Growing Moringa – Getting Started

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P1330956-002There are various methods of growing moringa.  To work out what is best for you, first you need to determine a few things.  Are you growing for home use or for commercial use?  Are you focusing on leaf production or overall production (leaves, beans, seeds)?

In this post I am going to share some things you need to know to help you make the right choices and get started.

How Moringa is grown.

  1. Backyard trees for the household or community use.  Each household, school, health centre, etc., plant trees for their personal use.  This is how they have grown moringa for years in the Philippines.  They include moringa in their meals everyday.
  2. Commercial plantations for both leaf, fruit and seed yield.
  3. Annual crop for intensive leaf yield.  Seeds are planted close together and the leaves are harvested after a few months.
  4. Wind Breaks - Moringa trees are grown close together as a living fence.

Where Moringa grows

TROPICAL AND SUBTROPICAL CLIMATES - Moringa loves tropical and subtropical climates, and thrives best in fertile, well-watered soils.

HOT DRY CLIMATES - Moringa is drought tolerant it will grow in hot, dry regions.  It will grow when other plants have died.

TEMPERATE CLIMATES - Moringa can be grown in cooler climates as long as it is in a warm, sheltered position.  It does not like frost and will die back in winter, but spout again when the weather warms up again.  The soil must be well drained soil so the roots don’t get too wet.  It can also be grown in pots and kept in warm spots.

Which seeds to buy.

There are a few varieties of moringa oleifera seeds on the market.  Buy the seeds that best suit your needs.  Choose from:

  1. Conventional indigenous seeds.  These are from native stock and have been self pollinated.  The advantage of these is that the produce long-living trees.  You can pick the leaves, pods and seeds for years.  Great for the average household or community.
  2. Cultivated seeds - Two varieties that have been cultivated for extra high yield are PKM1 and PKM2, which were developed in India.  They have longer fruit and more seeds and leaves.  However the lifespan of the trees is only a few years.  The PKM1 grows quickly and can produce seedpods in less than a year.  The seedpods are uniform size.  The PKM2 has more lateral branches, producing more leaf within hand reach.  The seedpods of the PKM2 are more flesh than seeds.

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