Growing Wolfberry in West Africa
Question from: Eugene Odiye
Posted on: January 20, 2008

Please what is the best way to grow wolfberry seeds? Actually, I bought some wolfberry seeds from Richters which I planned to grow in my village in Nigeria for my personal use. Since Nigeria has very conducive weather for growing such herbs I will like to know and with your years of experience, inform me of the best way to grow this wolfberry in my village.

Wolfberry adapts to the environment very well, it can withstand temperatures from up to 38.5 degree Celsius to relatively low temperatures like -25.6 degree Celsius without kill. Wolfberry can also endure droughts, so that it can still grow in desert areas. The wolfberry plant grows in large amounts of light source, which develops health growth; however, the plant will weaken and decrease the number of flowers and fruits under shade. Wolfberry has low requirements for the soil quality; it can resist relatively high pH and salt concentration. However, it cannot grow in flooded areas, and is weak against swampy areas.

It is usually propagated by seeds, but sometimes also by cuttings. Here are some important points:

1. Choosing the right place: pick a place that is close to irrigation, with a flat surface, full of sunshine, and relatively soft soil. Every mu (a Chinese unit of area, around 666 metres square) should have manure of about 2000 ~ 3000 kg. In the fall, you should deep plow the soil to about 25 ~ 30 cm, and water on. In the spring, lightly plow it and made channels of about 1.2 m wide.

2. Seed growing: Before germination, use warm water of about 40 degree Celsius, to soak the seeds for 24 hours in order to increase chance of sprouting. The average germination rate is about 90%. The germination period should be from late March to mid April. Drill a gouge of 0.5 ~ 1 cm deep, each about 30cm apart. Mix some silver sand (fine sand) into the seeds and sow them onto the gouges. Cover soil over the seeds, and water to a degree that the soil is wet, but not soaked. And the soil should remain a temperature of about 17 ~ 21 degree Celsius for 5~7 days, after which the seeds are starting to sprout. Every mu requires about 1~1.5 kg seeds.

You can find more information about growing wolfberry on the website of Richters Herbs: www.richters.com.

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