What is the best month to plant tomato in Nigeria?
Tomato cultivation can be an interesting venture in Nigeria. In Nigeria, there are a lot of farmers who grow tomatoes year in, year out.
Some tomato farmers engage in tomato farming in some months of the year because they consider the months favourable for the growing of tomatoes.
There are diverse reasons why tomato farmers in Nigeria choose some months of the year to grow tomato.
The reasons for choosing some months of the year to grow tomato will be discussed in this post.
Why farmers grow tomato in some months of the year
The reasons why tomato farmers see some months as the best months to cultivate tomato in Nigeria are discussed below:
To enjoy good pricing
Tomato fruits are usually very expensive in some months of the year in Nigeria. The trend of tomato price rises in May – July every year in Nigeria happens always. The trend has never been broken.
Farmers targeting to sell at this peak season will see the months of January to March as the best months to plant tomato in Nigeria.
A lot of the tomato farmers in Nigeria see the dry season months as the best months to plant tomato in Nigeria. Tomato farming in Nigeria during the wet season is a challenge because of the increased incidences of fungal diseases.
Some fungal diseases can wreck a tomato farm within a few days or weeks. Tomato blight disease if not well managed can lead to almost zero yield.
During the wet season, rains usually cause the leaching of nutrients in soils. Tomato is a heavy feeder; it needs a fertile soil, rich in nutrients.
Leached soil cannot support healthy tomato plants as tomato plants need a lot of nutrients.
Other reasons why farmers grow tomato in some months of the year include:
- Non-availability of labourers in some months of the year
- Excessive rainfall leading to washing away of applied pesticides on tomato plants
- High incidences of insects in the dry season etc.
The best month to plant tomato in Nigeria
The months of December, January, February and March can be the best months to plant tomato in Nigeria for some farmers. Farmers hoping to sell at high prices in May – July should cultivate their tomato crop between December and March.
Some farmers avoid the months of December – March because of the high incidences of white flies and other biting insects that transmit viral diseases to crops. This category of farmers may see the wet season as the best months to plant tomato in Nigeria.
However, farmers planting tomato in the wet season should have a good strategy to manage fungal diseases.
What month of the year do you consider as the best month to plant tomato in Nigeria? Please share your answers in the comment section.