Sack farming is one of the easiest ways to have a kitchen garden in urban areas. One can grow kales, onions, amaranth or spinach in the backyard, feeding one’s family vegetables that are pesticides-free.
On balconies, one can pile the sacks vertically and still get big harvests for the family from the tiniest spaces.
Jackson Maweni, who has planted kales (sukumawiki) and amaranth (mchicha) in 150 sacks, says the good thing about sack farming is that the vegetables thrive even during low or no rain seasons and gardeners can harvest much from little space.
But how do you start bag gardening?
“You need good-quality bags that cost about Sh1,000, five wheelbarrows of manure and five wheelbarrows of soil, if you have big sacks, and seedlings,” he says.
The best kind of soil is loam. If your farm has black clay soil or sandy soil, buy red soil and manure. A wheelbarrow of soil costs Sh350 while a bucket of organic manure ranges from Sh300.
Once you have mixed the soil and manure in equal proportion, put some water but do not put too much.
Most people who do bag gardening use seedlings. Buy seeds of different vegetables before hand, then plant them in seedbed tray. After a few weeks, transplant them to the sacks.
“Some sacks have 100 holes. For each hole put one seedling to avoid overcrowding,” Jackson says.
The bags have planting holes on the sides, fill them with seedlings.
Sometimes, the vegetables may be attacked by white fly and snails especially if the sacks are placed near other plants or bushes. The pests may be hard to get rid off especially if one intends to grow organic vegetables.
After two years, uproot the vegetables and refresh the soil. It is also advisable to wash and disinfect the sacks before you replant.
If you planning to have more than one sack in your backyard, the space between the every bag should be one metre. Each sack can accommodate from herbs, salad to courgettes.
What can go wrong
How many times do you water