Raised beds, raised profits
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CTA. 2000. Raised beds, raised profits . Spore 88. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/46868
Internet URL: http://spore.cta.int/images/stories/pdf/old/spore88.pdf
For farmers in dry areas, it is sometimes hard to keep solvent. George Kasimo, from Kitui district, Eastern Kenya, took his spade and developed his own way of intensive vegetable farming, growing onions, cabbages and tomatoes and selling them on...
For farmers in dry areas, it is sometimes hard to keep solvent. George Kasimo, from Kitui district, Eastern Kenya, took his spade and developed his own way of intensive vegetable farming, growing onions, cabbages and tomatoes and selling them on the local market. Kasimo started his garden because the local community faces food shortages during the dry season, when prices of vegetables from the nearby town are high. Choosing a plot close to a riverbed, Kasimo subdivided his garden into many smaller raised beds about 15 cms high, 11/2 m wide and 6 m long. Raised beds, shaped by digging deep to raise the soil, have good soil texture and drainage properties, temperature regulation is optimal and weeding requirements are limited. The raised soil is then slightly compacted and sprinkled with water to make the soil firm. Before the soil dries, square holes measuring about 10 15cm wide and 20 cm deep are carefully made, using a plastic container. Compost is then added in each hole and the bed is left to dry completely for one day. Before transplanting vegetable seedlings into the holes, some water is put in to them. This gives enough moisture for the new seedlings to start growing. After planting, each hole is mulched using grass. The holes are watered once a week, thus conserving water. The plant canopy limits the undergrowth of weeds and also reduces evaporation from the soil. Finally, manure is applied very efficiently, since it is put directly where the crops roots are. In a good season Kasimo is able to sell US$295 ( 310) worth of vegetables from a plot of less than 1/8 acre (500 m2). Arid Lands Information Network, (ALIN) East Africa PO Box 39493, Nairobi, Kenya Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Fax: +254 2 71 00 83