By Umar Nsubuga
Joseph Bukenya, a vegetable farmer in Kabuwomera village in Luwero district says that one can have a greenhouse in the backyard.
Bukenya says he built one in his backyard. He is amazed at the results and no longer worries about his vegetables’ growth.
This direct control has increased production. His story was driven by his love for vegetables, he tried planting various greens in open space but many times, he made losses.
The heavy rains and sunshine left his vegetables in bad shape. The tomatoes would either dry or rot.
When Bukenya shared his ordeal with friends, he was advised to invest in a greenhouse. He set it up in his backyard at a cost of sh8m.
Today, he is a proud vegetarian and vegetable grower. Bukenya says he sells some of his greens to neighbours and keeps the rest to feed his family.
He grows sweet melons, sweet peppers, kels, chilli tomatoes, spinach and cabbages. When guests visit his home, many wonder how he was able to set up a greenhouse in his backyard.
Richard Bemuga, a greenhouse expert says a greenhouse can be set up anywhere. He says all one needs is to get in touch with experts to set up a greenhouse in the available space.
Bemuga describes a greenhouse as a place where crops grow in a controlled environment. Here, water, sun, soil type and are monitored for better results.
What it takes, Bukenya says there are two types of greenhouses. One is metallic and the other wooden. The cost for each type varies and the price range is sh7m and above. For a wooden greenhouse, one needs wood, nails, ultraviolet-treated paper, insect nets and traps, poles, cement, pipes and water.
“However, metallic greenhouses are imported and come when they are already made. All that is done on site is assembling,” Bemuga says.
What to put in a greenhouse, Bemuga says all crops can grow in a greenhouse but people mostly use them for growing vegetables and flowers, especially roses.
Why a greenhouse
Bemuga says crops grown in a greenhouse are not affected by environmental factors, such as the rays, wind and storms. This helps the crop to retain its colour, which assures the gardener of good yields.
He adds that crops that grow in a greenhouse assure the farmer of continuous production. Also, when a farmer has a greenhouse, they control how the crops grow.
They can regulate the water, and sun and with all this, one can get high produce.
Bemuga says the biggest challenge is the cost of installation, but this can be easy if one plans before embarking on the greenhouse project.
He adds that absentee farmers usually get disappointed when they get on-site and find things messed up.
Dos and don’ts
Bukenya says proper hygiene is key if one is to get proper yields. Ensure that the greenhouse is a safe and clean place for your crops to grow well.
He says it is important that one check every day to identify any abnormalities that could arise and deal with them immediately.
Be careful with the chemicals you use to spray the crops and always follow production rules.
Ensure that your crops have enough water for them to grow well. During the dry season, they will need more water than in the rainy season.
Prune the plants where necessary.
No children stop young children from entering the greenhouse as they could mess up with the crops.
Do not plant crops that will be harvested once. Invest in those that can be harvested continuously.
Do it yourself
Do not assign people do work in the greenhouse on your behalf.