers. Smaller leafed kanzira varieties are mainly uprooted as shoots whereas larger leaved varieties are plucks like kales or spinach.

The reasons you should grow the Ethiopian Kale include.

  • It is a cold tolerant variety that is suitable for cultivation at high attitudes.
  • its tolerant to insect pests and diseases.
  • Kanzira is an early maturing kale variety and harvesting starts from 35 days after sowing.
  • Ethiopian kales have long harvesting periods that can last for upto 10 weeks.

 On the downside, Ethiopian kales leaves are very perishable unlike other varieties

 Moss Curled Kales

The Moss curled kales variety is commonly known as Sukuma siku or Sukuma matumbo. Its not a very common kale cultivar in the region. It

It has dark curly leaves that are very tasty. Besides, the kale variety has low fibre content and has good digestibility. It’s fit for growing in cool growing conditions.

 In kenya, You can buy Moss curles Kales variety seeds under the Malkia F1 brand from Syngenta. The top benefits of growing Malkia F1 are;

  • Excellent yield potential
  • Large, tender leaves
  • Early Maturity
  • Excellent head cover

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