By Fatima Muraina
Preparation of land
Prepare the land by clearing off the bush if there is any and the trees in the farm.
The best time do this is few weeks before the start of rainy season or before you plant.
You can use organic manure like compost or animal dungs, just spray them on the land and leave to make the compost decay and be absorbed by the soil to give more nutrients to it.
Planting Scent leaf
Make farm beds or just make small holes of about 6 inches or a little bit more and with a gap of 1 foot on the land, then get the stems of scent leaf and plant them.
Plant the stems by placing them in those holes made, facing the place where the leaves are up on the surface and covering the holes with sand. The best time to plant this crop is during the rainy season.
Weed act as a hindrance to this plant, this is because it is greatly affected negatively by weed at the early stage, although weeds do not pose any significant threat to this plant when they have grown up and are taller, but nevertheless, they need to be removed immediately they sprout out, be it in the early stage of the scent leaf plant or when it grows up.
Pruning is another great way to take care of scent leaf plants, but it is very sad that many farmers tend to ignore it.
Pruning can help plants which scent leaf is involved to do exceptionally well, this is because when the drying or dying branches are removed, it will give the plant the chance to re-grow healthy branches.
Mulching simply means to cover the bottom of the plants in order to save both the water, the soil nutrients in the soil and also to limit the amount of weed that might grow around the plants.
To mulch, get bunch of green leaves and cover the bottom ( root) of the plants with them. No need to munch at maturity stage.
Harvest of Scent leaf
Scent Leaf, just like fluted pumpkin is a kind of vegetable that does not have a particular or stipulated time to harvest, the harvest is a continuous process because the leaves will keep re growing once they are harvested till the plant itself is very old and dies off.
To harvest, take a small kitchen knife or small scissors to the farm, cut some branches on each plant, avoid cutting all the branches as they will be used by the plants to sustain themselves and re-grow new branches and leaves.
The harvest of this vegetable should be done early in the morning or late in the evening and avoid harvesting in the hot afternoon as the leaves are very perishable, they will wither and start drying immediately they are exposed to the sun.
Importance/Uses of Scent leaf
For cooking, as a natural cure, used to cure stomach ache, dirty stomach, clean the intestines, cure and quicken wound recovery, reduce blood sugar level etc.
Its smell is used as a natural mosquito repellant by burning it.
The leaf contains large number of nutrients like vitamins, sodium, calcium etc.