Saturday, June 15, 2024
Home Farming Tips Urban Farming: What You Need To Start

Urban Farming: What You Need To Start

by Jacquiline Nakandi
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By Umar Nsubuga

Residents in urban localities cannot farm because of a lack of land to grow crops. Harriet Kintu who lives in Kisaasi says that she would love to grow vegetables but has nowhere to grow them.

Sarah Nalule who lives in Kyanja says that her plot of 60ft by 70ft is too small to grow anything save for two ornamental trees.

However, Joseph Bukenya, an urban farmer says one can start with growing vegetables like tomatoes, cabbages and carrots.

“Make wooden boxes about one and a half feet square. Make some holes underneath the boxes. Since you may not have any soil, get rich nutrient soil from the numerous tree nurseries,” he explains.

Alternatively, he says, you can get very rich soil from around your garbage heap. Prepare the mixture of garbage and soil and allow it to decompose over a few weeks.

“Put the nutrient-rich soil in the boxes and transfer to the terrace of your home. An alternative to the wooden box is the polythene bag, which should be strong,” he advises.

Remember to water your plants with a watering can. Photos by Umar Nsubuga

Gideon Zakke, an agronomist says it’s important to punch holes in the sides to allow air to get through the soil.

He explains that a few weeks before the actual planting of your vegetables, establish a seedbed in one of the boxes. The cabbage, tomato or carrot seedling should be transplanted to the box gardens three weeks after germination.

Zakke says each box can accommodate only seedlings of a given plant.

“Place the boxes with the vigorous growing seedlings on the balcony to be able to receive sun. Train the tomato plants using a firm string as they begin to grow. Trim the excessive branches and leaves so that the plants can have enough sunlight,” Zakke explains.

Spray the tomatoes with fungicide, as they grow bigger. Use an insecticide on the cabbages to drive away insects. However, the use of the chemicals will be very minimal due to the pest-free environment around your home.  

Remember to water your plants with a watering can. For those with a little space to spare behind your plots, establish a vegetable garden, however small, he says.

If you can plant 10 tomato plants and look after them well, you will harvest enough tomatoes for your family and have excess to sell to the neighbours.

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