Mkulima today we cover how to build a multi-story kitchen garden. The need to reduce household expenses is a concern for many also on this list is the need for healthier vegetables and meals. Why would you buy vegetables if you could grow your own in a small space like a balcony or roof top?
This structure covers a small space and can be implemented on top of buildings in urban areas or even balcony spaces.
How to set up a multi-story kitchen garden
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected food systems directly through impacts on food supply and demand and indirectly through decreased capacity to produce and distribute food.
In response to that, the ministry of agriculture, livestock fisheries, and cooperative is addressing food supply chain and nutrition challenges through the establishment of 1 million kitchen gardens in rural and urban households.
Through these 1 million kitchen gardens, the ministry is contributing to the big four agenda on the one hundred percent food and nutrition security by enabling households to maintain a healthy diet.
The aim is to support vulnerable households with kitchen garden starter kits that are simple space and water-efficient. So far. The first phase of the project has supported over 200,000 households through the KCSAP, NARIGP, and SIVAP projects.
In phase two, the ministry will support an additional 200,000 vulnerable households in setting up their own kitchen gardens.
There are several incredible ideas through which one can establish a simple space and water-efficient kitchen garden using locally available materials.
- the corn garden,
- the multi-story garden,
- the micro garden
- tire garden,
- moist bed garden,
- the wick irrigation garden, and
- the simple drip irrigation garden.
The multi-story kitchen garden requirement
Today, we’ll take a look at the multi-story garden, which is a simple technology used to grow vegetables and fruits for household use or for commercial purposes.
To establish the multi-story garden you will need
- a net alternatively, you can use a polythene tube sack or plastic containers.
- soil mixed with manure on a ratio of one to one
- ballast/ small stones
- a shovel
- a two kg tin
- seedlings and a cutting tool.
How to build a multi story kitchen garden
Before starting out find a suitable location for good plant growth and development. Hold your, multi-story net width-wise from side to side using your hands, and then bring it together to at one point and then you turn it upside down because it’s a net.
Then you put it at the selected place where your site is. For a demonstration video click here
Once you put it at the center, get the soil and manure mixture, which you have mixed at a ratio of one to one and pour on the net and level it very well.
This will help in the stability of the farm and structure.
Once the net has been held in place, get your 2kg tin, which is hollow. That is you remove the lower part of the container and it should not have a lid. So, that when you put stones the stones can pass through.
Take the tin and put it at the center of the bottom of the net and put ballast in it.
After filling the tin with ballast add soil all around the tin. Ensure the tin is covered to avoid soil getting into the ballast.
You can cover the tin maybe with a polythene or something, anything, even if it’s clothing.
The ballast will be your channel for irrigation ensuring distribution of water throughout the structure.
When the soil reaches the height of the tin, you shake it a bit and then move it up leaving the ballast down.
So once you move it up, the tin will be empty. Again, put more ballast in the tin. And then after you have put more ballast in the tin, you put soil around the tin again, until it reaches the top of the tin and shake the ballast again, and move it up.
Repeat this process until you get to the top of the net.
Once you reach the top of the net, you’ll move the tin up a bit from the soil, and add more ballast, and then leave the tin there in place for watering purposes.
After you’ve finished, constructing your multi-story, the ballast has come from the bottom to the top just like the core of a multi-story building.
This will not only act as the watering channel but also aeration for the soil. So you will be pouring water through that, For water to reach the bottom of the structure pour it through the tin and onto the ballast and it will trickle down to all the parts of the structure.
As a result of the space available at the top, you can plant a few crops and you will need to water them too.
When finished with the main structure also make a bed around the multi-story so that the water that gets through, will not go to waste but used in farming too.
You can plant some vegetables around the multi-story around two lines of vegetables. When done with the bed water the entire structure and leave it to settle.
I encourage you to plant the following day after construction. After settling the soil’s level will drop as a result of the water your poured.
Add more soil to regain your desired height. You will add more soil that has a mixture of soil and manure, After planting ensure you irrigate the structure.
After watering get a tool that you will use in making holes for the seedlings. Make the holes at 45 degrees angle down the way a crop grows. Click here to watch the video
After making the holes put your seedlings in the hole and then you get soil with the same stick to cover the roots.
You just put the stick in there in the hole, but you’re putting it from up. And then you, you bring the soil down to cover the seedlings.
This will ensure the seedlings are stable in the structure. And then the top also you plant at the same spacing of 15 centimeters by 15 centimeters and the bottom where you put the base, we’ll also plant that 15 centimeters by 15 centimeters.
Once you’ve done that, you can decide to plant a variety of different crops on that multistory, or one variety depending on the vegetables that you like.
The top of the multi-story is very good for planting root crops. So if you have some root crops, you want to plant like carrots or cabbages if you have a big structure and also down at the base, you can also plant some root crops that you feel you want to plant.
From this tutorial, it is our hope that you will establish your own kitchen garden and enjoy a constant supply of fresh, nutritious vegetables, fruits, and spices for you and your family.
Click below to watch the video a step by step guide on how to build a multi-story kitchen garden
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