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Dicla Farm and Seeds CC does not only sell products. Our staff is also there to give you expert advice. If you have a question that has not been addressed here, please contact us!
What to Do Before Buying Land
GeneralIn what direction should the tunnels face?
It should stand with the length parallel with the prevailing winds. Normally this is a NW direction. This is to ensure proper ventilation.
What about the sun?
This is also important, but ventilation is more important. South Africa has enough sun, therefore direction related to sun is not that important.
How much should be allowed for spacing between the tunnels?
A minimum of 2 m apart. This is to ensure that the shade of the one tunnel is not falling into the next tunnel, and prohibiting the one line from optimum growth. It is also easier to replace plastic if the spacing is at least 2m.
Is it important to analyse the water?
Yes, VERY, VERY IMPORTANT! Without good water quality, it is difficult to farm in tunnels and hydroponics. Sometimes a special mix fertilizer needs to be mixed for specific water types.
General Info on Crops
TomatoesHow many kilogrammes of tomatoes can one harvest per plant per crop?
Up to 10 kg of tomatoes is possible, but in many cases higher kilos are recorded. The time in which such quantity can be harvested, is about 3 - 4 months harvesting.
What is the total duration of a tomato crop in tunnels?
It depends on the circumstances, but when it is favourable, a crop will last at least 6 months. This is calculated from the date the plants are transplanted. A tomato plant can grow much longer, even more than a year, but in most cases it is not viable to let plants grow that long. The quality and size of tomatoes are in many cases not very good when plants are too old.
How many tomato plants is the optimum for a 10 m x 30 m tunnel?
900 plants, i.e. 3 plants per sqm. If more plants are placed, the total production per plant will be less. There will be too much competition.
What temperatures can a tomato plant handle?
In summer, it is advisable to keep the temperature lower than 35°C, but in practice this is not always possible. A plant’s performance is definitely influenced by too high temperatures, and too low temperatures as well. In winter, a tomato plant can still perform well when the temperature doesn’t drop below 5°C.
What can be done in summer when temperatures are too high?
When temperatures are too high, the fertilizer utilisation of a plant is not optimal. A guideline is to give more water in the hot part of the day. When it is very hot, a plant can use up to 3 - 4 litres of water a day. Make sure the EC in the bag is not to high!
CucumbersHow long does a cucumber crop last?
Cucumbers grow much faster that tomatoes. From the day of transplanting a seedling, until the day of production, takes between 5 and 7 weeks. Thereafter a normal production period is about 12 - 14 weeks.
How many cucumbers can be harvested in such a production period?
Practice has shown that a production of 20 per plant is more than possible, but many farmers reach only 15 cucumbers per plant.
What is the reason for lower than expected production?
Many factors play a role, such as weather, diseases and water quality. In many cases, the poor water quality is the main reason. Too high salinity of the irrigation water could also have a drastic influence on production.
What temperatures are optimum for a cucumber?
A minimum of 12°C and a maximum of 35°C.
What is the optimum planting density for cucumbers?
Practice has shown that about 2 - 2.2 plants per sqm works the best.
Sweet PeppersHow long does a pepper crop last?
Peppers are very slow growers. From transplanting to production takes about 3 - 4 months, thereafter the plants can be in production for 8 - 9 months.
What are the optimum temperatures?
Pepper plants are very sensitive to temperatures. A minimum of 17°C and a maximum of 30°C will ensure good production.
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