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Green Gram Growing Guide for 2022



Are you a green gram farmer looking for a comprehensive mug bean growing guide? If yes, you have come to the right place. This green gram farming guide will help you increase your mug bean yields. We have created this green gram farming manual to help farmers like you to increase their yield and reduce losses caused by poor planning. 

Green grams are sometimes referred to as Ndengu. Ndengu is a rich source of protein, essential minerals, and vitamins.

Besides providing proteins and essential nutrients such as iron and carbohydrates, mug beans enrich the soil by adding nitrogen. Ndengu has several advantages over other cash crops. One of the advantages is that it is adaptable to a wide range of environments, and they grow fast. Green grams are primarily grown in Central, Nyanza, and Eastern regions.

Ecological Requirements

Mung beans grow well in low-altitude areas, preferably 50 -1600m above sea level. They have a poor pod set if planted in areas above 1600m above sea level, which reduces yield. The crop can do well in areas with low rainfall. However, adequate moisture will be required during the flowering stage. The minimum rain needed by the crop is 350 -700mm per annum.

When planting green grams, you need to ensure that you do not grow them in areas with high rainfall or humidity. High humidity levels attract diseases which increase the cost of production because more money will be used on herbicides.

Another disadvantage of planting ndengu in areas with high rainfall levels is that the excess water causes vegetative growth at the expense of pod set. The farm will have plenty of foliar but very few pods. 

One advantage of this crop is that it can do well on different types of soils, such as sandy, black cotton, and red laterite spoils. The best soil PH for green gram farming is between 6 -7. If the PH is below 6, lime should be added to the soil at least 12 months before planting.

Alternatively, farmers are encouraged to use an organic fertilizer such as Safi Sarvi. This fertilizer is suitable for use on soil with high acidity levels. It is a carbon-negative fertilizer that creates a liming effect which restores the soil PH. At the same time, the fertilizer improves the soil’s moisture retention capability, making it suitable for use in regions with low rainfall levels.

Green Gram Seed Varieties

After choosing an ideal location, the farmer must choose a suitable seed variety to plant. Each variety has its advantages and disadvantages. Some seed varieties are disease resistant, while others can only be grown in specific areas. Therefore, the seed variety planted should meet local and market needs. Some of the popular Mug bean seed varieties are:

Ndengu Tosha

Ndengu Tosha was created by the Kenya Agriculture Livestock Research Organization {KARLO}. This mug bean variety has a green pod color when dry and matures in around 70 days. If well nurtured, this seed variety can yield ten 90kg bags.

N22/ KVR22

This seed variety has a golden yellow color and matures in 90 days. It is bought from the Dryland seed company and is suitable for planting in areas with an aphid infestation because they are aphid resistant. The seeds are also resistant to yellow mosaic disease and powdery mildew.

N22 flowers in 60 days and is ready for harvest within 90 days. The crop has an estimated yield capacity of 4- 7 {90kg} bags per acre.


This seed variety was introduced to the market by KARLO. It has large shiny green seeds and matures in around 75 days. At optimal conditions, this variety should give an optimal yield of 8-9 {90kg} bags per acre.


The Kenya Seed Company produces this seed variety. The pods turn brown when dry, and the plant starts to flower around 65 days after planting. It is a high-yielding variety because it can produce ten 90kg bags per acre. KS20 matures in 3 months.

Green Gram Germination Seed Test

A germination seed test is used to determine the germination rate of a seed variety. If the seed variety chosen has a germination rate above 80%, it is suitable for planting. To do a germination fit test for green grams:

  1. Take a tablespoon of seeds and soak them in water for around 6 hours.
  2. After 6 hours, put the soaked seeds on a moisturized cotton and assess how many seeds have sprouted after three days.
  3. If the germination rate is below 80%, do not plant that seed variety. 

Green Gram Land Preparation and Site Selection

Avoid planting in heavy clay, swampy or sloping soil. Only choose areas with high fertility levels and areas where green grams have not been grown for more than two consecutive seasons.

The land should be plowed twice and then harrowed to achieve a fine seedbed. Plowing should be done during the dry season to promote aeration and to expose diseases and pests to sunlight. 

Soil Fertility

The farmer must have a soil test done to ensure that the nutritional requirements of green grams are met. Green gram fertilizer should include nitrogen, zinc, phosphorus, and manganese. The amount of fertilizer that will be added will depend on soil test results.  

The farmer must add nitrogen at 25 kgs per acre if a soil test shows nitrogen deficiency. If there is phosphorus deficiency, it should be added at 50 kgs per acre. Other nutrients should be added based on the recommendations of an agronomist.

Mug Bean Spacing and Seed Rate

When planting green grams, farmers should plant the seeds 5 cm deep in soils with a fine tilth. However, the seeds can be planted 7 cm deep if the soil is dry. One advantage of green gram is that it can be intercropped with other crops, such as maize. The crop should be planted in the middle if you decide to intercrop it with maize. Spacing for Ndengu should be 15 cm within rows and 45 cm between rows.

Though every variety has a recommended seed rate, 8 -15 kg per acre will work fine. Factors that affect growth rate include the type, condition, and germination rate. A scientific way of determining the seed rate is by using the formula below:


Seed rate = Required plant density per Ha

                      Seed/kg x (Germination rate in %) x (Establishment %/100)


Weeding is essential because it eliminates unwanted competition for nutrients and moisture. In addition, weeding helps control pests and diseases, which can result in decreased yields. The number of reduced yields will depend on the weed infestation type. Weeding should be done at least once every 25 days. Examples of weeds found on green gram farms are amaranth, conducive grass, wandering Jews, and star grass. 

Weeds can be controlled in two main ways: by removing them manually or using pre-emergence herbicides such as Roundup. Roundup should be used before the seeds are planted because it will kill everything on the farm. 

Pests and Mug Bean Disease Control

Farmers must be aware of the Integrated Pest Management Guidelines to control pests and diseases. These guidelines have been developed to help farmers identify and prevent diseases before they destroy the entire farm. According to these guidelines, the farmer must first decide whether or not there is a significant threat to the farm. If the threat is significant, the farmer must monitor and identify pests.

This is important because it enables the green gram farmer to know whether or not a pesticide will be used. If the threat is not significant, traditional methods such as crop rotation can be used to mitigate it. However, if the pests are out of control and threaten to reduce yields, then a suitable pesticide must be identified and used as recommended by the manufacturer.

Some common pests that attack green gram farms are:


Cutoworm attacking green grams

Cutworms mainly damage young seedlings, which are cut near the ground. If the area around the crop is investigated, agronomists will find black larvae. To control cutworms, farmers should do extensive plowing to expose them to predators. A suitable insecticide should also be sprayed on the farm to kill the pests. 


These pests attack the leaves resulting in defoliation. If they are not controlled early, the pests will destroy the pods reducing yields. Pod borers can be controlled by either handpicking and killing them or by using bio-pesticides such as Neem and Baciguard.

Flower thrips

As the name suggests, these pests feed on pollen, reducing pollination rates. As a result, there is a reduced seed set, which reduces yields. Crops infected by thrips tend to have holes in the leaves, and flowers turn brown and die. 

Flower thrips can be managed by plowing and harrowing the farm. Plowing exposes the pupae to predators such as bugs, and this helps reduce their numbers. Farmers should take extra precautions during the flowering stage as this will significantly determine the amount of yield that will be lost.

Get In Touch With a Qualified Agronomist

Do you need help on your green gram business venture? Do you need the services of an agronomist to guide you through the different stages of mug bean planting? If yes, dont hesitate to reach out to us for a free consultative session.


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