Thursday, May 23, 2024
Home Farming Tips How To Start A Self-sufficient Garden

How To Start A Self-sufficient Garden

by Jacquiline Nakandi
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By Umar Nsubuga

Robert Kagga, 25 and resident of Janda village in Zirobwe says his parents’ country garden was always a mixture of vegetables, berries, pawpaws, and yams among others and at the edges they tethered goats and occasionally, a scratching hen with her youngone searching for worms and grasshoppers.

It was a very beautiful place indeed. Most of this is now gone, replaced by lawns, hardy perennials, buildings and animal structures, coffee plantations, and crops which came from afar like maize, and cassava.

“All these have robbed the land of its natural and restful beauty. Unless the land is continuously replenished, you can never get that beauty of our parents’ country garden again,” he says.

Herny Sekyewa, an agronomist says the following techniques would help.

Liming

This is necessary when your soil is acidic. Beans and peas will show such great difference after liming. When cabbages follow the beans, this will control the root rot in cabbages.

Liming is necessary when your soil is acidic. Photos by Umar Nsubuga

Farmyard manure

This manure will benefit the potatoes (Irish potatoes, especially when in compost form). Do not put fresh manure on root crops like carrots and turnips, these tend to folk if they have too much fresh manure in the soil. (Folking is when the root crop spreads/splits into several other roots).

Mulching

Using straw and dead green stuff, spread it to cover the grounds after weeding will suppress further regrowth of the weeds.

Green manuring

This improves the quality of the soil because the vegetable matter rots down into humus which traps the free nitrogen, a very essential plant nutrient.

Bare soil would lose this nitrogen to the air. Plants for green manuring include weeds, leguminous trees like leucaena lupins, tagetes minute or American mergold a strong-smelling herb that kills eel-worms, and to some extent suppresses cough grass or spear grass, which is a scourge to many gardens. Sunflower is a crop with valuable biomass.  

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