Friday, 13 April 2012

Sack Gardening

The cost of vegetables at the Kenyan Coast is sky rocketting and going by the looming economic crisis, many families are forced to make do without vegetables in their main meals. This drove me to searching for a better option for growing vegetables and going by the fact that land is a limitation in urban centers,an idea i saw during last year Agricultural Society of Kenya Show-Sack gardens resurfaced.

From World Concern Blog

The sack gardening/bag gardening. Maybe you have heard of it. Maybe not. It involves planting vegetables like Kales,Spinach,Brocolli,Tomatoes and Onions in a sack filled with the growing matter.Being an organic farmer i prefer the use of compost manure to fertilizers and the use of homemade pesticides as compared to the conventional pesticides. Its a simple way of gardening and can utilise waste water from the kitchen as part of irrigation,hence comes with a recycling component on it.

Materials you will need:
1.A woven sisal sack. Note:1m3 sack provides about 5m2 accesible farm area.
2.A 2 litre plastic CocaCola bottle with both ends cut off to make a tube.In case of a smaller bag,you can use a smaller bottle.
3.Stones or gravel
4.A mixture of animal manure with some well draining top soil.
5.A knife to cut the bag.

Step by step illustration:
1. Create a base on the sack bottom by filling it with soil.Place the cut bottle on the centre of the sack and fill it with gravel and stones. Fill the sides with soil. Continue doing so until you almost reach the top of the bottle.
2. Continue with the gravel and soil process until you reach the brim of the sack.The stones and gravels are used as a watering system whereby  water is poured on the bag and seeps through the soil helping to water the whole bag.
3.Make/cut holes on the  sides of the sack where you desire to plant the seedlings.Let them have some even distances apart.
4. Transplant your seedlings on the selected sites. Plant some on the top of the sack too.
5. Continously care for the seedlings by watering them through the rock channel created. Harvest the produce on a continuos basis till the growing season is over.At that point you can empty the old used soil and replace it with new growing matter.

 Note: Sack gardens require not only water but also enough sunlight to flourish well.

Embedded below is a video on the same by Solidarites and the sack project they had on Kibera slums ,Kenya

For more resources on the same, see the A Garden in a Sack: Experiences in Kibera,Nairobi

Enjoy and share! :)


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