Act Wise,Grow Crops in Containers

container farmingPOSTED BY MARY NAKIRYA,CELAC

Growing vegetables in containers is one way of protecting the environment that we all share, by not only talking about it but also getting involved in planting of crops even if the land is limited in town areas.

Crops like sweet potatoes, cabbages, eggplants and so many other vegetables can be planted in tins, sacks; old car tyres and pots. They are then placed on the verandah or any other part of the compound. All you need is to be creative so s your compound is neat.

One or more crops can be planted in a container depending on its size and inter cropping can take place for pest control and higher yields.

The advantage of growing crops in containers is that less water is needed; hence gardening can still take place even during dry seasons. It is also a good way of making use of that old tyre, mineral water bottles, and sacks by reusing them other than throwing them allover your compound which is not environmentally friendly.

Get a container like a bucket, basin or mineral water bottle, etc and add preferably loam soil. Or if the soil is poor, home made compost can be mixed into the available soil for additional fertility.

While adding soil, do not fill the container to avoid over flowing of water when it rains or when irrigation occurs. Leave a space of about 2 inches from the top. As the plants grow, soil can be added as it settles and decreases.

Cut a few holes at the bottom and the sides of the container for aeration and to avoid stagnation of water incase it rains.

Sacks already have a few holes in them. But more holes are made for adequate air supply. They can be filled with soil and placed horizontally on the ground, and then holes are made.

For sacks placed horizontally, the seedlings or seeds are planted in those holes. Or incase the sack is vertical, cut holes on both sides and plant the seeds from the top and sides. The horizontally placed sacks will take more seeds than vertically placed sacks. Note that sacks may need to be changed seasonally as they may get torn.

A nursery bed may be made or direct seedling can be applied depending on the seed type. While planting using the direct seedling method, try not to put a lot of soil as the seeds may end up rotting.

Proper spacing should be practiced so as the plants do not compete for nutrients. Try to follow instructions written on the seed tins.

Compost can be added periodically.E.g when weeding, but try not to put it on the real crop. Some farmers use water that has been used to wash meat and fish as a fertilizer instead of wasting it away. Feed the soil and the soil feeds he plant.

Weeding is done to avoid competition between the plant and unwanted crops, and for maximum aeration down the plant roots. It should be done whenever weeds appear.

Water the crops when ever the garden dries up/hardens. Watering should be continued till it starts dripping through the holes on the sides of the container.

Worry less of pest control as onions and marigold planted in some parts may help to repel them. Both are among the best insect repellents known. Other local methods of pest control are available on this site.http://www.celac.or.ug/sms_news.htm

Marigold

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5 responses to this post.

  1. These are all great growing tips. We started out garden in 2001. You can see how we prepared the soil and planted the first year at http://mysquarefootgarden.com.

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