Agricultural Water Use for Homestead Gardening Systems
Volume 2: Resource Material
for Facilitators and Food Gardeners
Part 3:
Chapters 6-7
Report to the
Water Research Commission
by
CM Stimie, E Kruger, M de Lange & CT Crosby
WRC Report No. TT 431/3/09
January 2010
Obtainable from
Water Research Commission
Private Bag X03
Gezina 0031
The publication of this reportemanates from a project entitled: “Participatory
Development of Training Material for Agricultural Water Use in Homestead Farming
Systems for Improved Livelihoods” (WRC Project number K5/1575/4).
This report forms part of a series of reports. The other report is entitled “Agricultural
Water Use in Homestead Gardening Systems – Main Report” (WRC report no.
TT 430/09).
DISCLAIMER
This report has been reviewed by the Water Research Commission (WRC) and
approved for publication. Approval does not signify that the contents necessarily
reflect the views and policies of the WRC, nor does mention of trade names or
commercial products constitute endorsement or recommendation for use.
ISBN 978-1-77005-942-9
Set No. 978-1-77005-919-1
Printed in the Republic of South Africa
Acknowledgements
WRC Research Project Reference Group:
Sanewe, AJ (Dr) Chairman (Water Research Commission)
Backeberg, GR (Dr) Water Research Commission
Crosby, CT (Mr) Private Consultant
Dladla, WR (Mr) Zakhe Training Institute
Ferreira, F (Ms) UNISA
Gabriel, MJM (Ms) DoA: WUID
Van Averbeke, W (Prof) Tshwane University of Technology
Williams, JHL (Mr) Independent Consultant
Sally, H (Dr) International Water Management Institute
Moabelo, KE (Mr) Tompi Seleka Agricultural College
Mariga, IK (Prof) University of Limpopo
Monde, N (Dr) Human Sciences Research Council
Engelbrecht, J (Mr) Agriseta
WRC Research Project Team:
CM Stimie (Mr) Project Leader Rural Integrated Engineering
M de Lange (Ms) Coordinator – Socio-Technical Interfacing
E Kruger (Ms) Principal Researcher – Mahlatini Organics
M Botha (Mr) Layout and Sketches – Tribal Zone
W van Averbeke (Prof)Urban agriculture Tshwane University of
Technology
J van Heerden (Mr) Engineering – Rural Integrated Engineering
CT Crosby (Mr) Advisor – Private consultant
The dedication and passion of Erna Kruger, Marna de Lange and Charles Crosby for
this project and its outcomes are acknowledged with gratitude.
Special recognition and acknowledgements to:
LIRAPA– Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security Nutrition and Home
Economics, Horticulture Division, PO Box 14915, Maseru 100, Lesotho.
Department of Crop Services, Horticulture Division, PO Box 7260, Maseru 100,
Lesotho
MaTshepo Kumbane and the Water for Food Movement
Collaborated with:
The Smallholder Systems Innovation (SSI) Programme from UKZN in Potshini,
The Farmer Support Group
School of Bio-resource Engineering, UKZN
Specific thanks to Michael Malinga and Monique Salomon (FSG), Prof
Graham Jewitt, Victor Kongo, Jody Sturdy (SSI).
DWAF pilot programme for Homestead Rainwater Harvesting
World Vision; Okahlamba Area Development Programme – specific thanks to
Jamie Wright and Monica Holtz
ARC (ISCW); Eco-Technologies Programme in Hlabisa – specific thanks to
Hendrik Smith and the local DAEA extension office
Pegasus, Mpumalanga
LIMA Rural Development Foundation – Eastern Cape
AWARD – Limpopo
Bush Resources – Bushbuckridge
Border Rural Committee – Eastern Cape.
Centre for Adult Education (UKZN) – specific thanks to Zamo Hlela and Kathy
Arbuckle.
Umbumbulu – thanks to the Ezemvelo Farmers Association and assistance by
Dr Albert Modi, Crop Science Department, UKZN
Agricultural Water Use for Homestead Gardening Systems
Resource Material
for
Facilitators and Food Gardeners
Chapter 6
Soil Fertility Management:
Optimising the Productivity of Soil and Water
Agricultural Water Use for Homestead Gardening Systems – Resource Material
ii
iii
Chapters: Resource Material
Introduction to the Learning Material (TT 431/1/09)
Chapter 1 Rural realities and homestead food gardening options (TT 431/1/09)
Chapter 2 - Facilitation of homestead food gardening (TT 431/1/09)
- Handouts: Chapter 2 Homestead Food Gardener’s Resource Packs
Chapter 3 - Living and eating well (TT 431/1/09)
- Handouts: Chapter 3 Homestead Food Gardener’s Resource Packs
Chapter 4 - Diversifying production in homestead food gardening (TT 431/2/09)
- Handouts: Chapter 4 Homestead Food Gardener’s Resource Packs
Chapter 5 - Garden and homestead water management for food gardening
(TT 431/2/09)
- Handouts: Chapter 5 Homestead Food Gardener’s Resource Packs
Chapter 6 - Soil fertility management: Optimising the productivity of soil and water
(TT 431/3/09)
- Handouts: Chapter 6 Homestead Food Gardener’s Resource Packs
Chapter 7 Income opportunities from homestead food gardening (TT 431/3/09)
Agricultural Water Use for Homestead Gardening Systems – Resource Material
iv
Chapter 6: Soil fertility management: Optimising the productivity of soil and water
v
Chapter 6 Table of Contents:
Soil fertility management: Optimising the
productivity of soil and water
Chapters: Resource Material ................................................................................ iii
Table of Contents: Soil fertility management: Optimising the productivity of
soil and water ......................................................................................................... v
List of Figures .......................................................................................................... vii
List of Tables ........................................................................................................... vii
List of Activities ...................................................................................................... viii
List of Facilitation Tools ......................................................................................... viii
List of Case Studies & Research .......................................................................... viii
Aims .......................................................................................................................... ix
What am I going to learn? .................................................................................... ix
Icons ......................................................................................................................... xi
6
6.
.1
1
I
In
nt
tr
ro
od
du
uc
ct
ti
io
on
n
.
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
.
1
1
6
6.
.2
2
U
Un
nd
de
er
rs
st
ta
an
nd
di
in
ng
g
s
so
oi
il
ls
s
.
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
.
3
3
The living soil............................................................................................................. 3
Soil management principles (Laker, 2007).......................................................... 3
6
6.
.3
3
S
So
oi
il
l
T
Te
ex
xt
tu
ur
re
e
a
an
nd
d
S
So
oi
il
l
C
Co
om
mp
po
on
ne
en
nt
ts
s
.
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
.
4
4
How to tell your soil type........................................................................................ 6
Characteristics of soils ............................................................................................ 6
Telling through looking ........................................................................................... 8
Telling through touch ............................................................................................. 9
6
6.
.4
4
S
So
oi
il
l
S
St
tr
ru
uc
ct
tu
ur
re
e
.
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
.
1
10
0
Management practises affecting soil structure ............................................... 12
Harmful practices ................................................................................................. 12
Soil management principles (Laker, 2007) ........................................................ 13
Practices which improve soil structure (Vukasin, 1995) ................................... 16
6
6.
.5
5
S
So
oi
il
l
f
fe
er
rt
ti
il
li
it
ty
y
.
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
.
1
19
9
Soil nutrients ............................................................................................................ 19
Nitrogen ................................................................................................................. 20
Phosphorus ............................................................................................................ 21
Potassium ............................................................................................................... 22
Soil acidity (acid) and salinity (salts).................................................................. 23
What is soil acidity? .............................................................................................. 23
How do you know if your soil is acidic? ............................................................. 24
How can you solve the problem of acidity? .................................................... 25
Soil biology .............................................................................................................. 28
Agricultural Water Use for Homestead Gardening Systems – Resource Material
vi
Humus .................................................................................................................... 28
The role of organic matter in soils and the value of organic material
applications .......................................................................................................... 29
Nutrient fixing plants .............................................................................................. 30
6
6.
.6
6
S
So
oi
il
l
b
bu
ui
il
ld
di
in
ng
g
t
te
ec
ch
hn
ni
iq
qu
ue
es
s
.
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
.
3
32
2
Mulching ................................................................................................................. 32
Why is mulching important? ................................................................................ 32
What to use as mulch .......................................................................................... 34
How do we mulch? (Altiere et al., 1984) ........................................................... 34
Manure .................................................................................................................... 36
Use of animal manure in homestead food gardening (Van Averbeke, 1997)
................................................................................................................................ 37
Use of chicken manure ........................................................................................ 39
Compost ................................................................................................................. 40
What do you need to make a compost heap? .............................................. 40
Where to make a compost heap ...................................................................... 40
How to make a compost heap .......................................................................... 40
Handling compost ................................................................................................ 44
Liquid manures/teas ............................................................................................. 44
How to make liquid manures from plants (EMBRAPA, 1998) ........................... 44
How to make liquid manure from animal manure (Valley Trust, 1996) .......... 46
How to make a foliar spray ................................................................................. 49
Using legumes and cover crops......................................................................... 51
Cover crops improve the soil in various ways ................................................... 51
Green manures ..................................................................................................... 51
Introduction to worm farms................................................................................. 52
6
6.
.7
7
B
Be
ed
d
d
de
es
si
ig
gn
n
.
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
.
5
53
3
How to make a deep trenched bed (GTZ, 1993) ............................................ 54
Why small-scale deep trenched beds work so well ........................................ 59
Trench beds influence the structure of the soil ................................................. 59
Deep trenching reduces soil acidity .................................................................. 59
Deep trenching increases phosphorus in the soil ............................................. 61
Deep trenching gives good potassium levels in the soil ................................. 62
Alternative bed designs ....................................................................................... 63
Shallow trenches .................................................................................................. 63
Double digging (Hall, 1987) ................................................................................. 64
Key-hole beds ....................................................................................................... 65
Summary of principles for good soil management......................................... 67
6
6.
.8
8
R
Re
ef
fe
er
re
en
nc
ce
es
s
.
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
.
6
68
8
6
6.
.9
9
F
Fu
ur
rt
th
he
er
r
r
re
ea
ad
di
in
ng
g
.
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
.
6
69
9
Understanding soils ................................................................................................ 69
Soil fertility ................................................................................................................69
Soil building techniques ........................................................................................ 69
Composting .......................................................................................................... 69
Manure .................................................................................................................. 69
Chapter 6: Soil fertility management: Optimising the productivity of soil and water
vii
Earthworms ............................................................................................................ 70
Bed Design ............................................................................................................ 70
I
In
nd
de
ex
x
(
(C
Ch
ha
ap
pt
te
er
r
6
6)
)
.
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
.
7
71
1
H
Ho
om
me
es
st
te
ea
ad
d
F
Fo
oo
od
d
G
Ga
ar
rd
de
en
ne
er
rs
s
R
Re
es
so
ou
ur
rc
ce
e
P
Pa
ac
ck
k
(
(H
Ha
an
nd
do
ou
ut
ts
s)
)
C
Ch
ha
ap
pt
te
er
r
6
6:
:
S
So
oi
il
l
f
fe
er
rt
ti
il
li
it
ty
y
m
ma
an
na
ag
ge
em
me
en
nt
t:
:
O
Op
pt
ti
im
mi
is
si
in
ng
g
t
th
he
e
p
pr
ro
od
du
uc
ct
ti
iv
vi
it
ty
y
o
of
f
s
so
oi
il
l
a
an
nd
d
w
wa
at
te
er
r
.
..
..
..
..
.
7
71
1
List of Figures
Figure 1: Making good soil in family food gardens............................................ 2
Figure 2: Soil is a mixture of sand, silt and clay (Vukasin et al., 1995) ............. 4
Figure 3: Movement of water and minerals in the soil (Du Preez et al.,
1992 ........................................................................................................................... 5
Figure 4: Bottle test for soil type (Vukasin, 1995) ................................................. 8
Figure 5: Sausage test for soil type ....................................................................... 9
Figure 6: Wrong watering can destroy soil and plants (Du Preez, 1992)...... 12
Figure 7: Deep trenching (left) and double digging (right) (Vukasin, 1995
.................................................................................................................................. 17
Figure 8: Nitrogen cycles in nature (Kruger, 2008) ........................................... 20
Figure 9: Organic matter and micro-organisms.............................................. 28
Figure 10: The effect of wind and sun on bare soil .......................................... 32
Figure 11: The effect of mulch on evapotranspiration, weed growth and
soil temperature ..................................................................................................... 33
Figure 12: Management and use of Manure (Kruger, 2008) ......................... 36
Figure 13: How to make a compost heap (Kruger, 2008) .............................. 41
Figure 14: Making animal liquid manure (Vukasin, 1995) ............................... 47
Figure 15: Making earthworm manure/compost (Vukasin, 1995 .................. 52
Figure 16: Digging a deep trench bed (ACAT, 2001) ..................................... 54
Figure 17: Comparison of soil moisture at different depths in trench beds
(JD Sturdy, 2008...................................................................................................... 57
Figure 18: Comparison of soil moisture at different depths in normal beds
(JD Sturdy, 2008) .................................................................................................... 58
Figure 19: How to make a shallow trench (Kruger, 2008) ............................... 63
Figure 20: How to do double digging (Kruger, 2008) ...................................... 63
Figure 21: a key-hole garden (Kruger, 2008) ..................................................... 63
List of Tables
Table 1: Characteristics of soils .............................................................................. 6
Table 2: The most important physical factors in soil are (Laker, 2007):........ 13
Table 3: Garden plants that assist with nutrient cycling................................. 30
Agricultural Water Use for Homestead Gardening Systems – Resource Material
viii
Table 4: Advantages and disadvantages of plant brews ............................. 46
Table 5: Advantages and disadvantages of animal liquid manures ........... 48
Table 6: Advantages and disadvantages of foliar sprays............................. 49
Table 7: Acidity in Sizakele (S), Dladla (D) and Ketiwe's (K) normal and
trench beds (JD Sturdy, 2008) ............................................................................. 60
Table 8: Phosphorus (P) at different soil depths in normal and trench beds
(JD Sturdy, 2008) .................................................................................................... 61
Table 9: Potassium (K) at different soil depths in normal and trench beds
(JD Sturdy, 2008) .................................................................................................... 62
List of Activities
Activity 1: Small-scale experimentation ........................................................... 17
Activity 2: Practising sustainable soil management....................................... 67
List of Facilitation Tools
Facilitation Tool 1: Soil types and characteristics .............................................. 6
Facilitation Tool 2: Soil pit for texture, structure and depth ........................... 11
Facilitation Tool 3: Soil water management: Working the soil...................... 14
Facilitation Tool 4: Soil acidity experiment (Gibberd, 2003) .......................... 26
Facilitation Tool 5: An experiment to test mulching ....................................... 35
Facilitation Tool 6: Household experiment on liquid manures ...................... 50
Facilitation Tool 7: Experiment using bed designs .......................................... 66
List of Case Studies & Research
Research finding 1: Deep trenching reduces plant water stress ................. 56
Research Finding 2: Deep trenching reduces soil acidity ............................. 60
Research finding 3: Deep trenching increases phosphorus in the soil........ 61
Research finding 4: Deep trenching gives good potassium levels in soil... 62
Chapter 6: Soil fertility management: Optimising the productivity of soil and water
ix
Aims
This chapter aims to introduce you to ways of optimizing the productivity of soil and
water available to homestead food gardeners. The chapter starts with looking at
how to understand soil. This refers to various characteristics of different soil types and
soil structures. The chapter then looks at soil fertility. When is soil fertile? This is
followed by techniques to increase the fertility of soil, i.e. soil building techniques and
bed design.
Throughout the chapter the importance is emphasized of gardeners’ doing their own
experimentation. In gardening there are always challenges and gardeners need to
test their new knowledge and new ideas without taking undue risks.An experiment is
a test on a small scale, with a ‘control’, to see if an idea works compared to
traditional practice.
Experimentation becomes the main technique for interventions in the garden itself.
As a facilitator, your job is thus to introduce new ideas and innovations that
gardeners can try out for themselves and make their own decisions about rather
than trying to convince gardeners to adopt a specific new practice.
What am I going to learn?
The following is a list of the things you should be able to do when you have
successfully completed this chapter. This list gives you some idea of what to expect
when you start working on the chapter, but, more importantly, you should come
back to the list when you have completed the chapter to check if you have
achieved all the objectives set out for the chapter. This means that you can monitor
your own progress quite accurately. On the following page is the list of outcomes for
this chapter.
Agricultural Water Use for Homestead Gardening Systems – Resource Material
x
Make trench beds and variations according to
the site requirements
Make shallow trenches
Use double digging in garden beds
What am I going to learn? What should I be able to
do
after
completing this unit?
Done
Can’t do
1
Understand soils
and management
options
Compare types of soils
Differentiate between different structures of
soil
Recognize practices affecting soil
Facilitate experimentation in terms of soil
fertility
2
Understand plant
nutrients and their
sources and manage
soil fertility using a
range of technique
Find plant nutrient sources to apply to
different soils
Implement an experiment to deal with soil
acidity
Plant nutrient fixing plants and crops
including legumes and cover crops
3
Use mulch and manure effectively
Make and use compost
Make and use plant and animal liquid
manures and foliar sprays
Apply soil building
techniques
4
Facilitate the implementation of principles to
ensure sustainable soil management
5
Implement good soil
management
practices
Design garden beds
for optimal plant
growth and water
holding capacity
Chapter 6: Soil fertility management: Optimising the productivity of soil and water
xi
Icons
You will find that several different icons are used throughout the Chapter. These icons
should assist you with navigation through the Chapter and orientation within the
material. This is what these icons mean:
Facilitation tools
Processes that you can use in workshop situations,
to support your work in the field.
Research /Case study
The results of research or case studies that
illustrate the ideas presented.
Looking at research, facts and figures
to help contextualise things.
Activity
This indicates an exercise that you should do
– either on your own (individual) or in a group.
Copy and handouts
These sections can be copied and used
as handouts to learners / participants.
Agricultural Water Use for Homestead Gardening Systems – Resource Material
xii
Chapter 6: Soil fertility management: Optimising the productivity of soil and water
6-1
6.1 Introduction
For homestead food gardening to be most productive and to be able to withstand
the uncertainties of the climate, the markets and people's situations, it needs to be
intensive and diverse. To ensure an intensive and diverse homestead food garden,
soil fertility is crucial, and this requires an understanding of soil structure and soil
building techniques.
Soil structure plays a critical role in soil water management. Soil structure depends on
the type of soil, i.e. is it sand, loam or clay and the balance of organic materials and
minerals in the soil. The optimum structure is achieved if the soil is loamy and if a
balance of minerals (i.e. nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus) is present. A healthy
soil is a living soil. This means there is plenty of organic matter, which breaks down in
it. This feeds the micro-organisms such as fungi and bacteria which in turn feed the
macro organisms such as beetles and worms. A healthy balance of micro-organisms
and macro-organisms are essential for healthy plant growth.
Techniques to build the soil to ensure a balanced living soil include regular mulching,
regular addition of manure and compost, and/or regular application of liquid
manures/teas. Legumes can be used as cover crops in beds or fields that are left to
rest. Some gardeners farm with earthworms, whose droppings are used as compost.
An important aspect of soil building is to make sure that the fertile topsoil is deep
enough to enable the plant to develop deep, healthy roots – in other words, a deep
rooting zone is created.
Making deep trenched beds is a good way of ensuring deep healthy soil for deep
root systems for healthy plants. Shallow trenching, double digging and keyhole
gardens are other methods of creating healthy soil.
Water infiltrates easily into soft porous soils, but cannot penetrate well into
compacted soils which lack organic material. Soil building techniques thus also aim
to improve how water is absorbed and stored in soil for use by plants.
Figure 1 (overleaf) summarises what a gardener can do (green blocks) and what to
avoid (red blocks) to achieve the ideal characteristics of good soil (brown blocks) in
a home food garden, namely soil which is:
Deep;
Well-drained;
Loose, crumbly and uniform throughout the root zone;
Healthy, with no harmful chemical conditions; and
Rich, with lots of nutrients for uptake by the plant roots.
From Figure 1 it is clear that the most important strategy for a gardener in solving
almost every soil problem is to add lots of organic matter. Bycreating permanent
planting beds, a gardener can concentrate his/her efforts and build up positive
effects from one season to the next. By making deep trenched planting beds, the
gardener can achieve almost all the soil management objectives simultaneously.
Agricultural Water Use for Homestead Gardening Systems – Resource Material
6-2
Figure 1: Making good soil in family food gardens
Chapter 6: Soil fertility management: Optimising the productivity of soil and water
6-3
6.2 Understanding soils
The three different soil types, namely sand, silt and clay differ in how much water
they can hold and make available to plants (plant-available water). Sand is the
weakest at holding water. Soils vary in structure, texture and depth. They contain
different minerals from broken down rock.
The living soil
Healthy soil is living soil. It has many different nutrients in it as well as micro- and
macro-organisms living and working in it. Living soil is a mixture of many things:
Sand, silt or clay (types of soil);
Organic matter (like leaves, grass and manure);
Inorganic matter (like rocks and silica);
Mineral salts (such as potassium);
Air and water;
Different macro-organisms (such as worms, larvae, beetles and termites);
Different micro-organisms (such as bacteria that break down organic matter);
and
Nutrients (such as nitrogen) that plants need to grow well.
Soil management principles (Laker, 2007)
The objectives of soil management are to
create or maintain:
Favourable physical conditions in the soil
(what it looks like);
Favourable chemical conditions in the soil
(what it consists of); and
Optimum soil fertility.
In the next sections we will look at how to identify a soil type (section 6.3), and how
to manage the physical, chemical and fertility aspects of soils (sections 6.4, 6.5 and
6.6). Then we will
learn how ‘deep
trenching’
achieves all
these objectives
simultaneously
(section 6.7).
Living soil, soft
with many micro-
and macro-
organisms present
Agricultural Water Use for Homestead Gardening Systems – Resource Material
6-4
6.3 Soil Texture and Soil Components
Soil is made up of individual particles or clusters
of particles, with small spaces (pores) between
them containing air and water. A good soil has
pores of many different sizes, large and small. It
contains many living organisms.
Soil is a mixture of sand, silt and clay. It also
contains mineral salts and organic matter (Evans, 2001).
Sand
Sand has large particles. It feels coarse or rough between the
fingers. Water easily infiltrates a very sandy soil because of the
space between the grains. Sandy soil does not stick together;
it erodes easily and dries out easily. It does not hold onto soil
nutrients.
Silt
Silt is finer than sand. Silt holds water and plant foods/nutrients
better than sandy soil. Silt and sand are easily washed out of
the soil into rivers and dams.
Clay
Clay consists of very tiny particles. They are so small that you
cannot feel them with your fingers. That is why clay feels
slippery and sticky. There are very small pores or spaces
between the particles. The particles stick together in lumps or
clods. Clay holds onto water and nutrients in the soil. Certain
types of clay will swell when they are wet and shrink and crack
when they are dry. They can be difficult to work.
The best soils are called LOAMS and are equal mixtures of
sand, silt and clay.
Mineral salts
These salts can be visible (in the form of crystals, powder or
granules) or invisible (dissolved in the water). They can also be
combined with organic matter. Ashes spread on the ground
are visible salts, as are fertilizer granules or crushed shells. When
it is dry these salts remain on the ground. As soon as it rains
some of these salts dissolve and infiltrates between the soil
grains.
Figure 2: Soil is a mixture of sand, silt and clay (Vukasin et al., 1995)
Chapter 6: Soil fertility management: Optimising the productivity of soil and water
6-5
Leaching
Leaching is when the water moving through the soil dissolves and removes the salts
to layers lower down. Homestead food gardeners have to keep replenishing their soil
with mineral salts and humus to counter the effects of leaching.
Salts can also be pushed up to the surface when a soil is waterlogged (too wet for a
long time), and this can be very harmful for the soil and plants. To solve this, the
gardener needs to make sure the soil is well-drained, and then induce leaching to
wash out excess salts.
Figure 3: Movement of water and minerals in the soil (Du Preez
et al.
, 1992)
From: Ways of Water
Agricultural Water Use for Homestead Gardening Systems – Resource Material
6-6
How to tell your soil type
There are different soil characteristics that help you recognise different soil types.
Touching and looking at soils can help us identify the different types.
Characteristics of soils
Table 1: Characteristics of soils
SANDY SOIL
Good thin
g
s about this t
yp
e of soilBad thin
g
s about this t
yp
e of soil
It is easy to dig and work with
It warms up quickly in spring after winter
It is good for root crops
Water and air can get into the soil easily
It gets dry quickly
It does not keep much fertility
It does not hold water well
LOAM SOIL (Mixture of sand and clay)
Good thin
g
s about this t
yp
e of soilBad thin
g
s about this t
yp
e of soil
Holds water well
Best for root growth
Contains more organic matter
This soil can be hard when dry
CLAY SOIL
Good thin
g
s about this t
yp
e of soilBad thin
g
s about this t
yp
e of soil
Holds water well and for a long time
Holds fertility well and for a long time
Hard to work; heavy
Slow to warm up in spring
Sticky when wet
Hard when dry
Facilitation Tool 1:
Soil types and characteristics
Aim:
We want to be able to touch, see and smell soils so that we can use our
knowledge to discuss different soil types.
We want to use peoples’ own ways of distinguishing between soils and their own
management practices as the basis for our discussions.
We can use the bottle and soil sausage tests below to guide a discussion on soil
types, their characteristics and good and bad management practices.
As facilitators we can augment the local knowledge with our more formal
information after the initial discussions.
Chapter 6: Soil fertility management: Optimising the productivity of soil and water
6-7
Instructions:
1. What Materials do I need?
For the bottle test: You will need three clear plastic or glass bottles (for each small
group), such as 2 litre coke bottles, with caps. You will also need handfuls of three
different types of soil from the area; preferably of the three main soil types. These can
be collected from the river (sandy), low lying wet areas (clayey) and good cropping
fields (silt).
For the sausage test: You will also need at least three types of soil (about a handful of
each) and some water.
2. How do I start the exercise?
Hand out the pages that describe how to do the bottle and sausage tests. These are
provided in the text below.
Explain that we will be working with soil to identify the different kinds.
Ask the group to write down all their comments on each soil type, how this soil
behaves, and how it is managed by people.
Then, divide your learning group into three small groups and instruct them to each
place a different type of soil into their bottle. Fill the bottle with water and watch
what happens. Explain that the soil will settle in different layers over time and that
their task is to work out what those layers are.They should think about the structure of
the soil, i.e. how much sand, silt or clay is there and what does this mean regarding
how the plants will grow.
While they are waiting for the bottles to settle, they can do the sausage tests.
3. What other information can I discuss?
Once each group has reported back, discuss with the group the significant
information coming up. This could include the difficulties of managing certain types
of soil; good management practices for different soil types; which crops are grown in
which soils; how these crops are grown; etc.
You can then discuss the principles of building a good soil if the one they are working
with is not satisfactory. This will include issues such as water holding capacity,
aeration,microbial life (fertility and organic matter), and acidity.This can be done
using the splash and infiltration demonstration. This demonstration is described in
Facilitation Tool 3: Soil water management: Working the soil.
4. What other facilitation tools can I use?
You can use the splash and infiltration demonstration to discuss the issues of water
holding, aeration and fertility.
You can use drawings to depict deep and shallow rooting and how this affects the
size of plants.
You can take a walk into a field where participants distinguish between plants that
are growing well and ones that are not. They discuss the differences in the soil type,
and soil characteristics (such as aeration, depth, structure, organic matter, soil life
and water infiltration). Carry a spade and dig down to see where the roots are and
where the water is.
Time: 1.5 hours
Agricultural Water Use for Homestead Gardening Systems – Resource Material
6-8
Humus:
The organic component of soil, usually
formed by the decomposition of plants and
leaves by soil bacteria
Telling through looking
Bottle test
Fill a bottle a third full of soil. Then, fill the bottle almost to the top with water and
shake vigorously for several minutes to separate the soil grains. Leave the bottle to
settle and note what takes place hour by hour.
The substances settle in layers,
the heaviest at the bottom and
the lightest on top. Some
particles float on the surface.
Others remain suspended in
the water.
Some substances are lighter
than water and float on its
surface. They are pieces of
organic matter such as
leaves, seeds, fruit or insect
litter and fungus spores.
Other heavy elements such
as gravel, pebbles and
sand quickly fall to the
bottom.
The finer elements then
accumulate; first the silt,
followed by the fine and
very fine clay. These layers
vary in consistency and
colour.
The layer of water above
the settled material remains
cloudy for a long time. It
contains clay particles so
fine that they stay
suspended in the water.
If some salt crystals were added to the soil before the bottle is shaken, we notice that
they have now disappeared. They have dissolved in the water and can no longer be
seen. Some soil components are visible and others are invisible.
Figure 4: Bottle test for soil type (Vukasin, 1995)
Chapter 6: Soil fertility management: Optimising the productivity of soil and water
6-9
Telling through touch
Sausage test
You can tell how much sand, silt or clay is in your soil by how it feels. Wet some soil
and roll it into a ball between your hands. Then roll this ball into a sausage. You can
tell what kind of soil it is by looking at Figure 5 below.
Figure 5: Sausage test for soil type
Agricultural Water Use for Homestead Gardening Systems – Resource Material
6-10
6.4 Soil Structure
Soil structure tells us how the soil particles are
mixed or grouped together. It also tells us how
well the smaller particles stick together in
clusters. It influences how easily water and air
(and plant roots) can move through the soil
(Kruger, 2008).
The soil structure depends on:
The soil type,
The proportion of the different materials that make up the soil, and
The way in which the soil was worked by tillage implements, water and micro-
organisms.
Soil structure plays a critical role in soil water management. The fact that organic
materials and minerals are mixed together creates a kind of balance between the
forces:
In a sandy soil the presence of organic matter and humus promotes water
retention, so that the soil will not dry out so quickly; and
In a clayey soil the presence of organic matter is good for drainage, because it
creates water channels in the soil.
Soil structure is observed in the field by sight and by touch. (See Facilitation Tool 1:
Soil types and characteristics.)
Structureless soils
In structureless soils the grains of sand or silt are not bound together. A dry
structureless soil will slip through your fingers like sorghum grains when they are
poured into a container. These soils are infertile unless they are rich in humus. They
are unable to hold water and are easily leached, as the water flowing through
carries away mineral salts in large quantities. These soils are susceptible to water and
wind erosion as there is no sticky matter to keep them in place.
Heavy soils
Heavy soils contain a lot of clay. They are sticky when wet. These soils are not easily
worked by people or plants. The plants must expend a lot of energy to make their
roots penetrate this type of soil. When they dry out, they harden so much that neither
roots, nor farm implements can penetrate them. They contract, and cracks appear.
Granular or aggregate soils
These soils are composed of a mixture of well proportioned elements. It is divided into
little clods which in turn are divided into crumbs in which the coarse granules of sand
and gravel are stuck together by clay, humus and minerals. Between the crumbs
there are cavities and free spaces where water and air can circulate.
The crumbs are formed by everything working in the soil, such as roots, micro-
organisms, implements, earthworms, moles,ants and termites. These soil workers are
forever moving material in the soil, decomposing it and producing it.
Chapter 6: Soil fertility management: Optimising the productivity of soil and water
6-11
Facilitation Tool 2:
Soil pit for texture, structure and depth
Aim:
To assist a homestead gardener to analyse their soil characteristics and the related
fertility and potential for plant growth.
Instructions:
First look at the general environment and soil characteristics.
How are the plants growing? Are they all the same? Describe the differences.
What does the soil look like? Is it cloddy, sandy or granular? What colour is it? Can
you see any organic matter or humus in or on the soil?
What life forms can you find that are working the soil? Describe them and give an
idea of what you think they are doing in the soil in terms of moving material,
decomposition and production. Make drawings of your life forms, or take
some pictures if that is possible.
Next, dig a pit about 40-50 cm wide and 40-50 cm long. Keep on digging until there
is a change in soil colour and consistency (that is when you move from the top-soil
into the sub-soil). Now do the following activities:
Check and record how deep your topsoil is.
Check for root growth and give a comment.
Are there any impermeable layers in between the topsoil and subsoil? Describe
what they look and feel like.
Use the texture assessment guideline (Figure 5) to assess the texture of your topsoil
and subsoil. Include the % clay in each.
Describe the structure of your topsoil and subsoil. Does your soil come out in clods
or is it crumbly?
Give an opinion of the ability of your topsoil to support plant growth and what
effect the subsoil will have.
Give an indication of what can be done to overcome some of the restrictions.
Time: 5 hours
Agricultural Water Use for Homestead Gardening Systems – Resource Material
6-12
Management practises affecting soil structure
The structure of the soil is influenced by how we manage our soil. Some practices are
harmful, while others are beneficial. Harmful practices will break down the structure
of the soil and make it a lot harder to work with and for plants to grow well. Beneficial
practices will build up the structure of the soil and also its quality. Then the soils will be
easier to work with and plants will grow well.
Harmful practices
Too much water, too often (permanent flooding): This is harmful, because the soil
organisms and plants are choked for lack of air.
The unnecessary poisoning of the soil by overuse of chemical products such as
pesticides and fertilizers.
Too much activity of microbial life (micro-organisms) caused by ashes of burning
vegetation or by mineral fertilizers (bought from shops) that have been badly
taken up in the soil. After the initial stimulation, the micro-organisms die of lack of
food. It can be compared to a grassy enclosure where too many goats for
example, are fenced in, with the result that the herd quickly declines for lack of
fodder.
Heating of the bare soil surface through fire or prolonged sunlight. The ground
dries up and micro-organisms are killed.
Destruction of the crumbly structure of the soil through splashing of raindrops on
bare soil and through the frequent passage of heavy wheeled machinery.
Figure 6: Wrong watering can destroy soil and plants (Du Preez, 1992)
Chapter 6: Soil fertility management: Optimising the productivity of soil and water
6-13
Favourable
Suitable, has special advantages.
Optimum
The best possible situation, most favourable.
Soil management principles (Laker, 2007)
The objectives of soil management are to
create or maintain:
favourable physical conditions in the soil
(what it looks like);
favourable chemical conditions in the soil
(what it consists of); and
optimum soil fertility.
A lot of information about the quality of a specific soil can be found by looking at
the physical conditions of the different horizons (layers) of soil, which are exposed
when a pit is dug in a soil. These physical conditions can be seen or felt. For example:
A soil layer that has light grey and/or blue-green colours and/or dull yellow mottles
and feels very sticky, is a very poorly drained layer which is almost always wet.
Normally there are similar types of soil in an area, and it is not difficult to get to know
them and their qualities.
Table 2: The most important physical factors in soil are (Laker, 2007):
Soil porositySmall and larger spaces in between soil particles
Soil aerationHow well air can move through the soil
Soil waterHow easily water can infiltrate into the soil (infiltration),
how much water the soil can store in plant-available form
how well water can drain out of the soil (drainage)
Soil compactionThe hardness or density of the soil
Soil crustingSurface sealing of the soil (whether it forms a hard crust on the soil
surface, which resists infiltration of water into the soil)
Different soils need different management to ensure optimum conditions.
If the above three conditions are achieved (favourable physical and chemical
conditions and optimum soil fertility),favourable biological conditions will be created
or maintained in soils.
Favourable biological conditions
mean that there is optimum activity
of favourable micro-organisms
(bacteria, fungi) and macro-
organisms (earthworms, etc.) in soils.
It means that there is suppression of unfavourable organisms such as those that
cause root diseases, or produce toxic substances, or have negative effects on the
availability of plant nutrients. Favourable biological conditions lead to optimal plant
and crop growth.
Agricultural Water Use for Homestead Gardening Systems – Resource Material
6-14
Facilitation Tool 3:
Soil water management: Working the soil
Aim
To assist a homestead gardener to see how water is absorbed into the soil when the
soil is worked, i.e. as a result of digging, mulching and composting.
Instructions
1. What Materials do I need?
You will need a reasonably flat space, where you are allowed to dig, and which is
typical of the gardens or fields in the area. You will need a spade, a bag of compost,
a bag of mulch, a large 20 litre bucket and a one litre container.
2. How do I start the exercise?
Prepare the demonstration before you start the session. Mark out four equal sized
plots of about 45 x 45 cm each. Then treat each square as follows:
-Leave the first square as is;
-Place mulch on the 2nd square;
-Dig over the 3rd square to one spade depth, and place mulch on top; and
-Dig over the 4th square to one spade depth, incorporate a lot of compost, and
place mulch on top.
Lay pieces of white A4 paper next to each little plot before you start the
demonstration. This paper will get wet and muddy when water splashes on it.
Now, take your one litre container and ask people to count with you how many
containers are poured onto each little plot before the water runs off the plot onto
adjoining land. Pour the water from the jug from a standing position.
Ask the group to discuss what they have seen and what this may mean for their
gardening.
Experiment to see the effect of digging,
mulching and compost on water absorption into
the soil.
Chapter 6: Soil fertility management: Optimising the productivity of soil and water
6-15
3. What other information can I discuss?
You can introduce the household experimentation process (see section in Chapter
4.2: “Household experimentation”), so that participants can go home and try a
specific intervention in their own gardens. Use the outline below (Facilitation Tool 4:
Small-scale experimentation) for this purpose.
You can also use this exercise to introduce the idea of having deep soft soil that is
fertile.
4. What other facilitation tools can I use?
A demonstration of digging and filling a trench bed can fit in well.
The making of compost or other bed designs can follow on.
Agricultural Water Use for Homestead Gardening Systems – Resource Material
6-16
Tillage: The preparation of land for crop
bearing.
Fallow: Ploughed and harrowed but left
unsown for a period up to a year.
Practices which improve soil structure (Vukasin, 1995)
Control of soil erosion and rainwater run-off
Water and wind erodes bare soil and soils not well covered with vegetation.
Valuable topsoil is blown away or washed into our streams and rivers. Soil erosion
control structures and rainwater run-off control structures can help to minimise
damage to soil and crops.
Adapted tillage
Repeated and shallow cultivation of soil (ploughing and hand hoeing) can cause
the soil to develop a hard compact layer just under the surface (10-15 cm below the
soil surface). It is then difficult for water, nutrients and roots to move into the soil. Soil
structure is destroyed. There are two main approaches to minimise this, namely to
either:
practise deep ploughing and ripping, but to also minimise the movement of
tractors and heavy machinery over the land; and/or
practise minimum and zero tillage
options where little or no
ploughing is carried out. In a
garden the practice of deep
trenching has a similar effect.
Fallow intervals
These are periods of time where
fields/plots are rested and not used for production, to give them time to recover soil
structure and fertility to more optimal levels before planting again. Various plant
species grow naturally on the plot, re-occupying and filling the ground space which
is unexploited during cropping. After some years, badly structured soil can improve
greatly.
The cultivation of soil enriching crops
Species high in biomass add a lot of organic matter to the environment and soil,
whilegreen manures add nutrients such as nitrogen to the soil.
Spreading of animal manure or compost
Incorporation of organic matter onto or into the soil increases the soil life and
structure of the soil. It is crucial for a healthy, well balanced soil that is alive and can
support plant growth.
Soil structure benefits when the soil is occupied by the roots of many different plants,
because:
They move the soil;
They create a network of living matter which dies and rots to create humus;
When the roots die, they leave tunnels which improve the porosity and drainage
of the soil; and
They help to control leaching and hold large quantities of minerals in the soil.
Burying organic matter, straw and manure, is indeed worthwhile. Producing humus or
compost (with its positive effects on fertility and soil moisture), is an essential part of
soil water management.
Chapter 6: Soil fertility management: Optimising the productivity of soil and water
6-17
Below are two examples of how one can incorporate organic matter into the soil.
The picture on the left shows a deep trench (or ‘fertility trench’). On the right the
process of double digging is shown. In both cases, organic matter is buried in the soil
to increase fertility and water holding. These methods will be described in more
detail later in this Chapter.
Figure 7: Deep trenching (left) and double digging (right) (Vukasin, 1995)
Activity 1:
Small-scale experimentation
Aim:
To practise doing a small-scale experiment to understand how an experiment works
for soil water management and be better able to introduce small-scale
experimentation to food gardeners that you are working with.
Instructions:
Start by thinking through a problem you have with your soil water management – it
may be that your plants are not growing well, it may be that you have little water to
use or it may be that the soil is hard and compacted. Choose one problem.
Now think of a possible solution for this problem and how you would implement it.
Fill in the Small Scale Experiment Plan below, describing in detail what your
experiment would look like, what you will monitor, and what you will measure.
Small Scale Experiment Plan
1.What is the problem?
2.What is the possible solution?
3.Why will this solution solve the problem?
4.How will I test this solution step by step?
Agricultural Water Use for Homestead Gardening Systems – Resource Material
6-18
5.What will I look for and what will I measure?
6.How will I measure the results or outcomes?
7.How will I compare my experiment to my usual way of gardening?
8.Drawing of the experiment in the field.
Facilitator’s note:
Household experimentation becomes the main technique used for
interventions in homestead gardening. Small-scale experimentation is a way in
which food gardeners can try out new ideas without risking their crops and
livelihoods. They try out these ideas in a small area of their garden, comparing
it with their normal gardening practices, and observing closely what the
outcomes are. Then they are well informed to make their own decisions about
their preferred practices and how they would like to adapt them.
Once an innovation (new idea) has been tried and established, that gardener
may begin experimenting with other innovations. At the same time s/he may
teach to others the innovation s/he had already implemented. When
technology is introduced slowly overcoming limiting factors one by one,
gardeners have a much better chance, not only to test, implement and share
innovations, but also to build up strong circles of knowledge amongst
themselves.
It also means that as a facilitator your job is not to try and ‘convince” gardeners
to ‘adopt” specific technologies and innovations that you think are a good idea;
rather your job is to introduce new ideas and innovations that food gardeners
can try out for themselves and make their own decisions.
Chapter 6: Soil fertility management: Optimising the productivity of soil and water
6-19
6.5 Soil fertility
Soil nutrients
Soil nutrients are mostly made up of chemicals and minerals. These minerals mostly
come from base rocks and decomposed organic matter. Some chemicals are taken
from the air by plants and fixed in the soil (e.g. nitrogen is fixed by plants called
legumes, such as beans and peas).
Creating or maintaining optimum soil fertility is very important in an intensive
production system like deep trench vegetable production. Soil fertility management
usually deals only with the three major plant nutrients, namelynitrogen (N),
phosphorus (P) and potassium (K). However, it is important to also look at other
nutrients that are often deficient.Zinc (Zn) deficiencies are, for example, widespread
in South African soils (Laker, 2007), and thus – not surprisingly – Zinc is also one of the
important deficiencies in South Africans’ diets (see Chapter 3).
The following nutrients play an important role in the growth and health of plants:
N= Nitrogen: Essential for the growth of leaves and stems.
K= Potassium: Increases disease resistance and quality of fruits and grain.
P= Phosphorus: Promotes early maturity and root growth.
Ca= Calcium: Essential for plant cell division.
S= Sulphur: Used by the plant to make amino acids, proteins and vitamins.
Fe= Iron: Helps in chlorophyll formation (the plant uses chlorophyll to
convert sunlight into green matter).
Si= Silica: Helps plants to absorb sunlight and fight fungal diseases.
Nutrients move from the soil through the ecosystem in a cycle:
Plants absorb the nutrients through their roots…
Animals eat the plants…
The manure and decomposing bodies are eaten by soil micro-organisms…
And they, in turn, create soil nutrients for plants.
A natural farmer works with this cycle by always trying to increase organic matter
and micro-organisms in the soil.
Below is a diagram of how nitrogen is cycled through nature:
Agricultural Water Use for Homestead Gardening Systems – Resource Material
6-20
Figure 8: Nitrogen cycles in nature (Kruger, 2008)
Nitrogen
Nitrogen is strongly affected by microbial activity. Nitrogen in organic material is
mineralised by soil microbes into inorganic forms in which it can be taken up by
plants. The final product is nitrate.
Nitrogen is leached (or washed) through soil quite easily. Since it is an anion (a
negatively-charged ion), it is not adsorbed in soils and leaches out very quickly
during heavy rains or excessive irrigation.
Also, nitrogen can evaporate into the air. It can thus be lost from the soil, from
manure, or from compost into the air.
Anions and Cations
An ion is an atom or molecule which has lost or
gained one or more electrons, giving it a positive
or negative electrical charge.
ANION =negatively-charged ion
CATION =positively-charged ion
Chapter 6: Soil fertility management: Optimising the productivity of soil and water
6-21
How do you know if your soil needs more nitrogen?
You will know your plants need more nitrogen when the leaves are turning yellowish,
instead of being a strong bright green.
How can you add nitrogen to your soil?
Nitrogen is found in most manure (cattle, sheep, pig, goat, chicken and rabbit).
There is more nitrogen in chicken and goat manure. Manure must be dried before
being used in the garden; otherwise they can be too strong and burn the plants.
Yearly applications can be very effective. The quantity of cattle manure applied by
small-scale farmers in their maize fields is usually too small to supply adequate
nitrogen. In cattle manure, most of the nitrogen is in the urine, with very little in the
solids. This makes preservation of nitrogen in the manure quite tricky.
Nitrogen is also found in legumes
Legumes are plants that form nodules or little knots on their roots. These nodules “fix”
nitrogen from the air so that the plant can take it up through its roots. There are
micro-organisms in the roots that help to fix the nitrogen. Thus, legumes make their
own nitrogen.
After the roots of the plant die, the nitrogen is released into the soil and can be used
by surrounding plants. Some people however argue that such legumes remove more
nitrogen to make their pods and seeds, and that they actually need small nitrogen
applications themselves. Even soybean, which has a high nitrogen-fixing capacity,
concentrates nitrogen in the pods, adding little to the soil.
Homestead food growers will have to experiment for themselves to see what works.
Perhaps working the green plant into the soil before the plant starts to pod will ensure
the most nitrogen for the soil.
Phosphorus
How do you know if your soil needs more phosphorus?
You will know that your plants need more phosphorus when they do not grow as fast
as they should. The leaves may also start to show unusual red or pinkish colours,
especially around the edges. If your plants are small and will not grow, even if
compost or manure is added, then you almost certainly have a severe phosphate
deficiency. Phosphorus deficiency can also be caused by acidity in the soil.
How can you add phosphorus to your soil?
Almost all soils in South Africa do not naturally have enough phosphatefor crop
production, and therefore some Phosphorus needs to be added for good plant
growth. With the exception of light grey sandy soils,phosphorus does not move in
soils, not even in red or yellow sands.
In the red sandy soils at Vaalharts (North-West Province) for example, it was found
that some soils contained high Phosphorus levels in the plough layer (which
decreased crop yields), but immediately below the plough layer the Phosphorus
level was even lower than in soil that was not being ploughed. Despite intensive
heavy flood irrigation for more than 30 years, the Phosphorus did not leach through
to these deeper soil layers. Thus, it is essential that Phosphorus must be incorporated
physically to the required depth.
It is slightly difficult to add phosphorus to the soil in an organic way, as most of the
sources are somewhat tricky to work with. They include urine, bone, hair, feathers
Agricultural Water Use for Homestead Gardening Systems – Resource Material
6-22
and blood. Usually we add these as ingredients to compost.
Natural rock phosphate can be added directly to the soil. This is also not easily
available.
A good source of phosphorus is bone-meal. You can usually buy this from an
agricultural supply store, but it is not cheap.
Grinding bones for
phosphorus
You can also make your own bonemeal to add phosphorus to your soil. Place bones
in a fire for a few hours. You can then grind them into a powder more easily.
Potassium
Many South African soils are well supplied with potassium, but some of the highly
weathered (or leached) soils in high rainfall areas have potassium deficiencies. Most
vegetables require potassium fertilization to ensure a good quality crop. Potassium
also increases the tolerance of crops to various diseases.
How do you know if your soil needs more potassium?
You will know your plants need potassium when your plants become brittle and the
leaf edges become brown and dry. When fruit do not form properly, you should also
suspect a lack of potassium. Other signs can be hard to distinguish. One of these is a
yellowing around the veins of the leaves. This could also be caused by diseases, so it
is difficult to be sure.
How can you add potassium to your soil?
Cattle manure has high potassium content
relative to nitrogen and phosphorus. In
contrast, chicken manure is low in
potassium relative to nitrogen and
phosphorus. A good source of potassium is
fresh wood ash. Never use ash from coal
as this is very poisonous to the soil and
plants.
Another good source of potassium is a
plant known as comfrey. This plant has
large hairy leaves and grows in wet shady
places. The leaves contain a lot of
potassium. These can be used to mulch
your vegetable beds and also to make
liquid feeds/manures for your plants.
Chapter 6: Soil fertility management: Optimising the productivity of soil and water
6-23
Soil acidity (acid) and salinity (salts)
What is soil acidity?
The minerals or nutrients needed by plants to grow are dissolved in the water inside
the soil. This is a bit like salt or sugar dissolved in a glass of water.
Soil acidity is when the soil is sour or acid. It is a bit like a glass of water that has
vinegar dissolved in it. In places where it rains a lot, some of the minerals can be
washed out of the soil. The soil then becomes acidic. The use of chemical fertilizers
over a long period of time can also make the soil acidic.
If there is too much acid in the soil, some minerals or plant food will dissolve too
quickly and the plants cannot use them. Other minerals will not dissolve at all when
the soil is acidic – so again, the plants cannot use them. Phosphorus is one of the
minerals that cannot be used by plants when the soil is acidic, even if Phosphorus is
present in the soil.
There are mainly two soil chemical conditions that have strong negative effects on
plant growth. These are:
1.High soil acidity (low pH); and
2.Salinity/sodicity (salts in the soil).
High soil acidity (low pH)
Soils with high acidity (pH 3.5-5.5) are
found in high rainfall areas.The water in
the soil washes away many of the
chemicals in the soil. It either runs off the
surface (this is called weathering or
erosion) or runs deep into the soil where
plant roots cannot reach (this is called
leaching).
Some of the problems associated with
acidic soils include the following:
Aluminum toxicity: Aluminum is one of
the chemicals that are not washed
away in soils. So, as the other
chemicals are leached out of the soil,
more and more aluminum remains
behind. Eventually it becomes too
much and becomes toxic/ poisonous
to plants. This is a serious problem on
some highly acid soils. It causes
stunted root growth and small plants. These roots are usually very short with thick
dark tips.
Phosphorous deficiencies: In leached soils (high rainfall areas where rain washes
chemicals out of the soil or deep down into the soil), phosphorous (P) becomes
How do we measure ‘acidity’?
Neutral: Where pH=7
Neither acidic, nor alkaline.
Acidic: Where pH<7
The lower the pH, the more acidic.
-For example, swimming pool
acid is at about pH=3
Alkaline: Where pH>7
The higher the pH, the more alkaline.
-For instance, liquid ammonia is at
about pH=10
Agricultural Water Use for Homestead Gardening Systems – Resource Material
6-24
attached to soil particles in forms that are unavailable to plants, leading to serious
phosphorus deficiencies.
Deficiencies of calcium and/or magnesium due to leaching of these basic
cations.
Deficiencies of trace elements such as molybdenum and zinc.
Low activity of favourable bacteria, e.g. nitrifying bacteria that convert nitrogen
to nitrate, the most important form in which nitrogen is taken up by plants.
Increased activity of some soil-borne fungal diseases of crops, e.g. clubroot of
cabbage.
High soil acidity is corrected by adding lime to the soil until a favourable pH is
reached. The amount of lime needed to correct the pH of different types of acidic
soil can differ. If you are not very familiar with a soil, it will be necessary to have the
soil tested, so that a recommendation can be made. pH is a measure of the acidity
in soils. Acidic soils generally have a pH range of 3.5 to around 5.5. Neutral soils have
a pH range of 6-7.5 and alkaline soils have a pH of higher than 7.5.
Salinity/sodicity (salts in the soil)
Alkaline soils contain more lime than acidic soils. The lime content makes a
difference to the fertility of the soil and determines the range of plants you can grow,
as it has the ability to make some nutrients unavailable to the plants. This is because
of the high levels of salts in these soils that combine with some of the elements in the
soil and make them unavailable to plants. Nutrient deficiencies of iron, manganese
and boron are common in alkaline soils. Plants in these soils show symptoms of
yellowing between the veins and internal “corkiness” or hardness, especially in root
crops and brassicas.
Salinity and/or sodicity problems are found in some soils in dry areas, as well as in
some types of soils on lower slopes. It is usually too expensive and difficult to fix saline
and sodic soils, although application of large quantities of compost, manure and
mulch will lower the pH sufficiently.
For saline soils it’s possible to leach the salts out of the soil by watering and drainage
of the excess water away from the cropping areas. This does not work for sodic soils.
Growing crops on raised beds may help. (Hamilton, 1987).
Growing crops that are tolerant to high salinity is a good way to overcome the
problem. Vegetable crops with high salt tolerance include beetroot, spinach and
asparagus. There is a wide range of vegetable crops with medium salt tolerance. The
most noticeable one with low salt tolerance, i.e. which cannot be grown on such
soils, is green beans.
How do you know if your soil is acidic?
You will know your soil is acidic if you provide compost or manure for your plants and
enough water, but they still do not grow. The plants remain small and stunted.
Chapter 6: Soil fertility management: Optimising the productivity of soil and water
6-25
How can you solve the problem of acidity?
It is possible to make the soil less acidic by adding a lot of compost and other
organic matter to the soil over a period of a few years.
The only practical and reasonably quick way of dealing with soil acidity is to add
lime to the soil. Lime can be bought and is either a white powder or grey granules.
Usually lime is added 2-3 months before planting, as it is slow acting in the soil.
It needs to be dug into your soil, at least as deep as most of the roots are growing.
For vegetables, this is 30-60 cm deep. For field crops like maize and sorghum that
have deep roots, this is from 60 cm to 1 meter deep.
Agricultural Water Use for Homestead Gardening Systems – Resource Material
6-26
Facilitation Tool 4:
Soil acidity experiment (Gibberd, 2003)
Aim:
To assist a food gardener to do an experiment to test whether there is a lack of
phosphorus and or lime in their soil, and to see the results on plant growth of adding
phosphorus and lime to their soil.
Instructions:
Start by talking through the issues of soil fertility with the food gardeners.
Fill in the Small Scale Experiment Plan with the food gardener. You will go through the
questions,work out the solutions (in this case addition of phosphorus and lime), and
discuss how you will observe and monitor the experiment.
Small scale experiment plan
What is the problem?
What is the possible solution?
Why will this solution solve the problem?
How will I test this solution step by step?
What will I look for and what will I measure?
How will I measure the results or outcomes?
How will I compare my experiment to my usual way of gardening?
Drawing of the experiment in the field.
The layout and implementation:
In this experiment you will need to measure out 4 plots of the same size. Make these
plots about 1 metre long and 1 metre wide. Be sure to mark out your plots with
sticks/stakes, so that you will know throughout the season where your plots are.
PLOT 1: This is your control plot. Prepare and plant this plot in your normal way.
PLOT 2: Prepare the plot in your normal way and then add 2 big spoonfuls
(20 grams) of superphosphate. This is spread evenly over your soil and is then dug
into the soil. Then plant in your normal way.
PLOT 3: Prepare the plot in your normal way and then add one big tin (400 gram
jam tin) of lime. This is spread evenly over your soil and is then dug into the soil.
Then plant in your normal way.
PLOT 4: Prepare the plot in your normal way and then add 2 big spoonfuls
(20 grams) of superphosphate and one big tin (400 gram jam tin) of lime. This is
spread evenly over your soil and is then dug into the soil. Then plant in your
normal way.
Below is an example of what your experiment might look like.
Chapter 6: Soil fertility management: Optimising the productivity of soil and water
6-27
Experimental plots
(four plots of
1 m x 1 m each)
Plot 1:
Control
Plot 2:
Phosphate
Plot 3:
Lime
Plot 4:
Lime &
Phosphate
Garden planted with vegetables
The monitoring:
Now you will monitor or look at your experiment. Every week you will check and see
which plants look better. Actually you will make sure that the food gardener doing
the experiment will do the monitoring! So you will need to follow-up with them how
the monitoring is going and ensure that they are filling in the form correctly. You will
look at the plants' growth (size); their colour (bright green, yellowish...); and their
health (are there signs of diseases – spots, discolouration...)
Time and resources:
You will need to buy small quantities of lime and superphosphate to do this
experiment. You will need the sticks/ stakes to mark our plots.
Time: 8 hours
Agricultural Water Use for Homestead Gardening Systems – Resource Material
6-28
Soil biology
Soil biology refers to the living micro-organisms and other creatures that live in the
soil. A healthy soil is alive with organisms, fungi, bacteria, worms, insects and small
animals. Compost, organic mulch, manure and decomposing plant roots break
down and are quickly recycled into humus.
Humus
Humus is an important source of many nutrients.
Humus also:
Generates porous soils and stabilizes soil structure;
Helps retain water in the soil and prevents nutrients from leaching out of the soil;
Prevents soil loss from wind and water erosion;
Generates high levels of beneficial soil organisms, especially earthworms;
Regulates soil temperature; and
Opens up small channels for seedling roots to follow into the soil.
Figure 9: Organic matter and micro-organisms
Chapter 6: Soil fertility management: Optimising the productivity of soil and water
6-29
The role of organic matter in soils and the value of organic material
applications
Organic matter has a number of very important functions in soil:
It enables plants to grow strong roots:
It is important in the formation of a good crumbly or granular structure in soils.
Especially in clayey soils, this is necessary to enable good aeration (enough air in
the soil), good water infiltration into the soil and the development of strong, deep
root systems. Thus it improves the uptake of nutrients and water by plants.
It improves the ability of the soil to store and supply plant food:
Decomposed organic matter (humus) is high in nutrients that plants can absorb.
Humus stores nutrients so that they are not leached out the soil and they become
available to plants over a time. Decomposed organic matter is especially
important in sandy soils and in highly weathered/ leached soils.
It is a good source of plant food:
Organic materials provide a wide range of plant nutrients to plants.
It creates healthy living soil:
Organic matter provides nutrients and energy material for the effective
functioning of favourable soil organisms (micro and macro).
Agricultural Water Use for Homestead Gardening Systems – Resource Material
6-30
Nutrient fixing plants
Plants themselves are some of the most important sources of soil
nutrients. Plants can either fix nutrients into the soil, like legumes;
or they can take nutrients from the sub-soil into the leaves and
fruit. When these leaves and fruit then fall onto the ground, the
nutrients decompose into the topsoil. The natural farmer uses
cycles of plants and animals to build soil nutrients, rather than
expensive chemicals which destroy the soil biology.
Below is a table with some common examples of good garden
plants that assist with nutrient cycling.
Table 3: Garden plants that assist with nutrient cycling
NITROGEN
Legumes fix nitrogen from the air
through their roots into the soil
Clover
This occurs naturally on nutrient rich
clay soils.
Lucerne
This is a long living legume. It is
good feed for livestock and
chickens.
Some plants accumulate nitrogen
in their leaves
Stinging nettle
This plant also accumulates silica,
calcium, iron and potassium, and is
a great all round fertility enhancer.
Grows wild in forests and wet areas.
Can be grown easily, but beware
the sting
Chapter 6: Soil fertility management: Optimising the productivity of soil and water
6-31
PHOSPHORUS:
Comfrey
Also accumulates
Potassium, Calcium and
Nitrogen in their leaves.
This is a great plant for
liquid manure.
It is also an important
medicinal herb known as
knit bone; it also clears
chest ailments and skin
conditions.
Dock
Generally, this is a rather
difficult weed, as it has
long, strong roots and
seeds prolifically. Keep in
check.
It also accumulates
Nitrogen and Potassium.
POTASSIUM:
Yarrow
This is a useful garden
herb, used liberally in
compost, for mulching
and for interplanting as it
is not too competitive. It
is a good ground cover
around fruit trees.
It also accumulates
Phosphorus.
Agricultural Water Use for Homestead Gardening Systems – Resource Material
6-32
6.6 Soil building techniques
There are a number of different ways in which soil can be improved or built up to
have good depth, fertility and water holding capacity. It does not matter whether
you start with a good soil, or a really bad soil – it can be managed to provide
optimal growth of your plants!
Some techniques include mulching, using manure, making and using compost, liquid
manures/teas, earthworm castings, using legumes and cover crops. These will be
discussed below.
Bed design is important also in that organic matter is included in the beds in
particular ways to maximise fertility, depth and water holding capacity. A section on
bed design follows.
Mulching
Mulching is the spreading of a layer of material over the surface of the soil. It covers
the soil and keeps it moist and cool in summer.
Why is mulching important?
Mulching has two main effects:
1.It saves water, because it will stop the sun and wind from drying out the soil. That
means that you will need to give less water to your plants, because it is not lost
through the effects of sun and wind.
Figure 10: The effect of wind and sun on bare soil
Chapter 6: Soil fertility management: Optimising the productivity of soil and water
6-33
2.It keeps the soil temperature more even. Mulching reduces too much heating
and too much cooling of the soil. This makes it easier for plants to grow.
Figure 11: The effect of mulch on evaporation, weed growth and soil temperature (Vukasin, 1995)
From: Production without destruction
Other positive effects of mulching include:
It stops loss of minerals/nutrients from the soil;
It encourages soil organisms;
It reduces weed growth. This is important as weeds compete with your crops for
water and nutrients;
It prevents capping. That is the formation of a hard layer of soil on the surface;
A stronger root system develops closer to the soil surface. This makes more
nutrients and air available to the roots;
Break down of mulch will add to soil fertility; and
It breaks the impact of heavy rains and splashing of soil on plants that can spread
diseases.
Agricultural Water Use for Homestead Gardening Systems – Resource Material
6-34
What to use as mulch
Usually we use the following for mulch:
Crop residues (stalks and leaves of harvested crops). NEVER use diseased crop
residue. You will infect the soil and your new crops!
Weeds that have been pulled out and left to dry out.
Grasses from the veld. Make sure to use DRY grass. GREEN grass will take nutrients
from your soil and your crops will have fewer nutrients.
Flat stones. These will cover but will not add nutrients. They are good around
larger plants and fruit trees.
Newspaper. This will cover and add a little bit of nutrients/ plant food to the soil.
Wet the newspaper when you put it on the soil, so that it does not blow away.
Manure. Use DRY or OLD manure for this.
Leaves collected under trees.
Old thatch grass.
Black plastic sheeting.
How do we mulch? (Altiere
et al.
, 1984)
It is best to chop up your mulching material (weeds and grass) to be about the
length of your hand or slightly longer (10-20 centimetres).
Use a thin layer of mulch for seedlings and small plants – about one finger width (1.5
cm) deep.
For larger plants use much thicker mulch – about 2-3 finger widths (3-4 cm) deep.
For trees, a really thick layer, one whole hand or more (10-20 cm) deep, can be
added.
When the mulch has broken down, you need to add more! You will be amazed how
quickly this happens. Usually mulch is added at least once a season, or once every
3 months.
In areas with extremely cold winters, it may be an idea to make sure your mulch is
compacted or squashed down once the frosts are heavy and the ground starts to
freeze. Loose mulch can make the effects of frost more severe.
As a facilitator, you can use Facilitation Tool 5 (see below) to introduce mulching
through household experimentation.
Chapter 6: Soil fertility management: Optimising the productivity of soil and water
6-35
Facilitation Tool 5:
An experiment to test mulching
Aim:
To assist a homestead food gardener to do an experiment to test the effects of
mulching on their soil, water and plant growth.
Instructions:
Start by talking through the issues of mulching with your homestead food gardeners.
You can use the information provided above to talk about what mulching is and
what the benefits of mulching are.
Then discuss doing a small experiment around mulching. Fill in the Small Scale
Experiment Plan below with the food gardener. You will go through the questions,
work out the solutions (in this case addition of mulch), and how you will observe and
monitor the experiment.
Small Scale Experiment Plan:
What is the problem?
What is the possible solution?
Why will this solution solve the problem?
How will I test this solution step by step?
What will I look for and what will I measure?
How will I measure the results or outcomes?
How will I compare my experiment to my usual way of gardening?
Drawing of the experiment in the field.
The monitoring:
Now the homestead food gardeners will each need to monitor his/her experiment at
home. Every week they will need to check specific things such as:
Did they use less water on the mulched plants? (How will they test this?)
Were the plants that were mulched bigger and better than the ones that weren't
mulched? (What will they observe and or measure here?)
Time: 6 hours
Agricultural Water Use for Homestead Gardening Systems – Resource Material
6-36
Manure
The management and use of manure is important in ensuring the productivity of soil
and water.
Figure 12: Management and use of Manure (Kruger, 2008)
Chapter 6: Soil fertility management: Optimising the productivity of soil and water
6-37
Use of animal manure in homestead food gardening (Van Averbeke,
1997)
Farmyard manure from cattle, sheep, goats,
horses, mules, donkeys and/or pigs consists of
two parts – a solid part (faeces) and a liquid
part (urine). Most of the phosphorus (P) is
found in the faeces, while most of the
nitrogen (N) and potassium (K) are found in
the urine.
The composition of farmyard manure can vary considerably. A number of factors
affect the composition of farmyard manure, including the following:
The type and age of the animal and the purpose for which it is used:
Horse (and mule and donkey) manure and sheep (and goat) manure contain a
lot more of the three main plant nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium)
than cattle and pig manure.
Horse and sheep manure are fairly dry, warm manures, whereas cattle and pig
manure are moist, cool manures. Thus, when manure is stored for composting, it is
good to mix dry,warm manure types with moist cool manure types – if both types
are available.
Young, growing animals use nitrogen and phosphorus for the growth of their
bodies, thus their manure contains less of these nutrients than the manure of
mature animals. In the case of milk cows, a significant part of the plant nutrients is
excreted in the milk and less is found in the manure.
Chemical composition of the feed and fodder:
In the case of mature animals (excluding dairy cows), all the plant nutrients in the
feed and fodder are found in the manure. Thus it is logical that the chemical
composition of the feed and fodder has a major effect on the mineral nutrient
content of manure.
The manure of animals grazing on natural veld (rangeland) on infertile acid soils
and sandy soils will be particularly poor in plant nutrients. It could be useful to
add some chicken manure to such manure. On the other hand, manure from
animals grazing on stalks in well-fertilized maize fields or cultivated pastures will
have high plant nutrient contents. Again, the situation with dairy cows will be
somewhat less favourable.
The stage of decomposition of the manure:
The older manure becomes the less plant nutrients it will have. Old manure always
contains less nitrogen than fresh manure – due to the evaporation of some of the
nitrogen. If manure is subject to leaching by rains, and/or if the liquid manure is
allowed to flow or drain away, the manure will have much lower amounts of
plant nutrients than the original fresh manure.
Amount and type of bedding material:
Bedding materials absorb urine, and thereby increases the nutrient content when
mixed in with the manure for composting.
Agricultural Water Use for Homestead Gardening Systems – Resource Material
6-38
-Straw, dry hay and dry grass are excellent bedding materials for kraals and sheds
where animals are kept.
-Various types of shrubs can be used where these materials are not available.
Shrub materials are less efficient for composting, because they do not
decompose easily and are coarse or rough.
-Sawdust can be used where adequate amounts of other bedding materials are
not available. Sawdust is very poor in plant nutrients, but has a very high
absorption capacity for liquids. Manure which contains a lot of sawdust must be
composted for longer periods, before it can be applied to soil.
Storage and handling methods used: Manure should be well mixed with
bedding material and stored in piles that remain wet, but that are not open to
being leached by rain. Some form of cover for the pile is a good idea.
Fresh manure should never be applied. Only well-composted well-matured manure
should be used. Fresh manure does not have nutrients in plant-available forms and it
must first be decomposed in the soil before the nutrients become available.
Manure must be moist when it is spread in the fields or on vegetable beds. It is better
to apply it during cool, humid weather (even light rain) – if there is such possibility. It
should be worked into the soil immediately after applying it. Well-matured manure
can be applied shortly before planting.
For vegetable production, at least 20 tons farmyard manure should be applied per
hectare. This means that at least 2 kilograms (one 5 litre bucket) of manure must be
applied per square metre. In South Africa, farmyard manure is relatively poor in
phosphorus. Natural South African soils are also very poor in phosphorus. Thus,
additional phosphorus must be applied together with manure. This can be in the
form of superphosphate or bone meal.
Moveable kraals
Moveable kraals are effective. Clear the land where you want to plant your crop
and make the kraal on it. Once enough manure has accumulated in the kraal,
move the kraal to the next patch on the cleared field – and then to the next, and so
on. Then mix the manure into the soil at the site of the abandoned kraal. After
allowing for decomposition of the manure, you can then plant on that spot.
Also look at the use of ‘Chicken Tractors’ for this purpose as described in Chapter 4.
See picture overleaf.
Chapter 6: Soil fertility management: Optimising the productivity of soil and water
6-39
Use of chicken manure
In rural areas where chickens roam freely, their manure is often not available, or may
be difficult to collect due to the small size of the droppings. However, where these
constraints can be overcome, chicken manure is an excellent source of plant food.
Chicken manure contains high concentrations of nitrogen and phosphorus and is
therefore a good source of these nutrients. It is a “sharp” fertilizer that will damage
(“burn”) the crop if applied in too large quantities.
Application of chicken manure to a crop should never exceed 2 tons per hectare.
Two tons chicken manure per hectare is the same as 200 g (about 500 ml) per square
metre. Thus, for the application of chicken manure to small areas of land or to beds,
the following measuring method can be used: Cut the neck off a 500 ml plastic soft
drink bottle, at the “shoulder” of the bottle. Apply one such bottle full of chicken
manure for every one square metre.
Chicken manure:
Is a fantastic nitrogen fertilizer; much better than kraal manure!
Can provide too much phosphorus, which causes phosphorus to build up to
extremely harmful levels in the soil if high levels are applied over too long periods;
Is deficient in potassium for vegetable and fruit crops (but luckily most of our soils
already have a lot of potassium);
Can be mixed with farmyard manure, to increase the phosphorus levels in the
farmyard manure. At the same time, the farmyard manure will increase the
potassium level in the chicken manure; and
Is also an excellent source of nitrogen and phosphorus to add to compost heaps
to speed up the composting process.
‘Chicken Tractors’
The so-called ‘chicken tractor’ in the picture below, is a lightweight ‘moveable
chicken kraal’. The ‘chicken tractor’ is kept in place for about three weeks in a spot
where the gardener wants to start a new planting bed. During this period, the
chickens prepare the soil for planting by loosening and fertilising it, and by ridding it
of unwanted insects and weeds/seeds. (See Chapter 4 for more detail.)
Agricultural Water Use for Homestead Gardening Systems – Resource Material
6-40
Compost
Compost is a combination of wet and dry plant material and manure, decomposed
together to form a rich plant food. Compost helps to keep plants free from diseases.
What do you need to make a compost heap?
You need to collect a lot of the following:
Maize stalks or leftovers from other crops. These are called crop residues;
Grass without seeds – it can be green or dry;
Cabbage leaves;
Weeds (green or dry) with no seeds;
Animal manure; and
Wood ash.
Some other things that can go into the compost heap are: kitchen waste, washing
water, yard sweepings, dead animals, bones, wool, horns and feathers. It is a very
good idea to add comfrey to compost heaps.
Where to make a compost heap
How to make a compost heap
Chapter 6: Soil fertility management: Optimising the productivity of soil and water
6-41
Figure 13: How to make a compost heap (Kruger, 2008)
Agricultural Water Use for Homestead Gardening Systems – Resource Material
6-42
Chapter 6: Soil fertility management: Optimising the productivity of soil and water
6-43
Agricultural Water Use for Homestead Gardening Systems – Resource Material
6-44
Handling compost
Plant seedlings with two to three handfuls of compost mixed into the planting hole.
This can be done if your soil is reasonably fertile already and your beds have a good
crumbly soil structure that holds water.
If the soil in your plot/bed is not good, then dig compost into the whole bed. Turn
over the soil and loosen it to a depth of at least 30 cm (the length of the head of a
spade. Spread four spades full of compost on every square metre of soil. Dig this in
lightly and then plant seed or seedlings.
You can also use compost as mulch by spreading it over the surface of your beds.
Liquid manures/teas
One way of improving plant nutrition is to make liquid teas or brews that will add
fertility to the soil. This should be used as an additional soil fertility technique rather
than the only one! Brews provide extra nutrients in case of small deficiencies, but
cannot rectify major nutrient deficiencies.
Liquid manures are a simple way of giving your plants a nutrient boost. They can be
made from plant material or animal manures. The aim is to provide plants with
natural plant foods quickly during their growing season. It is useful for heavy feeders
like cabbages and to give seedlings a boost.
How to make liquid manures from plants (EMBRAPA, 1998)
A good plant for liquid manure is comfrey. Soft green leaves and stems from any
other plants can also be used and weeds are ideal. Avoid plants which are very
strong smelling.
Plants are made of different quantities of nutrients and take up different nutrients
from the soil. So it is best to use a range of plant materials to make your liquid
manure/tea.
Method:
Make sure your container is clean before you use it.
Collect the plant material and fill up the container. You must
keep on adding material to the container every week.
Place the rock on top of the plant material in the container
and put the lid on. Do not add water. The plant material will
make its own liquid. If the plant material does not make
much liquid, you can add some water – but not too much.
Place it in a sunny position and two weeks later check to see
if the leaves have turned black. If you tilt the container you
should find a black juice. This is the concentrated plant
liquid manure.
You will need:
A container: any plastic or
metal container of
5 – 50 litres
A lid of some sort
A rock
Plant material
Chapter 6: Soil fertility management: Optimising the productivity of soil and water
6-45
This liquid is very strong and should be diluted as follows:
Seedlings: 1 tin of liquid manure for every 4 tins of water.
Bigger plants: 1 tin of liquid manure to 2 tins water.
If you make the mixture too strong it can burn the leaves of plants. Every two weeks
pour the mixture on the soil around your plants, after you have watered them. You
should pour at least one tin of this diluted mixture around each seedling or plant. The
tin should be the size of a big jam tin.
Below are some examples of plants that are good for
including in plant brews/teas.
Comfrey: This plant has large hairy leaves and
grows in wet shady places. The leaves contain a
lot of potassium. These can be used to mulch your
vegetable beds and also to make liquid feeds for
your plants Comfrey is also a good spinach and
medicine. A tea made from the leaves is good for
high blood pressure and arthritis.
Stinging nettle: This is one of the best plants you can use in plant brews. It
contains a wide variety of nutrients and trace elements and is a well-balanced
plant food. It is best to collect these plants in the natural forests where they occur
and plant a few in your garden. They do not survive frost, but otherwise grow
almost anywhere.
Banana stems: These are chopped up and placed in the container with other
plants and leaves. The stems have a high concentration of potassium and water
and make a good liquid base for the brew.
Weeds: Black Jack, Amaranthus, Chickweed, Gallant Soldier. All fast growing
weeds, with soft dark green leaves are good. Avoid using grasses and sedges.
A brew made from comfrey leaves can be diluted as mentioned above and
sprayed on plant leaves to protect against downy and powdery mildew. Mildews are
a problem mainly on cucurbits, pumpkins and peas.
A brew made from comfrey and stinging nettle can be sprayed on plants to protect
against early and late blight, which attacks tomatoes and potatoes. In these cases
the brews are sprayed onto the leaves of the plants.
Agricultural Water Use for Homestead Gardening Systems – Resource Material
6-46
Table 4: Advantages and disadvantages of plant brews
ADVANTAGES of plant brews DISADVANTAGES of plant brews
Plant brews are easy to prepare and useResources such as containers with lids
are required
If diluted these brews do not harm plantsPlant brews can burn plants if they are
too strong
Plant brews increase disease resistance
in crops
Effects of the brews on plant growth are
only visible after 3-5 days
Plant brews provide a quick and cheap
plant booster food
It is not possible to know exactly which
nutrients these brews contain
Plant brews provide mainly potassium,
phosphorus and trace elements
Some people do not like the smell of
these brews, which can smell very rotten
Nitrogen can be provided if the brew is
used early in the fermentation cycle
(after 1 week) and care is taken to
avoid it’s evaporation by keeping the
containers closed and cool
Nitrogen is volatile and is lost from the
brews quite early in the fermentation
cycle
How to make liquid manure from animal manure (Valley Trust, 1996)
Fresh manure from chickens, rabbits, cows, goats and sheep can be used to make
liquid manure. A mixture of manures is best.
Method
Put your fresh manure mixture into the bag and tie
the top of the bag.
Put the bag in the container and attach it to the
stick or the rope. Then fill the container with water.
For every 1 kilogram of manure you will need 10 litres
of water. This means an orange sack full of manure in
a large bucket, or half the bag in a normal sized
household bucket.
NOTE: The sack helps to keep the manure and the
water separate, because you should not put the wet
manure on your plants.
Cover the container with a lid. Stir every few days.
After two weeks the mixture will be ready to be used.
It should look like weak tea.
Before using the liquid, stir the mixture well.
This liquid will be very strong and should be diluted:
Seedlings: 1 tin of liquid to 8 tins of water (or buckets or bottles).
Bigger plants: 1 tin liquid to 4 tins of water.
You will need:
A large container: 100 litre or bigger
A bag of some kind; either an orange sack, a
feed bag or a cloth bag
A strong stick or rope
Something to tie the bag with
Some type of lid for the container, or loose
cover.
Fresh manure.
Chapter 6: Soil fertility management: Optimising the productivity of soil and water
6-47
If you make the mixture too strong it can burn the leaves of plants. Every two weeks
pour the mixture on the soil around your plants, after you have watered them. Again,
use at least one big jam tin full for each seedling or plant. Avoid applying your
mixture in the middle of the day or on very hot days.
Figure 14: Making animal liquid manure (Vukasin, 1995)
Below are some examples of different types of manure you can use to make liquid
manure.
Kraal manure (Cattle)
Either use fresh manure or use manure that has been collected in a kraal. In this way
you can ensure that the manure contains as many nutrients as possible and that the
nutrients have not been lost into the air through baking in the sun and drying out. This
is especially important if you need your liquid manure to contain some Nitrogen.
Chicken manure
With chicken manure it is important to collect the droppings while they are fresh.
Again this keeps the nitrogen and other plant food concentrated in the dry
droppings. It is possible to collect the droppings daily and keep them in a sack in a
cool dark place, until you have enough to make a brew.
Liquid manure made from chicken manure can
burn plants, as it can contain a high level of
Nitrogen. It is important to dilute this brew
properly before use. If you are unsure, test the
brew on a few plants only and come back the
next day. If the edges of the leaves have gone
brown and crinkly overnight, the brew is too
strong and has “burnt” your plants.
Chicken manure can be gathered from chicken enclosures.
Agricultural Water Use for Homestead Gardening Systems – Resource Material
6-48
Goat manure
This is very mild manure and is well balanced. It is unlikely to “burn” plants, but may
also be a little low in phosphorus, depending on the diet of the goats.
Other manures
Manure from rabbits can also be safely used. It is suggested not to use the manure
from pigs, due to the possibility of carrying worm eggs that can infect people. Do not
use manure from dogs and cats, for the same reason.
Table 5: Advantages and disadvantages of animal liquid manures
ADVANTAGES of animal liquid
manures DISADVANTAGES of animal liquid manures
Liquid manures are easy to prepare
and use.
The liquid manure is only as good as the
manure of origin. If the animals are suffering
from deficiencies these will be transferred into
the manures. As an example, there is likely to
be a lack of phosphorus in cattle manure,
where cattle have only been grazed on veld.
This means the liquid manure made from this
source will also lack phosphorus.
If diluted properly, these liquid
manures do not harm plants.
Liquid manures are generally low in nitrogen.
Using chicken manure drastically increases
the nitrogen content.
Liquid manures increase disease
resistance in crops.
The source manures have to be handled well
to retain their nutrients before using as liquid
manures.
Liquid manures provide a quick and
cheap plant booster food.
Effects of the liquid manures on plant growth
are only visible after 3-5 days.
Liquid manures provide mainly
potassium, phosphorus and trace
elements.
It is not possible to know exactly which
nutrients these brews contain.
Nitrogen can be provided if the
liquid manure is used early in the
fermentation cycle (after 1 week)
and care is taken to avoid its
evaporation by keeping the
containers closed and cool.
Some people do not like the smell of these
liquid manures, which can smell very rotten.
Chapter 6: Soil fertility management: Optimising the productivity of soil and water
6-49
How to make a foliar spray
Foliar spray is brew made from a mixture of plant and animal material. It is used by
spraying onto the leaves of plants from where it is absorbed. This brew contains
antibiotics, microbes and plant hormones as well as plant nutrients (potassium,
phosphate and trace elements) (EMBRAPA, 2001).
Method
1. Place the following ingredients in a container
with a lid:
30 kg of fresh cow manure
50-60 litres of water
5 litres of milk (without salt)
5 litres of sugar cane juice OR 15 kg of
chopped sugar cane OR 2 kg of brown sugar
(personal variation)
4 kg of wood ash (not coal ash!!)
4 kg crushed bones or bone meal (fish bones
are ideal if available. If possible do not use
chicken bones. (We use bone meal bought from a gardening shop).
3-5 x 20 litre buckets of chopped weeds
2-3 kg of agricultural lime OR crushed eggshells
2. Leave this mixture for 10-15 days
3. Dilute 2-10 litres of this mixture in 100 litres of water.
This spray is highly effective!! It is possible to keep the brew going for a period of
time, by adding more weeds and manure and fermenting the mixture again for
about 10 days.
Table 6: Advantages and disadvantages of foliar sprays
ADVANTAGES of foliar sprays DISADVANTAGES of foliar sprays
Foliar sprays are very effective and
act quickly in the plants
Some inputs for foliar sprays need to be
bought; such as agricultural lime and
potentially wood ash, sugar and milk
If diluted properly, these foliar sprays
do not harm plants
This mixture is exceptionally smelly while it
is fermenting
Foliar sprays increase disease
resistance in crops
Foliar sprays can “burn’ plants if they are
too strong.
Foliar sprays provide a quick and
cheap plant booster food
Plant hormones and antibiotics are
also supplied through the
fermentation process in the making of
foliar sprays
You will need:
A large container: 100 litre or bigger
A bag of some kind; either an orange sack, a
feed bag or a cloth bag
A strong stick or rope
Something to tie the bag with
Some type of lid for the container, or loose
cover.
Ingredients as set out in method.
Agricultural Water Use for Homestead Gardening Systems – Resource Material
6-50
Facilitation Tool 6:
Household experiment on liquid manures
Aim:
To assist a homestead food gardeners to do an experiment to test the effects of
using liquid manures/teas on plant growth.
Instructions:
Start by talking through the issues of liquid manures with your food gardeners. You
can use the information provided above to talk about what liquid manures are, how
they are made and used, and what their advantages and disadvantages are.
Then discuss doing a small experiment with liquid manures. Fill in the Small Scale
Experiment Plan below with the food gardener. You will go through the questions,
work out the solutions (in this case addition of liquid manure) and how you will
observe and monitor the experiment.
Small-scale experiment plan
What is the problem?
What is the possible solution?
Why will this solution solve the problem?
How will I test this solution step by step?
What will I look for and what will I measure?
How will I measure the results or outcomes?
How will I compare my experiment to my usual way of gardening?
Drawing of the experiment in the field.
The monitoring
Now the homestead food gardener will need to monitor their experiment. Every
week they will need to check specific things such as:
Were the plants that were treated with liquid manure bigger and better than the
ones that weren't? (What will they observe and or measure here?)
An outline of a monitoring sheet is provided in the Resource Packs (Handouts).
Time: 6 hours
Chapter 6: Soil fertility management: Optimising the productivity of soil and water
6-51
Using legumes and cover crops
A cover crop is usually a legume (nitrogen fixer, see earlier section on nitrogen fixing
plants) that grows quickly and spreads over the soil.
Cover crops improve the soil in various ways
They protect the soil from wind and water erosion;
They prevent the soil from being compacted by heavy rain and so allow
rainwater to soak into the soil more easily;
They catch nitrogen from the air into their roots.This nitrogen remains in the soil
when the plants die; and
When the cover crop is ploughed into the soil, it adds organic
matter and improves the soil structure.
Cover crops can either be grown before or after the main crop is
planted in a bed/plot/field (i.e. in rotation with the main crop), or
it can be grown as an intercrop.
For example:
In summer, maize can be intercropped with lucerne,
cowpeas and beans.
In winter, cabbage can be intercropped with vetch or
clover.
Examples of legumes that we often grow are ground nuts,
cowpeas, beans (including soya beans), and peas. There are
less common crops and also many long living plants and small
trees that fix nitrogen. Some examples are chickpeas, mung
beans, lentils, pigeon peas and tree lucernes.
Green manures
Some legumes are grown only as green manures and are not used for food for
humans. They make very good animal feeds though! These include lucernes, clover,
hairy vetch and lupines. These give lot more nitrogen to the soil than our food plants,
because we dig them into the soil when they are still green. This is why they are
called green manures.
Agricultural Water Use for Homestead Gardening Systems – Resource Material
6-52
Introduction to worm farms
Figure 15: Making earthworm manure/compost (Vukasin, 1995)
Chapter 6: Soil fertility management: Optimising the productivity of soil and water
6-53
6.7 Bed design
It is very beneficial and strongly recommended
to lay out your garden in permanent beds.
This enables you to keep on improving the soil fertility in the beds with organic matter,
compost, mulch and manure. Having permanent beds also helps you to keep the
soil nice and soft where your plants are growing, by not walking on the beds and
only walking on the pathways. The beds also make it easier to plan crop rotation.
If the ground is sloping, make your beds across the slope and not down the slope.
In this way, the paths and beds will catch run-off water when it rains.
At the same time, try to lay out your beds in the same direction as the sun passes
over your land – in other words, in an east-west direction. In this way the sun reaches
all your plants, but it does not shine so much on the soil and dry it out.
Long narrow beds are generally a good idea, because you can reach to the middle
of the bed from either side without walking on it. These beds are usually 1 metre (one
spade length) wide. You can make them as long as you wish.
Deep trenched beds are a way to increase soil fertility and water holding in your
beds and garden. It is an intensive way of providing good soil for vegetable
production on a small scale; especially, in places where the soil is not good or deep.
You can make trenches in different ways. We are going to focus on deep trenches
or ‘fertility trenches’. Even though making these beds takes a bit of work, they are
also the most rewarding. Plants grow very well and the extra fertility lasts a long time
(around 5 to 8 years).
Ground-level keyhole beds
are a good way to manage
water on sloping ground.
Agricultural Water Use for Homestead Gardening Systems – Resource Material
6-54
How to make a deep trenched bed (GTZ, 1993)
1. Dig a trench 60 cm or deeper. It is usually about 1 m wide (to provide easy access
without having to step on the bed when you want to work with your plants) and as
long as you wish.
Figure 16: Digging a deep trench bed (ACAT, 2001)
2. Separate the
topsoil and subsoil in
piles while you are
digging.
If your sub-soil is very
infertile, it should not
be used in the
trench. Rather use it
to make ridges
(berms) where you
need them in your yard to help channel water towards your trench beds.
3. Place a layer of tins or branches at the bottom of the trench to help with aeration
and also with supply of some nutrients.
The tins need to be squashed before putting them in the hole. Make a layer of about
3 flattened tins deep. If there are no tins, use thin branches instead.
Flattened tins in a trench bed.
4. Fill the trench with layers of organic materials and top soil.
First add dry grass or weeds (about
10 cm deep);
Then add manure(about 2 cm
deep);
Add some wood ash (a thin layer, less
than 1 cm deep); and
Then add a layer of top soil (about 5
cm deep).
Dry grass and weeds layer in a trench bed
MIX these layers with a fork;
STAMP them down by walking on them;
WATER the mixture well!
Chapter 6: Soil fertility management: Optimising the productivity of soil and water
6-55
Then start the process again with the next layers of organic material and topsoil (step
4 above).
You can also add other organic matter like green and dry weeds and vegetable
peelings, card board, paper and bones.
5. Continue to place and mix the organic materials and topsoil (Step 4) into the
trench until it has reached ground level again.
Mixing a layer in a trench bed
6. Now build up the trench bed to at least 10-15 cm above soil level. Use a good
mixture of topsoil and manure and or compost to do this.
7a. The organic material in the trench needs to decompose for about 2-3 months
before planting.
7b. The other option is to use your trench bed as a seedbed while it is still
decomposing. The roots of the small plants do not go down deep. The materials in
the trench can decompose while the seedlings grow on top. In this way, when your
seedlings are ready to be transplanted, the trench bed will be ready to be planted.
Growing seedlings from seed needs a well prepared bed.
8. It is very important that the trenches are watered well while they are being made
and afterwards. The organic material in the trench cannot decompose if it is dry.
Different ways of watering are possible; as long as a lot of water is given initially.
In this picture, drip
irrigation is going to be
used to water a trench
bed.
Agricultural Water Use for Homestead Gardening Systems – Resource Material
6-56
Below is a case study of research that was conducted into the relationships between
soil fertility and water holding using trench beds. This research was done in household
food gardens in a community called Potshini (Bergville, KZN) by a team of people
consisting of food gardeners, researchers from the University of KwaZulu-Natal
(Smallholder Systems Innovation Programme) and the Water Research Commission
team (WRC Project on “Participatory development of learning materials for
homestead water management for improved livelihoods”).
Research finding 1:
Deep trenching reduces plant water stress
Plants become water stressed when the water in the soil varies a lot. They prefer to
have a constantly moist soil. If the soil becomes very wet and then dries out, just to
become very wet again, plants will become stressed. They will wilt easily and will not
grow as well as they should.
Tensiometers are instruments that are placed in the soil and can measure the
amount of water in the soil. Tensiometers were used to measure soil water and
potential plant stress in Potshini, KZN, in Sizakele's garden. The higher the tension that
is measured by the tensiometer, the larger is the change in the amount of water.
(Note: the tensiometer does not measure the actual quantity of water in the soil, but
rather how much the quantity has changed... by how much it has got wetter or drier
since the previous measurement).
We compared one of Sizakele’s normal beds to one of her trench beds to see what
the difference in water holding and water stress was. Readings were taken at soil
depths of 20 mm, 40 mm and 80 mm.
The results for Sizakele’s trench bed (S2tb) versus a normal bed (S1n) are shown
below.
Chapter 6: Soil fertility management: Optimising the productivity of soil and water
6-57
Figure 17: Comparison of soil moisture at different depths in trench beds (JD Sturdy, 2008)
The green line in the graph shows the tension 20 cm below the ground. This indicates the
change in moisture at this depth (read this off the left hand side of the graph).
The pink line in the graph shows the tension at 40 cm below the ground. This indicates
the change in the moisture at this depth (read the value off the left axis of the graph).
The orange line in the graph shows the tension at 80 cm below the ground. This indicates
the change in the moisture at this depth (read off the left axis of the graph).
The blue line and solid blue dots indicate rain events: how much rain fell (in mm). You
read this off the right hand side of the graph. The dates are shown along the bottom of
the graph. The little blue circles show Sizakele’s irrigations (in mm) on this bed.
Figure 17 shows that the whole profile (depth) of the trench bed remained moist,
with no stress periods for the plants. High rainfall events were fully “absorbed”
throughout the profile (i.e. the full depth) of the bed and remained there for use by
the crops throughout the recording period (one full month).
As the soil dries out, the tension increases. Look at how, on 23 and 29 January, the
green line came down (i.e. tension dropped at 20 cm soil depth) when it rained. It
rained 20 mm on the 23rd and 50 mm on the 29th. In both cases the tension dropped
from about 6 000 mm to below 1 000 mm.
At deeper soil depths (40 and 80 cm), the pink and red lines hardly moved, meaning
deeper down, the soil was moist throughout the month of January.
The main conclusion is that in this trench bed, the soil held more water than the
plants could use. Still, the bed was well-drained (not water-logged/drowned). These
are ideal conditions for plant growth.
S2tb - WMS, RAINFALL, IRRIGATION, WFD - January 2007
0
2000
4000
6000
8000
10000
12000
14000
16000
18000
20000
1/1
1/3
1/5
1/7
1/9
1/11
1/13
1/15
1/17
1/19
1/21
1/23
1/25
1/27
1/29
1/31
Tension (mm)
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
70
Rainfall / Irrigation (mm)
Tension (mm) 20cmTension (mm) 40cmTension (mm) 80cm
rain (mm)S2tb irrigation (mm)
Agricultural Water Use for Homestead Gardening Systems – Resource Material
6-58
Figure 18: Comparison of soil moisture at different depths in normal beds (JD Sturdy, 2008)
The green line in the graph shows the tension 20 cm below the ground. This indicates the
change in moisture at this depth (read this off the left hand side of the graph).
The pink line in the graph shows the tension at 40 cm below the ground. This indicates
the change in the moisture at this depth (read the value off the left axis of the graph).
The orange line in the graph shows the tension at 80 cm below the ground. This indicates
the change in the moisture at this depth (read off the left axis of the graph).
The blue line and solid blue dots indicate rain events: how much rain fell (in mm). You
read this off the right hand side of the graph. The dates are shown along the bottom of
the graph. The little blue circles show Sizakele’s irrigations (in mm) on this bed.
In contrast to the results for the trench bed (Figure 17), the normal bed (S1n, shown in
Figure 18 above) was much drier – at all the measured soil depths (20, 40 and 80
cm).
Even though Sizakele used the same irrigation practices and added the same
amount of water in this normal bed (Figure 18) as for the trench bed (Figure 17), the
soil dried out more – and more quickly – than in the trench bed. At the deepest level
that was measured (80 cm), the soil was extremely dry (tension over 20 000 mm) for
almost the whole month (5-29January).
Sizakele’s irrigations had no effect at 40 to 80 cm soil depth, and it was only after the
50 mm rain event on 29 January that the soil got wet down deep (red line).
In this normal bed, the tension rose to over 10 000 mm at 20 cm depth (green line on
9 and 17-21 January); in other words, at this depth the normal bed also got much
drier than the trench bed.
Trench beds increase the infiltration (more water gets into the soil) and the water
holding capacity of the soil (the soil holds back more water that can be used by
plants). It reduces moisture stress for crops over a period of time.
S1n - WMS, RAINFALL, IRRIGATION, WFD - January 2007
0
2000
4000
6000
8000
10000
12000
14000
16000
18000
20000
1/1
1/3
1/5
1/7
1/9
1/11
1/13
1/15
1/17
1/19
1/21
1/23
1/25
1/27
1/29
1/31
Tension (mm)
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
70
Rainfall / Irrigation (mm)
Tension (mm) 20cmTension (mm) 40cmTension (mm) 80cm
rain (mm)S1n irrigation (mm)S1n WFD 40cm
S1n WFD 20cm
Chapter 6: Soil fertility management: Optimising the productivity of soil and water
6-59
Why small-scale deep trenched beds work so well
Trench beds influence the structure of the soil
The most important function of deep trenched beds is to create (or maintain)
favourable physical conditions in subsoil layers. The deep, loose, crumbly soil ensures
the development of deep and strong plant roots and favourable soil organisms.
Normally, the organic
matter content of
subsoil is very low.
Incorporation of large
quantities of organic
matter (compost,
manure and non-
decomposed organic
materials) deep into
the soil is very
important.
In favourable
conditions earthworms flourish, and help to create a uniform or even mixture of soil
and organic matter.
Deep trenching reduces soil acidity
If is difficult when subsoil is acidic, because lime does not leach (or wash down) well
from the topsoil into the subsoil to reduce acidity at these deeper soil levels. In the
case of trench beds, lime can be mixed into the soil as the trench is made (filled up
or ‘packed’).
The large quantity
of organic matter
which is added to
the soil when a
trench bed is
made also helps
to reduce acidity.
How do we measure ‘acidity’?
Neutral: Where pH=7
(neither acidic, nor alkaline)
Acidic: Where pH<7
(the lower the pH, the more acidic.
-For example, swimming pool acid is at about pH=3)
Alkaline: Where pH>7
(the higher the pH, the more alkaline
-For instance, liquid ammonia is at about pH=10)
MIX THE LAYERS!
Making distinct and alternating layers of decomposed
organic material and soil is not advisable. It is better to
mix these layers well throughout the profile to
enhance the contact between the organic matter and
soil particles.
Agricultural Water Use for Homestead Gardening Systems – Resource Material
6-60
Research Finding 2:
Deep trenching reduces soil acidity
The results below were obtained from measurements at households in Potshini, KZN,
and provide some comparison of the effect of deep-trenching and normal planting
(i.e. shallow incorporation of manure in the planting holes when seedlings are
planted).
In Table 7 below, a comparison is made of the acidity in normal beds and trench
beds. Look particularly at the last row, pH (KCl), which shows the pH.
Table 7: Acidity in Sizakele (S), Dladla (D) and Ketiwe's (K) normal and trench beds (JD Sturdy,
2008)
In the table above, the top row means the following:
S2tb-30: Sizakele's 2nd trench bed at 30 cm below the soil surface
S2tb-0: Sizakele's 2nd trench bed at 0 cm (i.e. at the soil surface)
S1n-50: Sizakele's 1st normal bed at 50 cm below soil surface
S1n-20: Sizakele's 1st normal bed at 20 cm below soil surface
S1n-0: Sizakele's 1st normal bed at0 cm (i.e. at the soil surface)
D1n-50: Dladla's 1st normal bed at 50 cm below soil surface
D1n-0: Dladla's 1st normal bed at 0 cm (i.e. at the soil surface)
K1tb-0: Ketiwe's 1st trench bed at 0 cm (i.e. at the soil surface)
K2n-0: Ketiwe's 2nd normal bed at 0 cm (i.e. at the soil surface)
In the ‘normal beds’, where manure is incorporated into the topsoil (S1n, D1n, K2n),
the pH was almost neutral on the soil surface (e.g. pH=6.41 for Sizakele's normal bed),
but pH was quite low (acidic) deeper down in the soil (e.g. pH=4.09 at 20 cm depth;
and pH=4.29 at 50 cm depth for Sizakele's normal bed). The soil was acidic deeper
down where the manure (organic matter) did not reach.
In the trench beds, pH was close to neutral throughout the profile (i.e. at all depths)
after one production season. This is due to the large quantity of organic matter that is
packed into a trench bed when it is made (see p53 above).
The dark yellow columns in the table above show the trench bed results, and the
light yellow highlights the effect of manure at the soil surface in the normal beds. The
white columns are the normal beds deeper down, where the manure did not reach.
Sample location-depth
(cm) S2tb-30S2tb-0S1n-50S1n-20S1n-0 D1n-50 D1n-0K1tb-0K2n-0
Exch acidity (cmol/l)0.020.03 0.92 1.23 0.01 1.030.10.05 0.09
Total cations (cmol/l)13.813.77 4.176.1123.386.687.216.9
Acid sat %0022 20030 111
pH (KCl)6.67 5.49 4.29 4.09 6.41 4.26 4.99 4.875
Chapter 6: Soil fertility management: Optimising the productivity of soil and water
6-61
Deep trenching increases phosphorus in the soil
With deep trenching it is possible to incorporate phosphorus deep into the soil,
whether it is applied as inorganic fertilizer, or as organic material such as manure.
Phosphorus is the major plant nutrient for which “nutrient capital building” is possible.
This means that by applying a high amount of phosphorus fertilizer (or manure),
benefits can be obtained for up to 5-10 years. This approach is especially valuable
on high phosphorus-fixing acidic clay soils. On the eastern Highveld of Mpumalanga
it was found that a once-off phosphorus application gave higher maize yields over a
five year period than the same total amount split over five smaller equal portions.
Again, deep trench cultivation is ideal to achieve such a large once-off application.
However, such an approach would be less effective on sandy soils with low
phosphorus-fixing capacities, and may have to be repeated sooner (e.g. after three
years instead of five).
Research finding 3:
Deep trenching increases
phosphorus in the soil
The following results from Potshini, KZN, shows the effect of organic matter on
Phosphate throughout the soil profile in deep-trenched and normal beds. Again,
trench beds were compared with the normal planting practices for the area.
Table 8: Phosphorus (P) at different soil depths in normal and trench beds (JD Sturdy, 2008)
In the table above, the top row means the following:
S2tb-30: Sizakele's 2nd trench bed at 30 cm below the soil surface
S2tb-0: Sizakele's 2nd trench bed at 0 cm (i.e. at the soil surface)
S1n-50: Sizakele's 1st normal bed at 50 cm below soil surface
S1n-20: Sizakele's 1st normal bed at 20 cm below soil surface
S1n-0: Sizakele's 1st normal bed at0 cm (i.e. at the soil surface)
D1n-50: Dladla's 1st normal bed at 50 cm below soil surface
D1n-0: Dladla's 1st normal bed at 0 cm (i.e. at the soil surface)
K1tb-0: Ketiwe's 1st trench bed at 0 cm (i.e. at the soil surface)
K2n-0: Ketiwe's 2nd normal bed at 0 cm (i.e. at the soil surface)
Phosphorus quantities were very low in deeper soil layers in all non-trenched beds.
The lowest phosphorus values are shown in red = the least favourable conditions.
The dark-yellow columns show the results for trench beds. In Sizakele’ trench bed the
phosphorous was high at the soil surface as well as at 30 cm depth (72 mg/l), and in
Ketiwe’s trench bed it was also very favourable (98 mg/l). The highest phosphorus is
shown in blue = favourable.
There was some phosphorous at the soil surface in the normal beds (light yellow
highlighting) due to the shallow manuring, but extremely low phosphorous (8 mg/l) at
deeper levels, where no manure reached.
Sample location-depth
(cm) S2tb-30S2tb-0S1n-50S1n-20S1n-0 D1n-50 D1n-0K1tb-0K2n-0
P (mg/l)7286 8866 123 98 42
Agricultural Water Use for Homestead Gardening Systems – Resource Material
6-62
Deep trenching gives good potassium levels in the soil
With deep trenching it is possible to ensure good potassium levels in the soil.
Research (see below) shows that incorporating organic matter into the subsoil could
ensure good potassium levels.
Research finding 4:
Deep trenching gives good
potassium levels in soil
Table 9: Potassium (K) at different soil depths in normal and trench beds (JD Sturdy, 2008)
Sample location-depth
(cm) S2tb-30S2tb-0S1n-50S1n-20S1n-0 D1n-50 D1n-0K1tb-0K2n-0
K (mg/l)595602 309 484 595 223 323 470 452
In the table above, the top row means the following:
S2tb-30: Sizakele's 2nd trench bed at 30 cm below the soil surface
S2tb-0: Sizakele's 2nd trench bed at 0 cm (i.e. at the soil surface)
S1n-50: Sizakele's 1st normal bed at 50 cm below soil surface
S1n-20: Sizakele's 1st normal bed at 20 cm below soil surface
S1n-0: Sizakele's 1st normal bed at0 cm (i.e. at the soil surface)
D1n-50: Dladla's 1st normal bed at 50 cm below soil surface
D1n-0: Dladla's 1st normal bed at 0 cm (i.e. at the soil surface)
K1tb-0: Ketiwe's 1st trench bed at 0 cm (i.e. at the soil surface)
K2n-0: Ketiwe's 2nd normal bed at 0 cm (i.e. at the soil surface)
It can be seen from the table above that the incorporation of organic matter in the
trench beds have a favourable outcome on the amount of potassium (K) available
in the soil.
In summary, for the three main plant nutrients (N, P and K), the results from Potshini
have shown that:
deep trenching has provided high phosphorus (P) throughout the soil profile,
which should be enough for a 5-10 year period. This is an important advantage,
because phosphorus does not move through the soil profile and cannot be
added later.
deep trenching has improved the levels of potassium (K), probably mainly
through the incorporation of wood ash during trench packing/construction.
Potassium dissolves readily and can therefore move through the soil profile, but is
not as volatile as nitrogen, and can therefore accumulate in the soil for use over
longer periods.
Nitrogen (N) is highly mobile in soils, and is quickly lost, both through leaching
deep into the soil, and through evaporation into the air. Fortunately,nitrogen can
be easily added to deep trenches (e.g. through application of chicken manure
or liquid teas once a year).
Chapter 6: Soil fertility management: Optimising the productivity of soil and water
6-63
Alternative bed designs
Garden beds can also be designed and built up in other ways, besides digging
trenches. All of them involve incorporating organic matter and managing water.
Below a few more examples are given (Kruger, 2008):
We will look at another three types of bed design:
Shallow trenches;
Double-digging; and
Key-hole beds.
Shallow trenches
These beds are an easier and shallower version of the deep trenches that we
discussed in the section above. They are dug to about 30 cm deep (while deep
trenches are 60 cm or deeper). The bottom of the shallow trench is filled with sticks
and branches. This is covered by a layer of dead or green leaves and grass. Then the
rest of the hole is filled in with compost and finally it is covered with the top soil that
was dug out.
Figure 19: How to make a shallow trench (Kruger, 2008)
From: LIRAPA, 2008
Agricultural Water Use for Homestead Gardening Systems – Resource Material
6-64
Double digging (Hall, 1987)
Double digging is another way to increase the fertility of your soil. These beds are
ready the moment they have been made. You do not have to wait for the organic
matter to decompose first.
The method basically involves digging out the top soil (to 30 cm deep) of a section
of your bed and placing it in a pile next to the bed. The bottom of the dug out
section is loosened. Then manure or compost is mixed into this sub-soil, before the top
soil from the next section is placed on top. The sections are dug in a sequence that
minimises the amount of soil you have to move. Once this process is complete,
manure or compost is dug into the top soil of the bed.
Figure 20: How to do double digging (Kruger, 2008)
Here manure is being added to the loosened
sub-soil of the first section of the bed. Note
the top soil in a pile
Here the topsoil taken from the first section
is now placed in the last section, once the
manure has been worked into the sub soil. The
bed is now almost ready. Manure or compost
will have to be dug into the top soil and then
planting can be done.
Chapter 6: Soil fertility management: Optimising the productivity of soil and water
6-65
Key-hole beds
Key-hole beds are built up with rocks. They are a good idea where there is a lot of
stone and where the soil is very bad.
A composting basket is built in the middle of the bed to provide extra and
ongoing fertility to the bed.
It is possible to water these beds with grey water and they are very good at
holding water.
Once they have been built, they are easy to use and maintain.
A photograph of a keyhole bed in Lesotho.
The stone walls and grass composting
basket in the middle are clearly visible.
This shows a keyhole bed
divided into 4 sections for
crop rotation purposes:
1
leaf and fruit crops,
2
root crops,
3
legumes (such as peas and
beans) and
4
is being rested.
Lime is dug into this section
and then it is covered with a
thick layer of manure and
mulch
Figure 21: A key-hole garden (Kruger, 2008)
It should now be possible for you to choose a method of bed design that best suits
you and the food gardeners you work with.
Agricultural Water Use for Homestead Gardening Systems – Resource Material
6-66
Facilitation Tool 7:
Experiment using bed designs
Aim
To assist a homestead food gardener to do an experiment to test the outcomes of
using different designs for their garden beds.
Instructions
Start by talking through the issues of garden beds and different ways to construct
them with your homestead food gardeners. You can use the information provided
above.
Then discuss doing a small experiment around bed design. Fill in the Small Scale
Experiment Plan below with the food gardener. You will go through the questions,
work out the solutions and work out how you will observe and monitor the
experiment.
Small-scale experiment plan
What is the problem?
What is the possible solution?
Why will this solution solve the problem?
How will I test this solution step by step?
What will I look for and what will I measure?
How will I measure the results or outcomes?
How will I compare my experiment to my usual way of gardening?
Drawing of the experiment in the field.
The monitoring
Now the food gardeners will each need to monitor their own experiment at home.
Every week they will need to check specific things such as:
Are the plants in the new bed growing better than those planted in the normal
way? The normal way is the food gardener’s control and they will have planted
their crop in that bed as they have always done it. (What will they observe and or
measure here?)
Is there a difference between the amount of water that needs to be given to the
normal and the new bed designs? (How will the food gardener observe or
measure this?)
Does watering need to happen more often for the normal or the new bed (How
will the homestead gardener measure and record this?)
An outline of a monitoring sheet is provided in the Food Gardeners’ Resource Packs
(Handouts section at the end of this Resource Material).
Chapter 6: Soil fertility management: Optimising the productivity of soil and water
6-67
Summary of principles for good soil management
Below, 10 principles are listed for managing your soil in a sustainable way (Vukasin,
1995):
Minimize damage to the soil while clearing.
Disturb the soil as little as possible.
Support a stable soil structure
Aerate the soil
Provide drainage
Plan for deep and shallow root systems
Provide ground cover for bare ground to minimize erosion and help retain
moisture
Provide nutrients by recycling minerals in the soil
Encourage natural areas to develop for pest control and indigenous micro
organisms
Integrate livestock
Activity 2:
Practising sustainable soil management
Aim:
To summarise some of the learning in this unit and apply some of the information for
your area.
Instructions:
Read through the ten points given above.
For each statement find or give at least one example of how you can fulfil that
statement in your garden at home. (Note: All these statements have been discussed
in this unit).
Then give at least two examples of what you would use to fulfil this statement,
e.g. “Increase organic matter by adding cattle manure to garden beds.”
Agricultural Water Use for Homestead Gardening Systems – Resource Material
6-68
6.8 References
ACAT. 2001.Vegetable Production. ACAT’s Skills Development series. Curmo Designs
and ACAT. PO Box 943, Howick, KZN.
Altiere, M.A. 1987. Agroecology: The Scientific Basis of Alternative Agriculture. West
View Press, London
Du Preez, H. and De Leener, P. 1992. Ways of Water: Run-off, irrigation and drainage.
Tropical Handbook. CTA. Technical Centre for Agriculture and Rural Co-
operation. Wageningen. The Netherlands.
EMBRAPA.1998. Brazilian Agricultural Research Institute. Pages 412 – 415.
Evans, L. 2001. Assessing Your Soil and Water Resources. From Introduction to
Irrigation Management. New South Wales University, Australia.
Gibberd,V. 2003. Towards Best Practice in vegetable Production. A rough Guide for
Homestead Gardeners in Lesotho. From: A Manual of Best Practice: Section 1.
Care, Lesotho, Maseru.
GTZ. 1993. How to Make a Trench Garden. Booklet 2. 1993. 2nd Edition. Fruit and
Vegetable Extension Programme. AGRICOR in collaboration with German
Technical Corporation (GTZ). Thaba'Nchu, South Africa.
Hall, D. 1987.A Garden of Plenty: Growing Vegetables in your Backyard. David Phillip
Publishers. Cape Town. ISBN: 0 86486 087 0.
Hamilton, G. 1987. Successful Organic gardening. Dorling Kindersley Ltd. London.
Kruger, E. 2008. LIRAPA 2nd Edition.How to get the best from your garden. A
handbook for intensive food production in Lesotho. Ministry of Agriculture and
Food Security.
Laker, M.C. 2007. Submission towards WRC K5/??? Deliverable No 7: Participatory
development of Learning Materials for Homestead Water management For
Improved Livelihoods. Water Research Commission.
Sturdy, J.D. 2008. MSc in Hydrology. University of Kwa Zulu Natal (used with limited
permission).
Valley Trust.1996. Making Plant and Animal Liquid Manures. The Valley Trust.
PO Box 33, Botha’s Hill, KZN.
Van Averbeke, W. and Yoganathan, S. 1997. Using Kraal Manure as Fertiliser.
Infopack. National Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Research
Institute. Fort Hare University.
Vukasin, H.L; Roos, L.; Spicer, N.H.D.; and Davis, M. 1995. Production without
destruction: A manual for trainers and a reference book for those practicing
natural or organic farming. Natural farming Network, Zimbabwe.
Chapter 6: Soil fertility management: Optimising the productivity of soil and water
6-69
6.9 Further reading
Understanding soils
1.Department of Irrigation, Malawi. 2002. Field Guide on Irrigated Agriculture for
Field Assistants. Department of Irrigation Malawi, in collaboration with HR
Wallingford, UK and IPTRID Secretariat. Food and Agriculture Organisation, of the
UN, Rome.
2.Directorate of Engineering and Soil Conservation. 2000. Land Husbandry Course.
Department of Agriculture and Environmental Affairs, KZN.
3.Manson, A. 1991. Identification and Properties of Soils. Course Notes, Resource
Section. Department of Agriculture and Environmental Affairs, KZN.
4.Project Literacy. 2000. Seeds of Learning. An Agriculture Course for ABET Learners.
Literacy. Kagiso Education. ISBN: 0 7986 5979 3.
5.Smith, B. 2006. The Farming Handbook. The Technical Centre for Agriculture and
Rural Cooperation, Wageningen. Co published by University of KwaZulu-Natal
Press. ISBN 10: 1 86914 090 7.
Soil fertility
6.Hamilton, G. 1989. Successful Organic Gardening. The complete guide to
growing flowers, fruit and vegetables naturally. Dorling Kindersley Limited. ISBN: 0
86318 200 3.
7.Mollison, B. 1979. Permaculture Two. Practical Design for Town and Country in
Permanent Agriculture. Tagari Press. ISBN: 0 908288 007.
8.Mollison, B. 1990. Permaculture. Pages 196-198. Island Press, Washington. ISBN:
1559630485.
Soil building techniques
Composting
9.Coleman, E. 1995. The New Organic Grower. A master's manual of tools and
techniques for the home and market gardener. 2nd Editions. Chelase Green,
Vermont, USA.
10.Pears, P. 1998. The Organic Handbook. How to Make Your Garden Fertile. All
About Compost. Revised Edition. Henry Doubleday Research Association. Search
Press. ISBN: 0 85532 714 6.
Manure
11.Klausner,S.D et al. 1990. Managing Animal Manure as a Source of Plant Nutrients.
Co-operative Extension Service. Purdue University. West Lafayette, Indiana, USA.
Plant and Animal liquid manures
12.French, J. 1995. Soil Food. 1372 Ways to add fertility to your soil. Arid Books Pty Ltd.
Victoria, Australia. ISBN: 0 947214 44 5.
13.Project Literacy. 2001. Fields of Learning. An Agriculture Course for Adults at NQF
1. Kagiso Education. ISBN: 0 7986 6934 1.
Agricultural Water Use for Homestead Gardening Systems – Resource Material
6-70
Earthworms
14.Burlace, M. 1995. Organic Farming. Book 4. Chapter 13. New South Wales
Agriculture Homestudy Programme. Land Management Series. ISBN: 1 86277 132
4.
15.Lambert.D. 1994. Earthworm Breeding for Profit, Practical Production and
Marketing of Earthworms in Australia and New Zealand. 2nd Edition. ISBN: 0 959
1820 39.
Bed Design
16.Abalimi Bezekhaya. 2000. How to Start a Garden with only a Few Cents. PO Box
44, Observatory, 7935. Juta Publishers.
Chapter 6: Soil fertility management: Optimising the productivity of soil and water
6-71
Index (Chapter 6)
B
Bed design 6-52
C
Compost 6-39, 6-40, 6-51
Cover crops 6-50
D
Diversity 6-1
Double digging 6-63
E
Earthworms 6-51
Experimentation (household) 6-18, 6-
25, 6-34, 6-49, 6-65
F
Facilitation Tools 6-6, 6-11, 6-14, 6-25, 6-
34, 6-49, 6-65
Foliar spray 6-48
I
Intensified production 6-1
K
Keyhole gardens 6-64
L
Liquid manure 6-43
M
Manure 6-35, 6-51
Mulching 6-31
N
Nitrogen 6-20, 6-29
Nutrient fixing plants 6-29
O
Organic matter 6-3, 6-16, 6-28
P
Phosphorous 6-21, 6-30, 6-61
Potassium 6-22, 6-30, 6-60
R
Run-off 6-16
S
Soil
-acidity 6-23, 6-59
-fertility 6-3
-nutrients 6-19
-structure 6-11, 6-16, 6-58
-types 6-6
T
Trench beds 6-1, 6-17, 6-53, 6-62
Agricultural Water Use for Homestead Gardening Systems – Resource Material
6-71
Homestead Food Gardeners’
Resource Pack (Handouts)
Chapter 6:
Soil fertility management: Optimising the
productivity of soil and water
Resource Material for Homestead Food Gardeners Chapter 6 Handouts
Resource Material for
Homestead Food Gardeners
Chapter 6: Handouts
(English)
Handout 1 Improving your soil
Handout 2 Mulching
Handout 3 Brews for plant nutrition
Handout 4 How to make a trench bed
Handout 5 Seedling production
Resource Material for Homestead Food Gardeners Chapter 6 Handout 1
1
1. Improving your soil
The living soil
Healthy soil is living soil. It contains many living organisms. It is deep, loose, easy to dig
and full of air and water.
Living soil is a mixture of many things:
Bits of sand, silt and clay, which are types of soil;
Bits of organic matter, like leaves, grass, manure;
Inorganic matter, like rocks and silica;
Minerals such as potassium;
Air and water;
Micro-organisms: These are tiny bugs or creatures that are too small to see and
live in the soil. They make the soil fertile by eating organic matter and changing it
into rich plant food or humus. Small creatures like earthworms, other worms and
beetles also live in the soil.
From: Lessons from Nature
Resource Material for Homestead Food Gardeners Chapter 6 Handout 1
2
Soil types
Soil is made through the breaking up of the basic elements or minerals of the earth.
These are initially found in the form of rocks. Over a very long time, these rocks are
broken down into small particles through rain, wind and sun and mixed with air and
water. This becomes soil that can support plants and micro-organisms to grow. Like
people, plants cannot live and grow without water, air and food.
All soils are a mixture of sand, silt and clay. The difference in the amount of sand, silt
and clay will determine how the soil holds water. Examples of types of soil are sandy,
sandy loam, loam, clay loam and clay.
Sand makes the soil loose.
Silt is very fine sand. It holds water and plant food better than rough sand, but it is
easily washed out of the soil.
Clay is the sticky part of the soil that holds it together. It holds water like a sponge.
The best soils are called loams and they are an equal mixture of sand, silt and clay.
Characteristics of soils:
Sandy soil
Good things about this type of soil Bad things about this type of soil
It is easy to dig and work with
It warms up quickly in spring after winter
It is good for root crops
Water and air can get into the soil easily
It gets dry quickly
It does not keep much fertility
It does not hold water well
Loam soil (Mixture of sand and clay)
Good things about this type of soil Bad things about this type of soil
Holds water well
Best for root growth
Contains organic matter, like …..
This soil can be hard when dry
Clay soil
Good things about this type of soil Bad things about this type of soil
Holds water well and for a long time
Holds fertility well and for a long time
Hard to work; heavy
Slow to warm up in spring
Sticky when wet
Hard when dry
Resource Material for Homestead Food Gardeners Chapter 6 Handout 1
3
How to tell your soil type
You can tell how much sand, silt or clay is in your soil by how it feels. Wet some soil
and roll it into a ball between your hands. Then roll this little ball into a sausage. You
can tell what kind of soil it is by looking at the table below.
It is important to know which soil type you have. This will give you some ideas about
what you need to do to make your soil crumbly and loose. Crumbly and loose soil
holds the most water and the most air, which is what plants need to grow.
To make your soil more crumbly (whether it is sandy, loam or clay) you need to keep
adding lots of manure, compost and mulch. Never walk on the planted areas,
especially if they are wet.
Sandy soil needs to be given organic matter to increase its ability to hold water and
plant food. Clay soil needs to be given organic matter to increase its ability to hold
air in the soil and to release the plant foods that are there.
All types of soil need organic matter to increase their fertility, or plant food.
What soil looks like What soil feels likeWhen rolled into a sausage The soil is
Very sandy Very rough Cannot be rolled
into a sausage
Very sandy
Quite sandy Rough
Can be rolled into
a sausage but it
cannot bend
Sandy
Half sandy & half
smooth Rough Sausage can bend
a little
Sandy loam
Mostly smooth
A little sandy, quite
smooth but not
sticky
Sausage can bend
about half way
around
Loam or silt loam
Mostly smooth A little sand quite
smooth and sticky
Sausage can be
bent more than
half way round
Clay loam or
sandy clay
Resource Material for Homestead Food Gardeners Chapter 6 Handout 1
4
Smooth Smooth and sticky Sausage can bend
into a ring
Clay
Soil fertility
All living things are composed of the basic elements of the earth. Plants consist
mainly of hydrogen, oxygen, carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and smaller
quantities of magnesium, sulphur and calcium as well as many other elements in very
small amounts (these are called trace elements).
Plants need three main kinds of food:
Nitrogen (N) – for healthy leaf and stem growth;
Phosphorus (P) – for healthy roots and fruit formation;
Potassium (K) – for general health and healthy flowers and fruit.
The capital letters in brackets (N, P, and K) are called the chemical symbols. If you
buy fertiliser or other chemicals, they may use these letters instead of writing out the
name in full.
All three of these foods are found in good compost or manure. You can also
increase the amount of these foods in the soil by mulching with leguminous leaves
like beans, peas, pigeon peas and Acacia (thorn tree leaves) or comfrey, using liquid
manures, earthworm castings and effective micro-organisms. You will need to make
the earthworm castings and effective microorganism brews and add them to your
soil.
These are different ways of improving fertility that you will need to be shown.
Nitrogen
How do you know if your soil needs more
nitrogen?
You will know your plants need nitrogen when the leaves
are turning yellowish, instead of a strong bright green.
How can you add nitrogen to your soil?
This element is found in most manures (cattle, sheep, pig,
goat, chicken and rabbit). There is more nitrogen in
chicken and goat manure. These must be dried before
Nodules on the roots that
fix nitrogen
Resource Material for Homestead Food Gardeners Chapter 6 Handout 1
5
being used in the garden. Otherwise they can be too strong and ‘burn’ the plants.
Nitrogen is also found in legumes
These are plants that form nodules or little knots on
their roots. These nodules ‘fix’ nitrogen from the air,
so that the plant can take it up through its roots.
There are microorganisms (bacteria) in the roots
that help to ‘fix’ the nitrogen. After the roots of the
plant die the nitrogen is released into the soil and
can be used by surrounding plants.
Examples of legumes that we often grow:
Ground nuts
Cow-peas
Beans (including soya beans)
Peas
There are less common crops and also many long living
plants and small trees that also fix nitrogen. Some examples
are chickpeas, mung beans, lentils, pigeon peas and tree
lucerne. Some legumes are grown only as green manures,
and are not used for food. These include lucerne, clover,
hairy vetch and lupins. These give a lot more nitrogen to the
soil than our food plants, because we dig them into the soil
when they are still green. This is why we call them green
manures. We can also plant our food crops in between these
legumes.
You can also mulch with the leaves of legumes. This will add nitrogen to your soil.
Roots knots
The bacteria in the root knots binds free
nitrogen from air in the soil and release
nitrogen after the plant dies
Soya
beans
From: Food from the Veld, 1982.
From: Production without Destruction,
Natural Farmin
g
Network, Zimbabwe
All reduce evaporation
Resource Material for Homestead Food Gardeners Chapter 6 Handout 1
6
Phosphorous
How do you know if your soil needs more phosphorous?
You will know your plants need more phosphorous when they do not grow fast, as
they should. The leaves may also start to show unusual red or pinkish colours,
especially around the edges. If your plants are small and will not grow, even when
compost is added, then you almost certainly have a severe phosphorous deficiency.
This can also be caused by acidity in the soil.
How can you add phosphorous to your soil?
Many soils are poor in phosphorous. It is also a bit difficult to add phosphorous to the
soil in an organic way, as most of the sources of phosphorous are tricky to work with.
They include urine, bones, hair, feathers and blood. Usually we add these as
ingredients to compost.
Natural rock phosphate can be added directly to the soil. This is also not easily
available.
Another good source of phosphorous is bonemeal. You can usually buy this from an
agricultural supply store – but it is not cheap.
One other way of adding phosphorous is to place bones in a fire, for a few hours. You
can then grind them into a powder more easily. This powder can be spread on your
garden beds or your compost heap.
Stones
Sheets of paper
Resource Material for Homestead Food Gardeners Chapter 6 Handout 1
7
The manure from animals grazing in areas where there is not much phosphorous will
also have little phosphorous. You may need to bring in phosphorous in the form of
chemical fertilizer. The usual source is called Superphosphate. Another chemical
fertilizer known as DAP (Di-ammonium Phosphate) can also be used.
Potassium
How do you know if your soil needs more potassium?
You will know your plants need potassium when the plants become brittle and the
leaf edges become brown and dry. When fruit do not form properly, you should also
suspect a lack of potassium. Other signs can be hard to distinguish. One of these is a
yellowing around the veins of the leaves. This could also be caused by diseases – so it
is difficult to know.
How can you add potassium to your soil?
Good sources of potassium are chicken
manure and fresh woodash. Never use ash
from coal, as this is very poisonous to the soil
and plants. Another good source of
potassium is a plant known as comfrey. This
plant has large hairy leaves and grows in wet
shady places. The leaves contain a lot of
potassium. These can be used to mulch your
vegetable beds and also to make liquid
feeds for your plants (We will look at liquid
feeds later in this section).
The other elements or minerals needed in smaller quantities, such as Magnesium, Zinc
and Iron, are found in most manure and in compost.
From: Useful Plants for Land
Desi
g
n, Pelum
Comfrey
Resource Material for Homestead Food Gardeners Chapter 6 Handout 1
8
Comfrey is also a good spinach and medicine. A tea made from the leaves is good
for high blood pressure and arthritis.
Soil acidity
What is soil acidity?
The minerals or nutrients needed by plants to grow are dissolved in the water inside
the soil. This is a bit like salt or sugar dissolved in a glass of water.
Soil acidity is when the soil is sour. It is a bit like a glass of water that has vinegar
dissolved in it. In places where it rains a lot, some of the minerals can be washed out
of the soil. The soil then becomes acidic. The use of chemical fertilizers over a long
period of time, can also make the soil acidic.
If there is too much acid in the soil, some minerals or plant food will dissolve too
quickly and the plants cannot use them. Other minerals will not dissolve at all, so
again, the plants cannot use them. Phosphorus is one of the minerals that cannot be
used by plants when the soil is acidic – even if it is in the soil.
How do you know if your soil is acidic?
You will know your soil is acidic if you provide compost or manure and water for your
plants, but they do not grow. The plants remain small and stunted. This is a common
problem.
How will you solve the problem of acidity?
The only practical way of dealing with soil acidity is to add lime to the soil. Lime can
be bought and is a white powder, or grey granules.
It needs to be dug into your soil, at least as deep as the roots of the crop you are
growing. For vegetables this is between 30 - 60 cm. This is the width of 1 or 2 spades.
You will need to add 1 kg of lime for every square metre of soil. 1 Kilogram of lime is a
spade full. It needs to be heaped high.
Resource Material for Homestead Food Gardeners Chapter 6 Handout 1
9
For field crops like maize and sorghum that have deep roots this is from 60 cm to
1 metre deep. 1 metre is the length of a spade.
Usually Lime is added 2 or 3 months before planting, as it is slow acting in the soil. If
you add Lime at the same time as you are planting your crop, you will only see the
main effect of the Lime in the next season.
30 cm
Two metres
One metre
Resource Material for Homestead Food Gardeners Chapter 6 Handout 1
10
Other ways of improving your soil
Manure
Most kinds of animal manure can
be used. This includes cattle,
sheep, goats, pigs and chickens.
Handling manure
The best manure to use is
manure mixed with straw and
urine, from a kraal. Sweep this
into piles at least once a week,
and then cover it with grass or
plastic.
Manure can be added to your soil in a number of ways:
It can be used when you are planting your seedlings, by mixing in two to three
handfuls of manure into your planting holes for seedlings.
It can be dug into a whole bed to increase the fertility. Here you will need to use
one wheelbarrow load (around 50 kilograms) to a bed size of 1 metre by 5
metres.
5 metres
1 metre
Resource Material for Homestead Food Gardeners Chapter 6 Handout 1
11
It can be used in hotbeds. Here the bed is dug out to a depth of about 30 cm,
which is the width of a spade. It is then filled with a layer of fresh manure about
10 cm deep at the bottom. This is about the same as the width of your closed
hand. Some grass, weeds and organic matter can be placed on top of this
before filling your trench with top soil only. Some manure or compost can be
mixed into this soil before planting. These are called HOTBEDS because the
manure heats up as it decomposes in the ground. This will heat up the soil in your
bed. This is very good for cold winter areas.
Manure can be spread over the surface of the ground as a mulch. It then has
the added advantage of providing food to plants.
Manure can be added to compost heaps to make the best compost.
Compost
Compost is a combination of wet and dry plant material and manure that has
decomposed together to form a rich plant food. Compost also helps the soil to hold
water and keep plants free from diseases.
What do you need to make a compost heap?
You need to collect a lot of the following:
Maize stalks or leftovers from other crops. These are called crop residues;.
Grass (without seeds!) – it can be green or dry;
Cabbage leaves and weeds (green or dry) with no seeds;
More advantages
Compost is ready as plant food, without
the need to be broken down by soil
micro-organisms first.
Compost does not cause a lot of weed
growth, like most animal manures do.
You can get good crops without
spending lots of money on fertilizers.
Some disadvantages
Compost requires a lot of work to
prepare and use.
The value of compost depends on how
it is made and what you used. If it is
not made well, it will not be a good
plant food.
It may be difficult to find the organic
material you need to make compost.
Resource Material for Homestead Food Gardeners Chapter 6 Handout 1
12
Animal manure;
Wood ash.
Some other things that can go into a compost heap are: kitchen waste, washing
water, yard sweepings, dead animals, bones, wool, horns and feathers. It is a very
good idea to add comfrey to compost heaps.
THINGS NOT TO ADD: Plastic, glass, metal, wood, old batteries or anything that
cannot decompose (that means to break down in the soil).
Where to make a compost heap
In a shady place but not too close to the trunk of a tree.
Protected from too much wind.
On flat ground.
Close to your garden and to a source of water.
Away from animals (especially
pigs, goats and chickens).
How to make a compost heap
Step 1:
Choose your site and turn the soil
over with a fork or a hoe. The area
should be about 1 metre by 2
metres (1 spade length wide and 2
spade lengths long).
Wood ash
2 cm fine soil
4 cm manure
20 cm grass and greens
Broken soil
Cover of grass or plastic
The completed compost
pile
Resource Material for Homestead Food Gardeners Chapter 6 Handout 1
13
Step 2:
Chop the stalks and leaves of your
crop residues, grass and weeds into
small pieces. This includes comfrey,
cabbage leaves, weeds and maize
stalks. They need to be chopped into
pieces about 10 cm long. This is the
width of your closed hand. This will
make the composting process go
faster.
Step 3:
Lay some small branches and twigs on the soil that you have turned over.
Step 4:
Cover these with a layer of your chopped mixture, about 30 cm deep. This is one
open hand deep. If you have kitchen wastes, they are added in this layer.
Resource Material for Homestead Food Gardeners Chapter 6 Handout 1
14
Step 5:
Spread manure on top of this about 4 cm deep. This is the width of 2 fingers.
Step 6
:
Spread some soil on top of the manure about 2 cm deep – the width of 1 finger.
Step 7:
Sprinkle wood ash on top of the soil. If you are also going to add lime, bone meal or
rock phosphate, this can be sprinkled on now.
Resource Material for Homestead Food Gardeners Chapter 6 Handout 1
15
Step 8:
Water these layers until the
water soaks through at the
bottom of the pile.
Step 9:
Continue to build the heap,
repeating the layers as before,
until it reaches the height of
your chest.
Step 10:
It is best to cover your
pile, either with a thick
layer of straw or grass or
plastic. This helps to keep
the water and heat in
and helps your pile
decompose. It also stops
animals from scratching
in your heap and
destroying it.
Resource Material for Homestead Food Gardeners Chapter 6 Handout 1
16
It is best to turn your
compost heap every two
weeks. If your heap is dry,
you will need to add
more water. If you do this
your compost should be
ready in about 6 weeks in
summer and about 8-9
weeks in winter. In very
cold areas that
experience snow, your
heap will have to be well
covered – otherwise
nothing will happen at all.
When is compost ready to use?
When there is still steam coming out of your heap it is VERY busy decomposing. The
compost will be ready when it has turned blackish in colour and looks like moist soil. It
will have almost no smell. (If it is smelly and warm, it is definitely NOT compost!).
Handling compost
Plant each seedling with
2-3 handfuls of compost.
Dig compost into the soil:
Turn over the soil and
loosen it to a depth of at
least one spade head.
Spread 4 full spades of
compost in an area of 1
square metre. Dig this
lightly and then plant.
Use compost as a mulch
by spreading it over the
surface of your beds.
Experimentation
An experiment to test whether your soil has enough lime
and phosphate
From: Production without
Destruction, Pelum
Turning the compost
pile
From: Vikela, May 2003, FSG
1 metre
1 metre1 metre
1 metre
1 Square metre
Resource Material for Homestead Food Gardeners Chapter 6 Handout 1
17
In this experiment, you will need to measure out 4 plots of the same size. Make these
plots about 1 metre long and 1 metre wide. This is the length of one spade. Be sure to
mark your plots out with sticks, so that you will know throughout the season where
your plots are. You will then be able to do your experiment.
Plot 1:
Prepare and plant in your normal way
Plot 2:
Prepare the soil in your normal way and then add 2 big spoon fulls of
Superphosphate. This is spread evenly over your soil and then dug into the soil. Then
plant in your normal way.
Plot 3:
Prepare the soil in your normal way and then add one big tin (jam tin) full of Lime. This
is spread evenly over the soil and then dug into the soil. Then plant in your normal
way.
Plot 4:
Prepare the soil in your normal way and then add 2 big spoonfuls of Superphosphate
and one big tin of Lime. This is spread evenly over your soil and then dug into the soil.
Then plant in your normal way. Below is picture of what your experiment could look
like.
Now you will monitor or look at this experiment. Every week you will check and write
down which plants look better. You will look at the plants’ growth, their colour
(whether they are green or yellowish), and their health (whether they are healthy or
diseased). Here is an example of how you can record your results: You can start with
this table and write in your results from week 3 onwards. Or use this table to draw your
own table on a piece of paper.
Experimental plot
Control
1
Phosphate
2
Lime
3
Lime &
Phosphate
4
Garden planted with cabbages
Plot 1
Control
Plot 2
Phosphate
Plot 3
Lime
Plot 4
Lime+
Phosphate
Week 1Seedlings look
good
Seedlings look
good
Seedlings look
good
Seedlings look
good
Week 2
Seedlings
growing, but
yellowish. No
disease
Seedlings
growing; not
yellow. No
disease
Seedlings
growing well. No
disease
Seedlings
growing well;
dark green. No
disease
Resource Material for Homestead Food Gardeners Chapter 6 Handout 1
18
Week3
Week4
Week5
Week 6 etc
Final result
Growth
Colour
Health
Number of
plants that
look good
You can use the Small Scale Experimentation Plan to think about how the
phosphorous and lime experiment will help you improve your soil fertility.
Small scale experimentation plan
What is the problem? My plants are not growing well, even when I add
compost or fertilizer
What is a solution to this problem? I will add phosphorous and lime to see if that makes a
difference
Why will this solution solve the
problem?
My soil may need phosphorous or lime, or it may need
both of these things
How will I test this solution?
I will add phosphorous to one experimental plot, I will
add lime to another experimental plot, and I will add
phosphorous and lime to my third plot. I will also keep
one plot free, as a control, to make sure that what I am
adding is really making a difference
How will I check my results? What
will I look for?
I will look at the leaves to see if they are a good bright
green colour. I will also look to see if my plants look
healthy or diseased
How else will I check my results?
What will I measure?
I will measure the growth of my plants using a piece of
string
How will I measure the results or
outcomes?
The plants that grow the most, and look the most green
or the least yellow, and look the most healthy will be
the best plants
How will I compare my experiment
to my usual way of farming?
I will know that where my results were good, I should
add that thing to my soil. So if I get the best results by
using phosphorous and lime together, then I should
add that to all my soil
Resource Material for Homestead Food Gardeners Chapter 6 Handout 1
19
In these materials there are many suggestions for improving your soil. You can
experiment with any of them to see whether your plants will grow better if you use
them.
You can test what kind of soil you have, and add compost.
You can add nitrogen, by adding manure.
You can add nitrogen, by planting legumes.
You can add phosphorous (which is called Superphosphate when you buy it).
You can add potassium, by adding chicken manure.
You can add potassium, by adding fresh woodash.
You can add lime, which you can buy, to make the soil less acidic.
You can add manure.
You can add compost.
You can add a liquid manure made from comfrey or animal manure.
You can mulch with leaves of legumes
For each of these suggestions, you can do some experimenting, to see which works
best for you. Remember to keep a record of all your experiments, so you can look
back on them in a few years time. You should also keep records so that you can
share the information with your neighbours and community, and compare your
results with other people’s results.
Resource Material for Homestead Food Gardeners Chapter 6 Handout 2
1
2. Mulching
Mulching is the spreading of a layer of material over the surface of the soil. It covers
the soil and keeps it moist and cool in summer. It keeps the soil warm in winter.
Why mulch?
Mulching has two main effects:
It saves water, because it will stop the sun and wind from drying out the soil. That
means that you will need to give less water to your plants, because it is not lost
through the effects of sun and wind.
The effect of sun and wind on bare soil
From: Production without Destruction. Natural
Farmin
g
Network, Zimbabwe
Resource Material for Homestead Food Gardeners Chapter 6 Handout 2
2
It keeps the soil temperature more even. Mulching reduces too much heating
and too much cooling of the soil. This makes it easier for plants to grow.
Bare soil
Mulched soil
More effects of mulching
Negative Positive
Itissometimeshardtofindenoughmaterialto
mulchwith
Sometimesmulchingonseedbedscanaffect
thegrowthofcarrotseedlings.Theycan
Itstopslossofminerals/nutrientsfromthe
soil
Itencouragessoilorganisms
Itreducesweedgrowth
Transpiration
Evaporation
Damp soil
Calm air Sun and wind takes water Wilting
More
transpiration
More
evaporation
WindWind speeds
up wilting
process
Dehydrated
soil – less
moisture
Run off
High
evaporation
Very low
infiltration Weeds
Dry, hot and
capped soil
No soil organisms
Bad soil structure
Little
evaporation
High infiltration
Weed control
Soil organisms
Good soil structure
From: Production without Destruction. Natural Farmin
g
Network, Zimbabwe
Resource Material for Homestead Food Gardeners Chapter 6 Handout 2
3
becomespindlyandweak
Somepeoplethinkitlooksuntidy
Mulchcanencourageslugsandsnails
Itpreventscapping:thatistheformationofa
hardlayerofsoilonthesurface.
Astrongerrootsystemdevelopsclosertothe
soilsurface.Thismakesmorenutrientsand
airavailabletotheroots
Breakdownofmulchwilladdtosoilfertility
Breakstheimpactofheavyrainsand
splashingofsoilonplants‐thatcanspread
diseases
What to use as mulch?
Usually we use:
Crop residues (stalks and leaves of harvested crops). NEVER use diseased crop
residue. You will infect the soil and your new crops!
Weeds that have been pulled out and left to dry out
Grasses from the veld. Make sure to use DRY grass. GREEN grass will take nutrients
from your soil and your crops will have fewer nutrients.
Flat stones. These will cover but will not add nutrients. They are good around
larger plants and fruit trees.
Newspaper. This will cover and add a little bit of nutrients/ plant food to the soil.
Wet the newspaper when you put it on the soil, so that it does not blow away.
Manure; use DRY or OLD manure for this.
Leaves collected under trees.
Old thatch grass.
Black plastic sheeting.
How do we mulch?
It is best to chop up your mulching material (weeds and
grass) to be about the length of your hand (10-20
centimetres)
Use a thin layer of mulch for seedlings and small plants –
about one finger width deep (1.5 cm)
Organic dry material
From: Production without Destruction. Natural
Farmin
g
Network, Zimbabwe
All reduce evaporation
Stones
Sheets of paper
One hand =
10 – 20 cm
Resource Material for Homestead Food Gardeners Chapter 6 Handout 2
4
For larger plants use much thicker mulch – about 2-3 finger widths (3-4 cm)
For trees, a really thick layer, one whole hand or more (10-20 cm) can be added
When the mulch has broken down, you need to add more! You will be amazed how
quickly this happens. Usually mulch is added at least once a season, or once every 3
months. In areas with extremely cold winters, it may be an idea to make sure your
mulch is compact or squashed down once the frosts are heavy and the ground starts
to freeze. Loose mulch can make the effects of frost more severe.
Experimentation
Remember to use your experimentation plan for every new
thing that you try.
Small scale experiment plan
What is the problem?
What is the possible solution?
Why will this solution solve the problem?
How will I test this solution step by step?
How will I check my results? What will I look for?
How else will I check my results? What will I measure?
How will I measure the results or outcomes?
How will I compare my experiment to my usual way of farming?
Make a drawing of the experimentation in the field.
One finger =
1.5 cm
Two fingers =
3 – 4 cm
Resource Material for Homestead Food Gardeners Chapter 6 Handout 2
5
Here are some questions that you can use to experiment with adding
mulch
Did you use mulch on all of your plants, or only some?
Were the plants that you mulched bigger and better than the ones that had no
mulch?
Did you use less water on the plants that were mulched?
What did you use for mulch? Was it good? What will you use for mulch in future?
Resource Material for Homestead Food Gardeners Chapter 6 Handout 3
1
3. Brews for Plant Nutrition
One way of improving plant nutrition is to make liquid teas or brews that will add
fertility to the soil. This should be used as an additional soil fertility technique rather
than the only one! Brews provide extra nutrients in case of small deficiencies, but
cannot rectify major nutrient deficiencies.
Liquid manures/brews/ teas are a simple way of giving your plants a boost. They can
be made from plant material or animal manures. The aim is to provide plants with
natural plant foods quickly during their growing season. It is useful for heavy feeders
like cabbages and to give seedlings a boost.
How to make liquid manures from plants
A good plant for liquid manure is comfrey. Most soft green leaves and stems can also
be used and weeds are ideal. Avoid plants which are very strong smelling. Plants are
made of different quantities of nutrients and take up different nutrients from the soil. It
is best to use a range of plant materials to make your liquid.
Make sure your container is clean before you use it.
Collect the plant material and fill up the container. You must keep on adding
material to the container every week
Place a rock on top of the plant material in the container and put the lid on. Do
not add water. The plant material will make its own liquid. If you are only using
weeds, and no comfrey or banana stems, you may need to add a little water, to
just cover the compressed plant material.
Place it in a sunny position and two weeks later check to see if the leaves have
turned black. If you tilt the container you should find a black juice. This is the
concentrated plant liquid manure.
This liquid is very strong and should be diluted as follows:
Seedlings: 1 tin of liquid manure for every 4 tins of water.
Bigger plants: 1 tin of liquid manure to 2 tins water. If you make the mixture too strong
it can burn the leaves of plants.
Every two weeks pour the mixture on the soil around your plants, after you have
watered them. You should pour at least one tin of this diluted mixture around each
seedling or plant. The tin should be the size of a big jam tin.
Resource Material for Homestead Food Gardeners Chapter 6 Handout 3
2
A brew made from comfrey leaves can be
diluted as mentioned above and sprayed on
plant leaves to protect against downy and
powdery mildew. Mildews are a problem
mainly on cucurbits, pumpkins and peas.
A brew made from comfrey and stinging
nettle can be sprayed on plants to protect
against early and late blight, which attacks
tomatoes and potatoes.
In these cases the brews are sprayed onto
the leaves of the plants.
Good plants for liquid manures
Comfrey
This plant has large hairy leaves and grows in wet shady places. The leaves contain a
lot of potassium. These can be used to mulch your vegetable beds and also to make
liquid feeds for your plants Comfrey is also a good spinach and medicine. A tea
made from the leaves is good for high blood pressure and arthritis.
Stinging nettle
This is one of the best plants you can
use in plant brews. It contains a wide variety of nutrients and trace elements and is a
well balanced plant food. It is best to collect these plants in the natural forests where
they occur and plant a few in your garden. They do not survive frost, but otherwise
grow almost anywhere.
Banana stems
These are chopped up and placed in the container with other plants and leaves. The
stems have a high concentration of potassium and water and make a good liquid
base for the brew.
Weeds
Black Jack, Amaranthus, Chickweed, Galant Soldier. All fast growing weeds, with soft
dark green leaves are good. Avoid using grasses and sedges.
Comfrey
From: Useful Plants for Land Design,
Pelum
Resource Material for Homestead Food Gardeners Chapter 6 Handout 3
3
Advantages and disadvantages of plant brews
ADVANTAGES of plant brews DISADVANTAGES of plant brews
Plant brews are easy to prepare and use Resources such as containers with lids
are required
If diluted these brews do not harm plantsPlant brews can burn plants if they are
too strong
Plant brews increase disease resistance
in crops
Effects of the brews on plant growth are
only visible after 3-5 days.
Plant brews provide a quick and cheap
plant booster food
It is not possible to know exactly which
nutrients these brews contain.
Plant brews provide mainly potassium,
phosphorus and trace elements.
Some people do not like the smell of
these brews, which can smell very rotten
Nitrogen can be provided if the brew is
used early in the fermentation cycle
(after 1 week) and care is taken to avoid
it’s evaporation by keeping the
containers closed and cool
Nitrogen is volatile and is lost from the
brews quite early in the fermentation
cycle
How to make liquid manure from animal manure
Manure can be used from chickens, rabbits, cows, goats and sheep. A mixture of
manures is best.
Put your fresh manure mixture into an orange packet and tie the top of the bag.
Put the bag in the container and attach it to a stick or a rope.Then fill the
container with water. For every 1kilogram of manure you will need 5 litres of
water. This means an orange sack full of manure in a large bucket (50l), or half
the bag in a normal sized household bucket (20l). This is a way of keeping the
manure and the water separate, because you should not put the wet manure
on your plants.
Cover the container with a lid. Stir every few days.
After two weeks the mixture will be ready to be used. It should look like weak tea.
Before using the liquid, stir the mixture well.
This liquid will be very strong and should be diluted:
Resource Material for Homestead Food Gardeners Chapter 6 Handout 3
4
Seedlings: 1 tin of liquid to 8
tins of water (or buckets or
bottles)
Bigger plants: 1 tin liquid to 4
tins of water
If you make the mixture too
strong it can burn the leaves
of plants.
Every two weeks pour the
mixture on the soil around
your plants, after you have
watered them. Again, use at
least one big jam tin full for
each seedling or plant. Avoid
applying your mixture in the middle of the day or on very hot days.
Good sources for animal liquid manures
Kraal manure (cattle):
Either use fresh manure or use manure that has been collected in a kraal. In this way
you can ensure that the manure contains as many nutrients as possible and that the
nutrients have not been lost into the air through baking in the sun and drying out. This
is especially important if you need your liquid manure to contain some Nitrogen.
Chicken manure:
With chicken manure it is important to collect the
droppings while they are fresh. Again this keeps the
nitrogen and other plant food concentrated in the
dry droppings. It is possible to collect the droppings
daily and keep them in a sack in a cool dark place,
until you have enough to make a brew.
Liquid manure made from chicken manure can burn plants, as it can contain a high
level of Nitrogen. It is important to dilute this brew properly before use. If you are
unsure, test the brew on a few plants only and come back the next day. If the edges
of the leaves have gone brown and crinkly overnight, the brew is too strong and has
“burnt” your plants.
Goat manure:
This is a very mild manure and is well balanced. It is unlikely to “burn” plants, but may
also be a little low in phosphorus, depending on the diet of the goats.
Plastic cover
Stick to stir
Sack with ± 40 kg
manure and/or plants
200 litre drum
filled with water
Nutrients dissolve
into water
Resource Material for Homestead Food Gardeners Chapter 6 Handout 3
5
Other manures:
Manure from rabbits can also be safely used. It is suggested not to use the manure
from pigs, due to the possibility of carrying worm eggs that can infect people. Do not
use manure from dogs and cats for the same reason.
Advantages and disadvantages of animal liquid manures
ADVANTAGES of animal liquid
manures DISADVANTAGES of animal liquid manures
Liquid manures are easy to prepare
and use
The liquid manure is only as good as the
manure of origin. If the animals are suffering
from deficiencies these will be transferred
into the manures. As an example, there is
likely to be a lack of phosphorus in cattle
manure, where cattle have only been
grazed on veld. This means the liquid
manure made from this source will also lack
phosphorus.
If diluted properly, these liquid
manures do not harm plants
Liquid manures are generally low in
nitrogen. Using chicken manure drastically
increases the nitrogen content.
Liquid manures increase disease
resistance in crops
The source manures have to be handled
well to retain their nutrients before using as
liquid manures.
Liquid manures provide a quick and
cheap plant booster food
Effects of the liquid manures on plant
growth are only visible after 3-5 days.
Liquid manures provide mainly
potassium, phosphorus and trace
elements.
It is not possible to know exactly which
nutrients these brews contain.
Nitrogen can be provided if the
liquid manure is used early in the
fermentation cycle (after 1 week)
and care is taken to avoid it’s
evaporation by keeping the
containers closed and cool
Some people do not like the smell of these
liquid manures, which can smell very rotten
Resource Material for Homestead Food Gardeners Chapter 6 Handout 3
6
How to make a foliar spray
This is brew made from a mixture of plant and animal material. It is used by spraying
onto the leaves of plants from where it is absorbed. This brew contains antibiotics,
microbes and plant hormones as well as plant nutrients (potassium, phosphate and
trace elements). (from :EMBRAPA; Brazilian Agriculture Research Institute)
Place the following ingredients in a container with a lid:
30kg of fresh cow manure
50-60liters of water
5litres of milk (without salt)
5liters of sugar cane juice/ 15kg of chopped sugar cane/2kg of brown sugar
(personal variation)
4kg of wood ash (not coal ash!!)
4kg crushed bones or bone meal (fish bones are ideal if available. If possible
do not use chicken bones) (We use bone meal bought from a gardening shop)
3-5x 20l buckets of chopped weeds
2-3kg of agricultural lime/ crushed eggshells
Leave this mixture for 10-15 days
Dilute 2-10litres of this mixture in 100 litres of water.
This spray is highly effective!! It is possible to keep the brew going for a period of time,
by adding more weeds and manure and fermenting the mixture again for about 10
days.
Advantages and disadvantages of foliar sprays
ADVANTAGES of foliar sprays DISADVANTAGES of foliar sprays
Foliar sprays are very effective
and act quickly in the plants.
If diluted properly, these foliar
sprays do not harm plants
Foliar sprays increase disease
resistance in crops
Foliar sprays provide a quick and
cheap plant booster food
Plant hormones and antibiotics
are also supplied through the
fermentation process in the
making of foliar sprays
Some inputs for foliar sprays need
to be bought; such as
agricultural lime and potentially
wood ash, sugar and milk
This mixture is exceptionally
smelly while it is fermenting
Foliar sprays can “burn” plants if
they are too strong
Resource Material for Homestead Food Gardeners Chapter 6 Handout 4
1
4. How to Make a Trench Bed
Introduction
A trench bed is a way to increase soil fertility and water holding in your beds and
garden. It is an intensive way of providing good soil for vegetables production on
a small scale. It involves digging a hole and filling it with organic matter, so that
your bed can be fertile for a long time (around 5 years).
The method
1. Dig a hole 60cm or deeper. It is usually about 1m
wide (to provide easy access, without having to step
on the bed) and can be as long as one likes.
2. Separate the topsoil and subsoil in piles while you
are digging.
If your sub-soil is very in fertile it is not used in the
trench. Spread this soil around the garden to help
channel water towards your bed.
3. Place a layer of tins or branches at the bottom of
the trench to help with aeration and also with supply
of some nutrients.
The tins need to be squashed before putting
them in the hole. Make a layer of tins about 3
tins deep. If there are no tins use thin branches
instead.
4. Fill the trench with a range of organic
materials and topsoil.
- First add dry grass or weeds (about 10 cm
deep)
- Then add manure (about 2 cm deep)
- Add also some wood ash (a thin layer, less
Mandla (in Phuthadjithaba) is digging his
trench bed and placing the topsoil on
one pile (darker soil with more organic
matter) and the subsoil on another
(usually lighter soil with little or no organic
matter).
Layer of tins at bottom of trench
Resource Material for Homestead Food Gardeners Chapter 6 Handout 4
2
than 1cm deep).
- Then add a layer of sop soil (about 5cm
deep)
Mix these layers with a fork
Stamp them down by walking on them
WATER the mixture well!
Then start the process again.
You can also add other organic matter like
green and dry weeds and vegetable peelings,
card board, paper and bones.
5. Continue to place the organic materials into
the trench until it has reached ground level
again.
6. Now build up the trench bed to about 10-
15cm above soil level. Use a good mixture of
topsoil and manure and or compost.
The organic material in the trench needs to
decompose for about 2-3 months before planting.
7. The other option is to use your trench bed as a
seed bed. In this way, when your seedlings are
ready to be transplanted, the trench bed will be
ready to be planted.
Growing seedlings from seed needs a well
prepared bed. The roots of the small plants do not
go down too deep. The materials in the trench
A trench bed in Potshini being filled and
mixed. Here the top soil is being added back
into the trench Notice the yellow subsoil on
the one side. It is not being used.
A trench bed in Phutaditjhaba being filled,
mixed and stamped down. Notice the mixture
of manure, grass and soil.
A recently completed trench bed.
Resource Material for Homestead Food Gardeners Chapter 6 Handout 4
3
can decompose while the seedlings grow on top.
In this picture carrot seeds were planted in
the smaller trench bed in the far corner.
There are also two tubs of seedlings being
produced.In the foreground is a recently
completed trench bed into which bought
cabbage seedlings have been planted.
Again these grew well and did not show
any negative effects from the
decomposing material in the trench.
Above, Carrot and onions seeds are being planted in
a seed bed in Potshini. This trench has just been
prepared.
Note; Fine soil is being used to cover the seeds in the
rows. This is because the seeds are small and in this
way they can germinate better.
In this picture a number of trench beds have been
prepared in a garden in Potshini. The owner has
used two of his trenches as seed beds. They are
covered with grass to hold the moisture in the soil
while the seeds are germinating. This grass will be
removed when the seeds come up.
The middle bed is shaped like a horse shoe. This is
a nice design that makes it easy to reach all sides
of the bed. It also allows run-off water to run into
the middle of the shoe and soak into your bed.
Here the owner has planted swiss chard seedlings.
They grew well; despite our fears that the
decomposition of the organic matter in the trench
bed may interfere with their growth.
Resource Material for Homestead Food Gardeners Chapter 6 Handout 4
4
8. It is very important that the trenches are watered well while they are being
made and afterwards. The organic material in the trench can not decompose if
it is dry.
Different ways of watering are possible; as long as a lot of water is given!!!
In this picture, drip irrigation is going to be used to water a trench bed.
Later in the season the cabbages in the trench bed with drip irrigation are
growing well. And so are all the other crops planted in trench beds and watered
with buckets; the swiss chard and beetroot in the foreground.
Resource Material for Homestead Food Gardeners Chapter 6 Handout 5
1
5. Seedling production
Above is an example of a seedbed. The cover of reeds that are tied together provides wind and sun
protection for the seedlings.
To start
Make sure you have good, fresh seed
Make sure you have clean water close by (really muddy water is not good)
Make sure you have fertile, soft, smooth soil (see also the Improving your Soil
leaflet in this series).
Make sure you have some
shade.
Golden rules with water
Water must be close by
Water must be clean - very muddy
and dirty water will make it hard for
seedlings to grow.
Golden rules with seed
Seed must be fresh: Keep seed for only 1-2 years. Look on
the packets you buy for a date. You can do a germination
test on seeds to see how well they grow, before planting
them (see below)
Seed must be kept cool, dark and dry. If you buy from a
shop, look to see whether the seeds are kept in a cool, dry
place. If the packets are in the sun – do not buy them
If you keep your own seed, make sure you plant seed
without any mould, scratches or holes
If you buy seed, write the month and year you bought it
on the packet, so you can check the dates later
Resource Material for Homestead Food Gardeners Chapter 6 Handout 5
2
Experimentation
GERMINATION TEST - you might want to try this if you are unsure
of the quality and freshness of your seeds
Before planting seeds they can be tested for
germination. You will test how many of your
seeds will grow.
Take 50 seeds and place them on top of some damp paper, cloth or toilet tissue.
Do not let the seeds stand in water or dry out.
Place the paper or cloth with the seeds inside a plastic bag and blow air into the
bag, before closing it.
Check the seeds regularly to see how many germinate. This should take 3-10
days.
Then count the seeds that have germinated.
Here for example 40 out of 50 seeds germinated. This is a germination rate of 80%
(80/100). This means that only 80 out of 100 seeds that you plant will start to grow.
Measurements
Evaporated moisture inside the bag
from the damp cloth
ONE FINGER = 1.5 cm TWO FINGERS = 3 - 4 cmONE HAND = 20-30 cm
ONE METRE
30 cm
Resource Material for Homestead Food Gardeners Chapter 6 Handout 5
3
Preparing the seed bed
A seedbed is a small part of the garden with very rich soil and a roof to shade the
growing seeds. The roof also provides frost protection.
Dig a trench about 30 cm deep (about as wide as a spade) and 1metre wide
(about as long as a spade). The trench can be 1 or 2 metres long.
Separate the more fertile soil on the top (which is usually darker) from the rest of the
soil. Loosen the bottom of the trench with a fork or a spade.
The trench is
1 metre wide
Lighter subsoil
Darker topsoil
2 metres
30 cm
Resource Material for Homestead Food Gardeners Chapter 6 Handout 5
4
Then mix the topsoil with an equal part of manure and ash mixture or compost.
Sieve this as you put the mixture back into the hole. If you can not sieve the mixture,
make sure it is free of anything that can stop the seedling from growing, such as
sticks, leaves, stones, pebbles and hard clods of soil. It is important never to step on
your bed once you have prepared it.
Resource Material for Homestead Food Gardeners Chapter 6 Handout 5
5
The width of the seed bed should be
about 1 metre (or the length of a spade).
This is because it makes it possible for you
to reach the middle of the bed from both
sides, without having to walk or step on
your seed bed. Stepping on soil especially
when it is wet, will spoil its soft, smooth
texture, and make it hard. This hardness
will make it difficult for seeds to grow.
An inexpensive shade structure for the
seedbed can be made with poles / reeds
/bamboo and thatch grass.
Planting seeds
Different seeds need to be planted in different ways.
1. Direct sowing
Some seeds need to be planted where
the crop will grow, as the small plants do
Seeds are sown thinly and evenly
Resource Material for Homestead Food Gardeners Chapter 6 Handout 5
6
not like being moved. This is known asdirect sowing.
This includes beans, beetroot, carrots, cucumbers, garlic, maize, peas, potatoes,
pumpkins, radishes and turnips. The furrows / holes into which seed will be
planted need to be fully watered beforehand.
Small seeds like carrots, radishes and turnips are not planted very deep. Make a
furrow about 1.5 cm deep (1 finger width) Sow the seed carefully with your finger
and thumb into the furrow. Make sure you do not sow the seeds too thickly.
Seeds need to be spaced one finger width in the furrow. Spread the seeds out as
evenly as possible. Cover the seeds with a layer of fine compost, manure or soil.
Press down with your fingers.
Larger seeds such as beans are
planted at a depth of 1-2 times
their size. If they are planted too
deep, they will not grow. If they
are too shallow, the small plants
will fall over.
2. Sowing into seedbeds first
Some plants grow a lot better if they are first planted in seedbeds and then
transplanted when the seedlings are strong. This includes broccoli, cabbages,
cauliflower, chilies, eggplant, green peppers, leeks, lettuce, okra, onions, spinach
and tomatoes.
Some plants can be sown directly or in seedbeds and here it is your choice
which works best for you. This includes spinach, onions, garlic and potatoes.
3. Caring for seedlings in the seedbed
For small seeded vegetables like cabbages, kale, tomatoes, turnips and onions,
do not plant the seed so thickly that they emerge as a dense mass. Seedlings will
be weak and diseased. They need to compete for space and light. Sow thinly
and evenly. Sow the seeds about one finger width apart.
Planting furrow is 1.5 – 2 cm deep
Planted at a depth of
one bean
Ground level
Resource Material for Homestead Food Gardeners Chapter 6 Handout 5
7
Once seed has been
sown,it is important to
keep them moist at all
times. It may be
necessary to water
twice a day in hot
weather. It is better to
water in the evenings
in summer and in the
mid-mornings in
winter.
Water carefully, with a
soft spray. Otherwise
you can wash your
seed out of the
planting furrows, or
compact the soil. You
can use a home
made watering can.
You punch very small
holes in the bottom of
a tin with a nail and a
hammer.
Mulch the seedbed. Here you can mulch between the rows of planted seeds. Or
you can cover the whole bed and then remove the mulch as soon as seedlings
start to appear. If you do not take the mulch off the seeds it can make it hard for
them to grow well. It is also possible to mulch the edges of your seedbed with flat
stones. This ensures that the water stays inside the bed and does not evaporate
out the sides.
It is important to weed well and often in a seedbed.
Thinning is taking out some of the plants so that others will grow better. When the
plants come up, you will see which ones are stronger and which ones are
weaker. Take out the weak plants. Make sure each strong plant has enough
space around it, about 3-4 cm (2 fingers wide).
4. Transplanting seedlings
Before transplanting your seedlings it is a good
idea to harden them. This will make the shock of
being transplanted less. Hardening means that
you make the conditions for the seedlings a bit
more difficult. The shading is removed and
watering is reduced. This is done 3-5 days before
Watering can
made from a tin
Seedbed mulched with
stones and grass
Resource Material for Homestead Food Gardeners Chapter 6 Handout 5
8
transplanting.
The time to transplant a seedling is when it
has 2-6 true leaves, a well developed root
system and a nice strong stem. The first
two leaves that pop out of the ground are
usually not true leaves – so wait for the
plant to develop.
Transplant in the late afternoon or on an overcast day. This gives the seedlings a
bit of time to recover before the next warm day. If it is really cold, plant them
mid-morning, once the soil has warmed up a little.
Prepare and water your planting holes
Make sure the soil is soft and contains some organic matter, like manure and
ash or compost.
Lift the seedlings carefully, using a tool (DO NOT PULL THEM OUT BY HAND)
and try to leave as much soil around the roots as possible. Handle the
seedlings by their leaves and not their stems.
When planting, the roots should be kept straight and not be squashed into
the hole. The hole must then be filled with soil, which should be packed firmly
around the roots. Press the soil down around the seedling, so that there is no
air around the roots.
Seedling with two true
leaves
Hold the seedling by the leaves
With a tool, the roots
remain intact
Pullin
g
up seedlin
g
s without a tool
is not good
Resource Material for Homestead Food Gardeners Chapter 6 Handout 5
9
Water the seedlings as soon as they are planted.
Mulch them in their bed.
Provide some shade for the seedling, using a
leafy branch or a piece of cardboard. This
can be removed after 4-5 days, once the
seedling has settled in.
Roots are
straight
Press
Moistened soil
No air around the roots
Water after transplanting
Mulch
Branch for shade
Resource Material for Homestead Food Gardeners Chapter 6 Handouts
Resource Material for
Homestead Food Gardeners
Chapter 6: Handouts
(seSotho)
Handout 1 Ntlafatso ea mobu (Improving your soil)
Handout 2 Ho koahelamobu hore u se lahleheloe ke mongobo (Mulching)
Handout 3 Mokeli-keli Oa Mononts’a (Brews for plant nutrition)
Handout 4 Thlahiso ea sethopo (Seedling production)
Resource Material for Homestead Food Gardeners Chapter 6 Handout 1
1
1. Ntlafatso ea mobu
Mobu o nang le bophelo
Mobu o matlafetseng ke o phelang. Ke mobu o nang le li kokoanyana tse ngata tse
o ntlafatsang. Ke mobu o tebiling, o seng thata, o bile o bonolo ho o cheka, ona le
moea le metsi.
Mobu o nang le bophelo ke motsoako oa lintho tse ngata joalo ka:
Lehlabathenyana, "silt" le letsopa, tseo e leng mefuta ea mobu.
Lintho tse putileng joalo ka makhasi, joang le moiteli.
Lintho tse sa puting joalo ka majoe.
Matsoai a kang "potassium".
Moea le metsi.
Likokoanyana tse nyenyane tse phelang mobung tseo ho seng bonolo ho li
bona ka mahlo ka lebaka la bonyanyane ba tsona. Li ntlafatsa mobu ka ho ja
makhasi/ mahaba, joang le tse ling. Ke likokoanyana tse kang manyoha ka
mefuta ea tsona le tse ling.
From: Lessons from Nature
Resource Material for Homestead Food Gardeners Chapter 6 Handout 1
2
Mefuta ea mobu
Mobu o etsoa ha liminerale tse fumanoang haholo-holo majoeng li thueha/
likumeha hanyane ka hanyane ka lilemo tse telele. Ka nako ena e telele, majoe ana
a thueha/ kumeha ho fihlela eba makoete a manyenyane. Makoete ana a thuuoa
ke lipula, meea le letsatsi. Kamorao ho liketsahalo tsena, re ba le ho bitsoang ka hore
ke mobu moo re ka tsebang ho lema, lijalo li hole le likokoanyana tsa mobu li phele
ka teng. Joalo ka batho, lijalo li ke ke tsa phela ntle le metsi, moea le lijo.
Mobu kaofela ke motsoako oa lehlabathe, "silt" le letsopa. Hore na mobu o tseba ho
tšoara metsi nako e kae, ho ea ka hore na mobu o jolao o na le lehlabathe, letsopa
kapa "silt" e kae. Mehlala ea mefuta ea mobu ke: mobu o lehlabathe (sandy soil),
mobu oo karolo boholo eleng lehlabathe 'me ho boetse ho ena le selokoe (sandy
loam) selokoe, (loam) mobu o letsopa ebile o kopane le selokoe (clay loam) le
letsopa (clay).
Lehlabathe le etsa mobu oo metsi a fetang feela. Mobu o bitsoang "silt" ke mobu o
senang lehlabathe le lengata. Mobu ona o tšoara metsi le lijo tsa lijalo hantle ho feta
lehlabathe le khorofo, le ha hole joalo, o tsamaea ha bobebe le metsi.
Letsopa ke karolo ea mobu e khoramelang. Le tšoara metsi joalo ka ha eka ke
seponche. Mobu o nepahetseng ke selokoe, hobane o na le likaroloana tse le
kanang tsa lehlabathe, "silt" le letsopa.
Libopeho tsa mobu:
Mobu o lehlabathe
Tse ntle ka mobu ona Tse seng ntle haholo ka mobu ona
Ho bonolo ho o sebetsa
Futhumala kapele hang ha mariha a tsoa
O motle bakeng sa lijalo tse holelang ka
mobung
Moea le metsi li kena ha bonolo
O oma ka pele
Ha o boloke manoni a mobu haholo
Ha o tšoare metsi hantle
Selokoe (Motsoako oa lehlabathe le letsopa)
Tse ntle ka mobu ona Tse seng ntle haholo ka mobu ona
Tšoara metsi hantle
Motle sebakeng sa lijalo tse holelang ka
mobung
Ona le liputisuoa tse ntlafatsang mobu
Mobu ona o thata ha o omme
Letsopa
Tse ntle ka mobu ona Tse seng ntle haholo ka mobu ona
Tšoara metsi hantle nako e telele
Tšoara manoni a mobu hantle nako e
telele
Ha ho bonolo ho o sebetsa hobane o
boima
Lieha ho futhumala kamora mariha
Oa khoramela ha o le metsi
Ha o omme o thata.
Resource Material for Homestead Food Gardeners Chapter 6 Handout 1
3
Mokhoa oa ho tseba mofuta oa mobu
Ho bohlokoa ho tseba hore na mobu oo u nang le oona ke oa mofuta o fe. Ka tsela
e na u tla tseba hore na u etse joang hore mobu oa hau o sebe thata o lule o
qhalakane ka nako tsohle. Mobu o qhalakaneng e bile o se thata o tšoara metsi le
moea haholo, e leng tse hlokoang ke sejalo hore se hole.
Hore mobu oa hau o qhalakane (E bang ke o lehlabathe, selokoe kapa letsopa), u
lokela ho lula u ntse u tšela moiteli, mosuela hape u ntse u o koaela (mulch) ka
litlamatlama kapa joang. U se ke oa tsamaea holima moo ho jetsoeng teng haholo
ha mobu o le metsi.
Mobu o nang le lehlabathe le lengata, o lokela ho tšeloa liputisoa(organic matter), e
le ho nyolla ho tšoara metsi hoa oona, hammoho le ho tšoara lijo tsa sejalo. Mobu o
letsopa oona o lokeloa ho tšeloa liputisoa e le hore o tsebe ho tšoara moea le ho
lokolla lijo tsohle tsa sejalo tse ka bang teng moo mobung.
Mefuta eohle ea mobu e hloka liputisoa e le ho nyolla manoni a mobu.
Chebahalo ea
mobu
Mobu o utloahala
joang ka letsohongHa mobu o bopiloe joalo ka boroso Mobu O:
O lehlabathe le
lengata O khorofo haholo Ha o bopehe
Lehlabathe le
lengata
O lehlabatheKhorofo O oa bopeha,
feela ha o kobehe
Lehlabathe
Halofo ke
lehlabathe ha
engoe e le mobu o
boreleli
Khorofo
O oa bopeha,
ebile o ka kobeha
hanyenyane
Mobu o
kopantseng
lehlabathe le
selokoe
Boholo ba mobu o
boreleli
Lehlabathenyana
le teng, o boreleli
empa ha se
letsopa
O oa bopeha ebile
o ka kobeha
halofo
Selokoe kapa
selokoe se
kopantseng le "silt"
Boholo ba mobu
bo boreleli
Lehlabathenyana
le teng, o boreleli,
ebile ke letsopa
O ka kobeha ho
feta halofo
Letsopa le
kopaneng le
selokoe kapa
lehlabathe le
kopaneng le
letsopa
Mobu o boreleli O boreleli ebile o
letsopa
Boroso e ka
kobeha hore e tse
lebeli/lesale
Letsopa
Resource Material for Homestead Food Gardeners Chapter 6 Handout 1
4
Matsoai a mobu
Lintho tsohle tse phelang li bopiloe ka lerole la lefatse. Lijalo tsona lina le matsoai a
latelang: "Hydrogen", "oxygen", "carbon", "nitrogen", "phosphorous", "potassium",
"magnesium", "sulphur" le "calcium".
Lijalo li hloka mefuta e meraro ea matsoai:
Nitrogen (N) – Ba keng sa mahaba a phetseng hantle le kholo ea lehlaka;
Phosphorus (P) – Ba keng sa methapo e phetseng hantle;
Potassium (K) – Ba keng sa sejalo se phetseng hantle ka kakaretso, hammoho le
ho thunya le ho beha ha sejalo.
Lithlaku tsena NPK li bitsoa matšoao a lik'hemikale (chemical symbols). Ha u reka
monontša u tla fumana hangata ho sebelisitsoe ona e seng mabitso ka botlalo.
Boraro ba mefuta ena ea lijo tsa lijalo e ka holimo, e fumanoa mosueleng kapa
moiteling. U ka boela oa eketsa lijo tsena ka ho koaela mobu ka makhapetla a lijalo
tse kang lierekisi, semela se bitsoang "comfrey", le ka ho tšela mokeli-keli.
Hona le mekhoa e fapakaneng e ka sebelisoang ho ntlafatsa matsoai (fertility) a
mobu eo u tlang ho e bontšoa.
Nitrogen
U tla tseba joang haeba mobu oa hau o hloka ho
ekeletsoa nitrogen?
U tla tseba hore lijalo tsa hau li hloka nitrogen ha
mahaba/makhapetla a tsona a fetola 'mala a eba
masehla, a sa be matala joalo ka ha ho tšoanela.
U ka eketsa nitrogen joang mobung oa hau?
Nitrogen e fumanoa mefuteng e mengata ea moiteli(oa
likhomo, linku, lipoli, likhooho, likolobe le li mmutlanyane).
Le ha hole joalo, nitrogen e ngata haholo moiteling oa
likhooho le lipoli. Moiteli o lokela hore o be o omme pele
o ka tšeloa serapeng. Ha o le metsi, o matla haholo ebe
o chesa lijalo tsa hau.
Likotolana metsong ea
semela tse nkang letsoai
nitrogen
Resource Material for Homestead Food Gardeners Chapter 6 Handout 1
5
Nitrogen e fumaneha lijalong tse behang ka
mekotlana
Nitrogen e boetse e fumanoa ho mofuta oa lijalo o
bitsoang "Legumes". Tsona ke lijalo tse etsang
likotoloana metsong ea tsona, 'me likotoloana
tsena ke tsona tse nkang nitrogen moeeng hore
sejalo setle se e sebelise. Hona le likokoanyana tse
nyenyane tse kang baketheria(bacteria) tse
fumanoang methapong ea sejalo tse thusang ka
ho nka nitrogen bakeng sa sejalo.
Ha methapo ea sejalo e shoa, nitrogen e tsoela mobung e
be e sebelisoa ke lijalo tse ling tse haufinyane le seo se
shoeleng.
Mehlala ea li "legume" tseo re ka lilemang ke:
Makotomane
Lierekisi
Linaoa (Le tsa soya)
Makotomane a sitsoang "Bambara"
Ho ntse ho ena le lijalo tse ling tse sa tloaelehang le lifate tse
nyenyane tse thusang ho nka nitrogen. Mehlala ea tsona ke
"chick peas", "mung beans", "lentils", li "legume" tse ling le
tsona li kanna tsa lengoa le ha feela li ke ke tsa sebelisoa e le
lijo tse hlokoang ke sejalo. Tsona ke tse kang; lesere, "clover",
"hairy vetch" le "lupins". Li fana ka nitrogen e ngata mobung
ho feta lijalo tse jeoang. Lijalo li kanna tsa lengoa lipakeng
tsa li "legume" tsena.
Mahaba a li "legume" a ka sebelisoa ho koahela mobu (mulch) e le ho o tšireletsa
letsatsing le lengata. Ketso ena e tla eketsa nitrogen mobung.
Likotola
tsametso
Akokonyana e bitsaong bacteria e teng
likotoleng tsa metso e boloka letsoai
nitrogen le tsoang moeeng ka mobung,
e be e le lokolla hang ha semela se shoa
Linaoa le
tsa soya
From: Food from the Veld, 1982.
From: Production without Destruction,
Natural Farmin
g
Network, Zimbabwe
Li fokotsa tahleho eamongobo mobung
Resource Material for Homestead Food Gardeners Chapter 6 Handout 1
6
Phosphorous
U tla tseba joang ha mobu oa hau o hloka phosphorus?
U tla tseba hore lijalo tsa hau lihloka phosphorous ha lisa hole ka pele joalo ka ha li
tšoanela. Mahaba le oona a tla qala ho bontša bofubelu kapa bo pinkinyana ba sa
tloaelehang haholoholo qetellong ea oona. Ha eba lijalo tsa hau li sa hole hantle li le
nyenyane, le ha u tšetse mosuela, hona ho bontša hore ehlile lijalo tseo li na le
khaello e kholo ea phosphorous. Hona ho ka etsahala haeba mobu o ena le bolila
bo bongata. Re tla qaqisa tsena haholoanyane ha morao.
Phosphorous e eketsoa joang mobung?
Boholo ba mobu Lesotho ha bona phosphorous. Ho batla hole thatanyana ho
ekatsa phosphorous mobung ka tsela ea ho e kopanya le lijalo le mobu hobane
boholo ba lintho tse nang le phosphorous li se bonolo ho sebetsana le tsona. Lintho
tse joalo ke; mosese, masapo, moriri, masiba le mali. Hangata lintho tsena li
kenyelletsoa ha ho etsoa mosuela.
Ntho e bitsoang ka hore ke "Natural Rock Phosphate" kapa setene sa phosphate e
ka kopangoa e le joalo le mobu, empa le eona ha e fumanehe ha bonolo.
Phosphorous a ka fumanoa hape masapong a sitsoeng (bone meal). E ka rekoa
moo ho rekisoang li sebelisoa tsa temo, feela e theko e phahameng. Mokhoa o
mong oa ho kopanya phosphorous ke ho besa masapo lihoranyana li se kae. Ha a
se a chele, u ka tseba hoa a sila ha bonolo. Ha a se a le phofo, u ka a fafatsa
serapeng sa hau kapa holima mosuela (compost).
Majoe
Lipampiri
Resource Material for Homestead Food Gardeners Chapter 6 Handout 1
7
Moiteli oa likhomo tse fulelang sebakeng seo phosphorous e fokolang le oona o ke
kebe oa ba le phosphorous e ngata. U ka eketsa phosphorous ka ho reka monontša.
E tloaelehileng e bitsoa ka hore ke "superphosphate". Engoe ke DAP (Di-ammonium
Phosphate) le eona u ka e sebelisa.
Potassium
U tla tseba joang ha mobu oa hau o hloka Potassium?
U tla tseba hore lijalo tsa hau li hloka potassium ha lirobeha ha bobebe le mahaba a
e ba sootho ho ea qetellong a bile a omella. Ha li tholoana li sa behe hantle, u ka
sola bosieo ba potassium. Matšoao a mang oona ha a bonahale ha bobebe. Le ha
hole joalo a mang a oona ke bosehlanyana ho pota-pota methapo ea lehaba
(hona ho kanna hoa bakoa ke lefu le itseng, joale ho ba thata ho tseba hantle hore
na ho o eleng hona hantle ke hofe).
Potassium e eketsoa joang mobung?
Lihlahisoa tse ntle tsa potassium ke moiteli oa
likhooho le molora o ntseng o le mocha oa
patsi. U seke oa sebelisa molora oa mashala
kaha o kotsi mobung le lijalong. Sehlahisoa se
seng sa potassium ke sejalo se bitsoang
"Comfrey". Sejalo sena se na le makhasi a
maholo a boea. 'me se mela moo ho leng
metsi. Makhasi a sona a na le potassium e
ngata. Makhasi ana a ka boela a sebelisoa
ho kaohela mobu (mulch) serapeng kapa e
le mokeli-keli sebakeng sa lijalo. (Re tla
shebana le lijo tse metsi hamorao).
From: Useful Plants for Land
Desi
g
n, Pelum
Comfrey
Resource Material for Homestead Food Gardeners Chapter 6 Handout 1
8
Liminerale (matsoai) tse ling tse hlokahalang hanyenyane joalo ka "magnesium",
"zinc" le "iron", li fumanoa mefuteng e mengata ea moiteli le mosuela.
Mobu o bolila
Mobu o bolila ke o joang?
Liminerale le lijo tse hlokoang ke sejalo hore se hole li qhebelisoa ke metsi a teng
mobung. Ketso ena e batla e tšoana le ha letsoai kapa tsoekere e qhebiliha ka
metsing a khalaseng.
Mobu o bolila o batla o tšoana le metsi a kopantsoeng le vinegar. Libakeng tseo
pula e leng ngata haholo, tse ling tsa liminerale li ka tsamaea le metsi, ebe joale
mobu o sala o le bolila.
Ha mobu o le bolila haholo, tse ling tsa liminerale le lijo tsa sejalo li tla qhibiliha ka
pele haholo hoo lijalo li tla sitoa ho li sebelisa. Athe tseling tsa liminerale tsona li ke ke
tsa qhibiliha ho hang, e be hape lijalo ha li tsebe ho lisebelisa. Phosphorous ke engoe
ea liminerale tsoe sejalo se ke keng sa e sebelisa ha mobu o le bolila, le haeba e le
teng mobung.
U tla tseba joang ha mobu oa hau o le bolila?
U tla tseba sena ha u bona lijalo tsa hau li sa hole feela u ntse u tšela mosuela kapa
moiteli, e bile u ntse u li tšella. U tla bona lijalo li sa hole li le nyenyane. Hona ke
bothata bo tloaelehileng.
U tla fenya bothata boo ba mobu o bolila joang?
U ka bofenya ka ho tšela kalaka mobung. Kalaka ke phofshoana e tšeou ka 'mala, u
ka e reka mabenkeleng.
E tšoaneloa ho chekelloa, bonyane botebo bo lekanang le metso/methapo ea
sejalo sa hau. Bakeng sa meroho, e ba lipakeng tsa 30 – 60 cm. Hona ke bolelele ba
hloho ea kharafu kapa tse peli. U lokela ho tšela k'hilokrama e lengoe (1kg) ea
kalaka ho leoto bophara le leoto bolelele (square metre). 1 kg ea kalaka e lekana le
kharafu e tletseng. E hle e tlatsoe haholo.
Resource Material for Homestead Food Gardeners Chapter 6 Handout 1
9
Empa bakesang sa lijo tsa masimong joalo ka poone le mabele, tse nang le metso e
tebileng, cheka licentimitara tse mashome a tseletseng (60cm) hoisa ho mithara e
lengoe (1 m). Mithara e lengoe e lekana le bolelele ba kharafu.
Hangata kalaka e tšeloa khoeli tse peli hoisa ho tse tharo(2 - 3) pele ho jaloa kaha e
sebetsa butle ka mobung. Ha u ka oa tšela kalaka ka nako eo u jalang ka eona, u
tla tseba feela ho bona phapang selemong se hlahlamang ha u jala hape.
30 cm
Limitharatse peli
mithara e
le’n
g
oe
Resource Material for Homestead Food Gardeners Chapter 6 Handout 1
10
Mekhoa e meng ea ho ntlafatsa manoni a
mobu oa hau
Moiteli
Mefuta e mengata ea moiteli oa
liphoofolo e ka sebelisoa. Eona ke
oa likhomo, linku, lipoli, likolobe le
likhooho.
Tšebeliso ea moiteli
Moiteli o ka sebelisoang ke o tsoang
sakeng o kopaneng le lehlaka le
mosese. Bokeletsa moiteli ona
bonyane ha ngoe ka beke ebe u
koahela ka joang kapa polasitiki.
Moiteli o ka kopangoa le mobu ka mekhoa e fapaneng:
U ka o sebelisa ha u jala sethopo ka ho kopanya liatla tse peli hoisa ho tse tharo
tsa moiteli ka hara mekotjana eo u tlong ho lema sethopo ka teng.
Moiteli hape o kanna oa lengoelloa serapeng ho ntlafatsa manoni a mobu.
Sebelisa kiribae e lengoe e tletseng bakeng sa serapa sa boholo ba mithara e
lengoe ho tse hlano-1m x 5 m(kharafu e lengoe ho tse hlano).
Resource Material for Homestead Food Gardeners Chapter 6 Handout 1
11
Moiteli o ka sebelisoa hape le ho leifo. Leifo lena le chekoa botebo bo ka etsang
licentimithara tse mashome a mararo (30cm), e leng bolelele bo ka etsang
hlooho ea kharafu. Ha u qeta ho le cheka, tšela moiteli o ntseng o le mocha oa
botebo ba licentimithara tse leshome (10cm) (e batlang e lekana le bophara ba
feisi). Kamorao ho moo, tšela joang, lehola, ebe u koahela ka mobu ola o ileng
oa u ntša ka hona ka sekoting sena. Pele u jala, u kanna oa kopanya tsena
tsohle le mosuela. Setšoantšo sena se ka holimo se bitsoa "hotbed" hobane ha
moiteli o ntse o puta, o ntse o futhumala 'me o ntša mocheso. Ketso ena e etsa
hore mobu o chese, 'me hona ho nepahetse haholo libakeng tseo mariha a
batang haholo.
Moiteli o ka aloa serapeng, ka tsela ena o ntse o boetse o eketsa lijo tse
hlokoang ke sejalo.
Moiteli o ka tšeloa sebakeng seo ho entsoeng mosuela ho etsa hore e hle ebe
MOSUELA OA SEBELE.
Mosuela
Mosuela ke motsaoko oa litlama tse metsi
le tse ommeng le moiteli, tse ileng tsa
puta 'moho hore li qetelle e le lijo tse
matlafatsang tse hlokoang ke sejalo.
Mosuela o boetse o thusa mobu hore o
tsebe ho tšoara metsi hantle le ho
tšireletsa lijalo mafung.
limithara tse
hlano
mithara e
le
ngoe
Tse seng ntle haholo ka mosuela
Mosuela o hloka nako e ngata ho o etsa le ho
o sebelisa.
Boleng ba mosuela bo ipapisitse le hore na o
entsoe joang le hona ka eng. Haeba o sa etsoa
ka nepo, o ke ke oa eba lijo tse ntle tse
hlokoang ke sejalo.
Ha ho bolono ho fumana masalla a
bolileng kapa a ntseng a le macha a lijalo
kapa liphoofolo tse shoeleng a (organic
material) hlokahalang ho etsa mosuela.
Resource Material for Homestead Food Gardeners Chapter 6 Handout 1
12
Ke eng eo u e hlokang ho haha
bethe ea mosuela?
U hloka ho bokelletsa tse latelang:
Lithlaka kapa masalla ohle a lijalo
tse ling. Tsona ha li atlameha hoba
le peo, empa ha ho tsotellehe hore
na li metsi kapa li omme.
Makhapetla a k'habeche le lehola (le le metsi kapa le omme), li se kebe tsa ba
le peo.
Moiteli
Molora oa patsi
Lintho tse ling tse ka sebelisoang ho etsa mosuela e kaba lijo tse setseng ka kichining,
metsi a hlatsoang lijana, lithole, liphoofolo tse shoeleng, masapo, boea, manaka le
masiba. Ho bohlokoa hore u tsoake mosuela oa hau le sefate se bitsoang "comfrey".
LINTHO TSE SA TŠELOENG MOSUELENG: Polasitiki, likhalase, tšepe, patsi, libeteri tsa
khale, eng kapa eng e ke keng ea puta hore e qetelle e le karolo ea mobu.
Sebaka sa ho etsa bethe ea mosuela
Moo ho tšireletsehileng letsatsing, feela e seng haufi haholo le sefate.
Moo ho tšireletshileng moeeng o mongata.
Moo ho senang maqhutsu.
Molora oa patsi
2 cm ea mobu o se khorofo
4 cm tsa manyolo/moiteli
20 cm ea motsoako oa joang le litlama tse ling tse tala
Mobu o qhalakaneng
Polasotiki kapa joang boo koahetseng
Bethe e qetiloeng ho
haoa ea mosuela
Tse ntle ka mosuela
Mosuela ke lijo tse hlokoang ke sejalo tse seng li
le malala a laotsoe, tse sa hlokeng hore li
sebetsoe ke likokoanyana tsa mobu pele.
Mosuela ha o bake lehola le lengata, joalo ka
moiteli o mong oa liphoofolo.
U kaba le lijo tse ntle u sa sebelise chelete e
ngata ho reka menontša.
Resource Material for Homestead Food Gardeners Chapter 6 Handout 1
13
Haufi le serapa le metsi.
Moo liphoofolo li ke keng tsa fihlela habonolo (haholo kolobe, likhoho le lipoli).
Mokhoa oa ho etsa bethe ea
mosuela
Mokhoa oa pele:
Khetha sebaka seo u tlang ho se
sebelisa, ebe u se phethola/lema ka
mohoma oa letsoho kapa ka foroko
(digging fork). Sebaka sena se lokela
hoba boholo ba mithara e lengoe ka
tse peli (1 x 2 m), e leng bolelele ba
kharafu tse peli le bophara ba e
lengoe.
Mokhoa oa bobeli:
Khabela lithlaka, makhapetla/joang,
lehola hore li be likaroloana/ liphisi tse
nyenyane. Kopanyelatsa le comfrey le
makhapetla a k'habeche. Tsena li lokela
ho khaoloa bolelele ba licentimithara tse
leshome (10 cm). Ka tsela ena li tla puta
kapele.
Mokhoa oa boraro:
Ala makala a manyenyane a lifate holima mobu o u qetang ho u phethola.
Resource Material for Homestead Food Gardeners Chapter 6 Handout 1
14
Mokhoa oa bone:
Koahela ka motsoako ola oa litlama-tlama, botebo bo ka e tsang licentimithara tse
mashome a mararo (30 cm), e lekana le botebo ba seatla. Haeba u na le lintho tse
tsoang ka kichining, li kopanyeletse hona joale.
Mokhoa oa bohlano:
Tšela moiteli ka holimo ho tsena kaofela, o be botebo ba licentimithara tse 'ne
(4 cm) / bophara ba menoana e 'meli.
Mokhoa oa botš
elela:
Tšela mobu holima moiteli, botebo ba licentimithara tse peli (2 cm). Bophara ba
monoana.
Resource Material for Homestead Food Gardeners Chapter 6 Handout 1
15
Mokhoa oa bosupa:
Fafatsa molora oa patsi holima mobu (haeba u sebelisa kalaka, phofshoana e
entsoeng ka masapo a sitsoeng, u ka hla oa li tšela hona joale).
Mokhoa oa borobeli:
Tšella ho fihlela metsi a
monyela fatše.
Mokhoa oa borobong:
Tsoela pele ho haha
bethe u ntse u pheta
mekhoa e ka holimo ho
fihlela bethe e khutla
sefubeng sa hau.
Mokhoa oa leshome:
Koahela bethe ea hau
Resource Material for Homestead Food Gardeners Chapter 6 Handout 1
16
ka lehlaka le lengata, joang kapa polasitiki. Hona ho thusa hore metsi le mocheso li
se lahlehe le hore li pute kapele. E thusa hape le hore liphoofolo li se ke tsa tanakella
moo li be li qetelletse li e sentse.
Ho bohlokoa hore u lule u
ntse u phethola bethe
ena ea mosuela beke tse
ling le tse ling tse peli.
Haeba mosuela o
omeletse, u tšelle. Ha u
latela tsena tsohle hantle,
mosuela oa hau o tlabe o
lokile ka morao ho libeke
tse tšeletseng haele
hlabula kapa libeke tse
robeli ho isa ho tse
robong haele mariha.
Libaka tseo ho batang
haholo ebile li ratoa ke lehloa, bethe e lokela ho koaheloa haholo, eseng joalo, ha
hona letho le tla etsahala, ka mantsoe a mang e ke ke ea puta.
Mosuela o loketse hore o sebelisoe ha o le joang?
Ha mosuela o ntse o thunya, ho bontša hore o ntse o puta KA MATLA/HAHOLO.
Mosuela o tlabe o lokile haeba o se o fetotse 'mala o le motšonyana e ka mobu o
mongobo. Hape mosuela oa 'nete ha o na monkho (haeba o ena le monkho e bile
o le mofuthu HA SE MOSUELA HOHANG!).
Tšebeliso ea mosuela
Jala sethopo se seng le se
seng ka mosuela o ka e tsang
liatla tse peli hoisa ho tse
tharo.
Lemella mosuela tjena:
Phethola mobu botebo ba
hlooho ea kharafu, e tsa
bonnete ba hore ha o na
makoete. Hasanya kharafu
tse nne (4) tse tletseng tsa
mosuela sebakeng sa leoto
bophara le leoto bolelele (1
square metre). U le melle
hanyenyane e be u oa jala.
U ka sebelisa mosuela ho
koahela mobu (mulch) ka ho o hasanya serapeng sa hau.
From: Production without
Destruction, Pelum
Phethola bethe ea
mosuela
From: Vikela, May 2003, FSG
mithara e
le’n
g
oe
mithara e
le’n
g
oe
mithara e
le’ngoe
mithara e
le’n
g
oe
1 m2
Resource Material for Homestead Food Gardeners Chapter 6 Handout 1
17
Liteko
Liteko tsa hobona hore na mobu oa hau o Na le kalaka le
phosphate e lekanengu
Tekong/ patlisisong ena u tla lokela ho sebelisa lirapa tse 'ne (4)
tse lekanang. Lirapa tsena li lokela ho lekana le mithara e lengoe mahlakore kaofela
(mithara e lekana le bolelele ba kharafu). E tsa bonnete ba hore lirapa tseo
li tšoae ka lithupa hore u se ferekane ha u ntse u tsoela pele ka teko.
Serapa sa 1:
Lema serapa ka tsela e tloaelehileng e be oa se jala
Serapa sa 2:
Le sona se leme joalo ka sa pele, ebe u tšela likhaba tse kholo tse tletseng tsa
"superphosphate". E tšele hore e anele serapa kaofela, ebe u oa e phetholela. Jala
ka tsela e tloaelehileng.
Serapa sa 3:
Lema serapa ka tsela e tloaelehileng, ebe u tšela lekolokoti/botlolo e lakanang le ea
jeme e tletseng kalaka. Le eona e tšele hore e lekane serapa kaofela, ebe oa e
phetholela. Jala ka tsela e tloaelehileng.
Serapa sa 4:
Lema serapa ka tsela e tloaelehileng, ebe u tšela likhaba tse peli tse kholo tse
tletseng tsa "superphoshate" le lekolokoti le le leng le leholo la kalaka. Li tšele hore li
anele serapa ebe oa li phetholela. Jala ka tsela e tloaelehileng. Sena ke setšoantšo
se bontšang hore na teko/patlisiso ea hau e tšoanela ho shebahala joang.
Joale u tšoanela ho lula u ntse u lekola teko/patlisiso ea hau. Beke engoe le e ngoe
u shebe le ho ngola fatše hore na ke lik'habeche life tse ntle hofeta tse ling. Hape u
shebe hore na li hola joang, 'mala oa tsona ( hore na litala kappa litšehlanayna) le
bophelo ba tsona ka kakaretso (hore na li shebahala li phetse kapa li na le mafu ).
Mohlala oa ho ngola liphetho tsa hau ke o latelang. U ka etsa melana (table) e be
kahare ho eona u ngoala liphetho tsa hau, ho tloha bekeng ea boraro.
Lirapa tse
tekong/patlisisong
Tse sa kenang
tekong
1
Phosphate
2
Kalaka
3
Kalaka le
Phosphate
4
Serapa se lengoeng kh'abeche e le mohlala
Serapa 1
Se seng tekong
patlisisong
Serapa 2
Phosphate
Serapa 3
Kalaka
Serapa 4
Kalaka le
Phosphate
Beke 1
Kh’abeche e
shebahala
hantle
Kh’abeche e
shebahala
hantle
Kh’abeche e
shebahala
hantle
Kh’abeche e
shebahala
hantle
Resource Material for Homestead Food Gardeners Chapter 6 Handout 1
18
Beke 2
Kh’abeche e
ntse e hola
feela e se e
ena le
bosehlanyana.
Empa ha ena
mafu.
Kh’abeche e
ntse e hola,
haena bosehla,
hape haena
mafu.
Kh’abeche e
ntse e hola
hantle. Hape
haena mafu.
Kh’abeche e
ntse e hola
hantle hape
haena mafu, e
se I bile e le
motala se I bo
lefifi.
Beke 3
Beke 4
Beke 5
Beke 6 etc
Liphetho tsa ho
qetela. Kholo:
‘mala:
Bophelo:
Nomoro ea li
kh’abeche tse
shebahalang
hantle
Ha re khutleleng morao sehlohong se sa tsoa feta se neng se bua ka liteko tse e
tsoang ke sehoai. U ka sebelisa moralo o tšoanang ho bona hore na teko ea kalaka
le phosphorous li tla u thusa joang ho ntlafatsa mobu oa hau.
Moralo o ka sebelisong tekong ea meroho e fokolang ka palo
Bothata ke bofe? Kh’abeche ea ka ha e hole hantle, le ha ke se ke
tsetse mosuela kappa fethalisara/manyolo.
Bothata boo nka bo fenya joang? Ke tla tsela kalaka le phosphorous ho bona hore na ho
tlaba le phapang.
Hobaneng ha ke sebelisa mokhoa
oo?
Mohlomong mobu oa ka o hloka ho tseloa phosphorus,
kalaka kapa bobeli ba tsona.
Mokhoa oo ke tla o leka joang?
Ke tla tsela kalaka polotong e ngoe, ke tsele
phosphorous ho e ngoe, ho ea boraro ke tla li tsela li le
peli. Ke tla siea poloto e ngoe ea bone (4) ke sa e tsela
letho e le hobona hore na ehlile kalaka le phosphorous
li etsa phethoho li kh’abecheng tsa ka.
Ke tla fumana likarabo joang? Ke
tlabe ke shebile eng?
Ke tla sheba mahaba a kh’abeche hobona hore e fela
a le matala joalo kaha a tsoanela. Ke tla sheba hape
hore na lik’habeche tsa ka li feela li phetse hantle li
sena mafu.
Resource Material for Homestead Food Gardeners Chapter 6 Handout 1
19
Mokhoa o mong oa ho fumana
likarabo ke ofe?
Ke tla metha ho hola ha likh’abeche tsa ka ke sebelisa
khoele.
Ke tla sebelisa eng ho bona hore
na likarabo tsa ka li nepahetse?
Likh’abeche tse holang hantle haholo, li le tala, lisena
bosehla bo bongata, ebile li shebahala li phetse hantle
ho feta tseling, e tlaba tsona tse ntle hofeta.
Ke tla bapisa joang teko e le
mokhoa o ke tloaetseng ho o
sebelisa tsebetsonh e ea ka ke le
sehoai?
Ke tla tseba hore polotong eo ke fumaneng liphetho
tse ntle/ tse khotsofatsang, ke lokela ho sebelisa ntho
eno mobung oa ka. Mohlala, sebelisa kalaka le
phosphorous ‘moho, ke tla lokela ke ho li tsela
mobung/ lipolotong tsohle tsa ka.
Le ha ho le joalo, kahara bukana ena ho na le mekhoa e mengata e
khothaletsoang ho ntlafatsa mobu oa hau. U ka etsa teko ka mokhoa ofe kapa ofe
ho bona hore na lijalo tsa hau li tla atleha na ha u e sebelisa.
U ka etsa hlahlobo ea hobona hore na mobu o u nang le oona ke oa mofuta ofe,
ebe u tšela mosuela.
U ka eketsa monontša o bitsoang nitrogen ka ho tšela moiteli.
U ka eketsa nitrogen ka ho lema li legumes
U ka eketsa phosphorous (Ha u e reka e bitsoa superphosphorous).
U ka eketsa monontša o bitsoang potassium ka ho tšela moiteli oa likhooho.
U ka eketsa potassium ka ho tšela molora o mocha oa patsi.
U ka eketsa kalaka , hore e felise bolila ba mobu.
U ka eketsa moiteli.
U ka eketsa mosuela.
U ka eketsa mokeli-keli oa comfrey kapa oa liphoofolo.
U ka koahela (Mulch) mobu u sebelisa makhasi a "legumes". Bakeng sa e ngoe
le e ngoe ea likhothaletso tse ka holimo, u ka etsa teko ho bona hore na ke efe
etla sebetsa ho feta tse ling. Hopola ho ngola liphetho tsa liteko tsohle tseo u li
etsang, e le hore u tle u ikhopotse lilemong tse tlang ha ho hlokeha. Ha u
bolokile kapa u ngotse liphetho tsa hau, u tla tseba hore u liarolelane le
baahisane hammoho le motse kaofela le hore le bona ba tle ba arolelane tsa
bona le oena.
Resource Material for Homestead Food Gardeners Chapter 6 Handout 2
1
2. Ho koahelamobu hore u se lahleheloe ke
mongobo
Ho koahela mobu ho bolela ho ala eng kapa eng e tla etsa hore mobu o lule o le
mongobo o bile o pholile sebakeng sa lijalo. Hona ho futhumetsa mobu nakong ea
mariha.
Mobu o koaheloa hobaneng?
Ho koahela mobu hona le melemo e ’meli (2):
Ke ho boloka metsi. Ho thibela mocheso oa letsatsi le moea ho nka mongobo,
'me ka tsela e joalo, lijalo li ke ke tsa noesetsoa khafetsa hobane metsi a sa
lahlehe kapele, ho tloha lijalong ka botsona le mobung.
Seo lebatama la letsatsi le moea o fakang ka matla li se etsang mobung o
hlobotseng
Resource Material for Homestead Food Gardeners Chapter 6 Handout 2
2
Ho koahela mobu ho etsa hore mofuthu le mohatsela oa mobu e be o
lekaneng. Ho boetse ho thusa hore mobu o seke oa chesa kapa oa phola
haholo, ele hore lijalo li tle li hole hantle.
Mobu o lepala-paleng
Mobu o koahetsoeng
Linthla tse ling mabapi le ho koahela mobu
Mathatanyana Tse molemo
Ha ho bonolo ho fumana lisebelisoa sebakeng
sa ho koahela mobu
Ho thusa hore mobu o se lahleheloe ke
matsoai
Tahleho ea
metsi se
j
alon
g
Tahleho ea
mongobo
Mobu o mongobo
Moea o fokang hasesaneMetsi a tsamaea le moeaHo pona
Tahleho ea
metsi sejalong
Tahleho ea
mongobo
Moea o matlaMoea o
potlakisa ho
pona ha sejalo
Mobu o
senang metsi
le mongobo o
mongata
Ho phalli ha
metsi
Tahleho e
phahameng
ea mongobo
Metsi a
monyela butle
mobung
Lehola
Mobu o
omeletsen
g
, o
chesang, o
lek’hoko
Mobu o hlokang likokonyana tse
o ntlafatsang, e bile o se
sebopeho se setle
Tahleho e phahamen
g
ea mongobo
Metsi a monyela
kapele mobung Lehola ha le be tengLikokonyana tse
ntlafatsang mobu li teng
kahoo mobu o bopehile
hantle
From: Production without Destruction. Natural Farmin
g
Network, Zimbabwe
Resource Material for Homestead Food Gardeners Chapter 6 Handout 2
3
Ka nako engoe, ho koahela leifo la lihoete ho
ka etsa hore lihoete tseo li liehe ho hlaha
Batho ba bang ba bona moo ho koahetsoeng
ho le bohlasoa
Ho koahela mobu ho ka baka likhofu
Ho fokotsa lehola
Ho atisa likokonyana tse ntlafatsang mobu
Ho thibela mobu hoba le Lek’hoko le
qetellang le le thatha
Ho bola hoa lisebelisoa ho eketsa matsoai
mobung
Ho sireletsa mobu khahlanong le marotholi a
pula le ho jaleha hoa mafu a fumanehang
mobung
Ho fana ka bolokolohi bakh?lo ea methapo ka
mobung. Hona ho etsa hore methapo e
fumane litlhoko tsohle ka mobung
U ka sebelisa eng ho koahelamobu?
Hangata ho sebelisoa tse latelang:
Lithlaka, makhasi, makhapetla, joala-joalo. U SEKE oa lisebelisa haeba li
bonahala li ena le matšoao a mafu, hobane li tla tšoaetsa lijalo tsa hau, le mafu
ao a tla kena mobung
Lehola le ommeng
Joang. Etsa bonnete ba hore o sebelisa joang bo ommeng, hobane ha bo le
metsi, bo tla monya matsoai a mobung ebe lijalo ha li fumane letho.
Majoe a sephara. Majoe oona a koahela feela ha a fane ka matsoai. A loketse
lijalo tse seng li le kholo le lifate tsa litholoana.
Likoranta. Li fana ka tšireletso hape li eketsa matsoai mobung . Fafatsa koranta
ka metsi pele u koahela mobu ka eona hore e se fefoloe ke moea.
Sebelisa joang bo ommeng kapa manyolo a seng a putile.
Makhasi a tlhotlhorehileng lifateng.
Mohlomo oa khale.
Polasitiki e ntšo.
Litlama-tlamatse
ommen
g
From: Production without Destruction. Natural
Farmin
g
Network, Zimbabwe
Kaofela ha tsona li
thibela
Majoe
Lipampiri
Resource Material for Homestead Food Gardeners Chapter 6 Handout 2
4
Re koahela joang?
Khaola lisebelisoa tsa hau, haholo joang le litlama-tlama
hore libe bolelele ba seatla kapa licentimitara tse leshome
ho isa ho tse mashome a mabeli
Koahela mobu ha sesane moo sethopo se hlongoeng se le
seng kappa ha lijalo li sale nyenyane. Koahela ka botebo bo
ka etsang bophara ba monoana
Bakeng sa lijalo tse kholo, koahela haholo. U ka lekanya ka
bophara ba menoana e 'meli ho isa ho e mararo (3-4 cm)
Bakeng sa lifate, koahela haholo ho feta. Lekanya ka seatla
kapa ho feta. (10-20 cm)
Ha sesebelisoa, mohlala joang, se putile, eketsa se seng hape. U tla makatsoa ke ka
moo bo putang kapele ka teng. Ho kanna ha etsahala hore joang kapa se sebelisoa
se seng feela se eketsoe bonyane hangoe selemong kapa hangoe khoeling tse ling
le tse ling tse tharo. Libakeng tseo ho batang haholo mariha, khothaletso ke hore se
sebelisoa se koahetseng mobu se tlosoe hang ha serame se lala. Lebaka ke hobane
se sebelisoa seo se tla etsa hore serame se lale le ho feta.
Liteko
Hopola ho etsa teko ea ntho e 'ngoe le e 'ngoe eo u
qalang ho e sebelisa.
Lethathamo la teko
Bothata ke bofe?
Tharollo e kaba e fe?
Hobaneng ha ekaba tharollo ea bothata boo?
Mokhoa oo ke tla o leka joang?
Ke tla fumana likarabo joang? Ke tlabe ke shebile eng?
Seatla =
10 – 20 cm
Monoana =
1.5 cm
Menoana e’meli =
3 – 4 cm
Resource Material for Homestead Food Gardeners Chapter 6 Handout 2
5
Mokhoa oa ho bekha litholoana tsa mosebetsi oo ke o fe?
Ke tla bapisa joang teko ee le mokhoa oo ke tloaetseng ho o sebelisa bohoaing
ba ka?
Bontša moralo oa hau oo u tla o latela tšimong?
Lipotso tsoe u ka ipotsang tsona tekong ea ho koahela mobu
Na u koahetse lijalo tsohle tsa hau kapa che?
Na lijalo tse neng li koahetsoe li bile kholo le hona ho atleha ho feta tse neng li sa
koaheloa?
Na u sebelisitse metsi a fokolang lijalong tse neng li koahetsoe?
U sebelisitse eng ho koahela mobu? E bile molemo? Kamoso u tla sebelisa eng
ho koahela mobu?
Resource Material for Homestead Food Gardeners Chapter 6 Handout 3
1
U tla hloka tse latelang:
Moo u tlang ho tšela teng- Nkho e
kabang lilithara tse hlano hoisa
ho tse leshome (5 - 10L).
Sekoahelo.
Lejoe le leholo.
3. Mokeli-keli Oa Mononts’a
Tšebeliso ea mokeli-keli ke tsela e bobebe ea ho
fa lijalo tsa hau matla. Mokeli-keli o ka etsoa ka
manyolo a semela kapa a liphoofolo. Sepheo
mona ke ho fa lijalo tsa hau lijo tsa thlaho ka
pele nakong eo lintseng li hola. Mokeli-keli ona
le bohlokoa haholo ho lijalo tse hlokang lijo tse
ngata joalo ka k'habeche.
Mokhoa oa ho etsa mokeli-keli ka semela
Semela se setle bakeng sa ho etsa mokeli-keli ke se bitsoang comfrey. Hape u ka
sebelisa mahaba/makhasi a matala, lehola le lehlaka. Qoba ho sebelisa limela
tsenang le menkho e bohale. Ka ha limela ka ho fapana li entsoe ka likaroloana tse
sa lekaneng tsa matsoai, hape le tsona linka matsoai a sa lekaneng mobung,
khothaletso ke hore u sebelise mefuta e sa tšoaneng ea limela, hoetsa mokeli-keli.
Hlatsoa nkho ea hau pele u e sebelisa.
Bokelletsa limela ebe u li tšela ka nkhong. U tšoanela ho lula u ntse u eketsa
limela tsena beke le beke.
Beha lejoe holima limela ebe u kaohela nkho ea hau. Se ke oa tšela metsi.
Limela tsena li tla iketsetsa metsi ka bo tsona.
Beha nkho ea hau letsatsing ebe u e hloela kamorao ho libeke tse peli ho bona
hore na limela ha li eso fetole 'mala li be ntšo. Ha u ka oa sekamisa nkho u tla
bona metsi a matšo. Metsi a matšo a no ke oona mokeli-keli o etsoang ke limela,
feela o loile haholo o batla ho kopangoa le metsi.
Kopanya mokeli-keli le metsi ka tsela ena:
Sethopo: Lekolokoti le le leng la mokeli-keli ho a mane a metsi
Lijalo tse kholo: Lekolokoti le leng la mokeli-keli ho a mabeli a metsi
Ha mokeli-keli o loile haholo, o tla chesa lijalo tsa hau. Beke tse ling le tse ling tse peli,
tšela lekolokoti le le leng la mokeli-keli sejalong ha u qeta ho se tšella. Sebelisa
lekolokoti le lekanang le botlolo e kholo ea jeme.
Resource Material for Homestead Food Gardeners Chapter 6 Handout 3
2
U hloka tse latelang:
Moo u tlang ho tšela teng- nkho e
kholo kapa teramo
Mokotlana/’methe
Molamo kapa lerapo
Ntho eo u tlang ho fasa mokotlana
ka eona
Mokhoa oa ho etsa mokeli-keli ka moiteli
Moiteli oka sebelisoang ke oa likhomo, likhooho,
meutlanyana, linku le lipoli. U khothaletsoa ho sebelisa
moiteli o kopantsoeng le e meng.
Tšela motsoako oa moiteli ka mokotleng ebe u oa
fasa.
Tšela mokotla oo ka nkhong kapa ka teramong,
ebe u faselletsa molamung kapa lerapong. Tlatsa nkho/ teramo ka metsi. Ho
k'hilokrama e le ngoe ea moiteli, tšela li lithara tse leshome tsa metsi. Ka tsela e
na re qoba ho kopanya metsi le moiteli kaha moiteli o metsi ha o oa lokela lijalo.
Koahela nkho/teramo. Lula u ntse u fuluha ka mora matsatsinyana.
Kamorao ho beke tse peli, mokeli-keli o tla be o lokile hore o ka sebelisoa. O
tlameha ho shebahala joalo ka tee e sa loeang. Pele o u sebelisa, u fuluhe
haholo.
Ka ha mokeli-keli o tlabe o loile haholo, u kopanye le metsi tjena:
Sethopo: Lekolokoti le le leng la mokeli-keli ho a robeli a metsi
Lijalo tse kholo: Lekolokoti le le leng la mokeli-keli ho a mane a metsi.
Ha mokeli-keli o loile haholo, o tla chesa lijalo tsa hau. Beke tse ling le tseling tse peli
tšela mokeli-keli sejalong ha u se u qeta ho se tšella. Sebelisa bonyane lekolokoti le le
leng / botlolo e kholo ea jeme bakeng sa ho tšela mokeli-keli sejalong se le seng.
Qoba ho tšela mokeli-keli motšeare kapa ha ho chesa haholo.
Teramo ea lithara tse
makholo a mabeli
(200l) e tlatsitseong
metsi
Polasitiki e
koahetseng
Molamu o tlang ho
fuluha ka oona
Mokotla o tšetseng
moiteli kapa limela
tsa boima bo ka
etsang
lik'hilokramatse
mashome a mane
(40 kg)
Matsoai
aTsoelang
Metsin
g
Resource Material for Homestead Food Gardeners Chapter 6 Handout 4
1
4. Thlahiso ea sethopo
Setšoantšo sena se bontšamokhoa oa ho koahela leifo la sethopo ka matlakala a rokelletsoeng
'moho. Sethopo se sirelelitsoe
khahlanong le lebatama la letsatsi le
moea o phallang ka matla.
Sethathong
Etsa bonnete ba hore u na le
peo e ntle e sa bolang
Etsa bonnete ba hore u na le
mokhoa oa ho fumana metsi
a hloekileng haufinyane,
(metsi a seretse ha a
hlokahale ho hang!)
Etsa bonnete ba hore u na le
mobu o nonneng o senang
lehlabathe. U khothaletsoa
ho bala sehloho "Ntlafatso ea
mobu".
Etsa bonnete ba hore ho na
le moriti moo u ka sireletsang
Melaonana ea bohlokoa ka metsi
U tlameha hoba le metsi
haufinyane
Metsi a lokela hore a be a
hloekileng. Metsi a litšila, ana
le seretse se sengata a tla
sitisa sethopo ho hlaha.
Melaoana ea bohlokoa ka peo
Sebelisa peo e ncha. Peo e lokela ho bolokoa
selemo ho isa ho tse peli (1-2) feela. Ha u reka peo,
sheba pakete eo ea peo hore na e na le nako e kae.
Le uena u ka iketsetsa tlhathlobo ea ho bona hore
na peo eo u nang le eona e ka hlaha na pele u jala
serapa kaofela (Talima qetello ea leqhephe)
Peo e lokela ho behoa moo ho pholileng, moo e sa
chabeloeng ke letsatsi e bile ho se mongobo. Haeba
u reka peo, e tsa bonnete ba hore peo eo e lutes
moo ho pholileng, ha e ea chabeloa ke letsatsi, hape
ha ho mongobo. Ha eba lipakete tsa peo li lutse
moo li chabetsoeng ke letsatsi, ho hang u seke oa
lireka
Haeba u ipehetse peo lilemong tse feteling, etsa
bonnete ba hore ha ena hlobo, mengoapo, likoti le
ho peperana.
Haeba u rekile peo, kamorao ho pakete, ngola
selemo le khoeli tseo u e rekileng ka tsona, u tle u
tsebe ho ikhopotsa matsatsing a tlang.
Netefatsa hore peo eo u ikotuletseng eona serapeng
u e jala kamo’a nako e itseng. Ha u ka e jala hang
kamor’a kotulo, moroho o tla thunya le ho etsa peo
kapele.
Resource Material for Homestead Food Gardeners Chapter 6 Handout 4
2
sethopo sa hau.
Liteko
Thlathlobo/teko ea ho bona hore na peo e tla mela. Etsa teko
ena haeba u belaella peo ea hau o bona e ka e ke ke ea
mela
Pele u jala, uka e tsa teko ea ho bona hore e feela
peo eo u nang le eona e tla mela,’me hona ho tla
u bontša hore na ke peo e kae e tlang ho mela.
Nka peo tse mashome a mahlano (50), li behe holima pampiri kapa lesela le
mongobo. Se ke ua tlohela peo ka metsing kapa ua e omisa haholo.
Beha pampiri kappa lesela le phuthetseng peo ka hara polasetiki, e butsoele u
ntano e koala.
Hlahloba peo khafetsa ho bona hore na ke tse kae tse metseng. Peo ena e
polasetiking e kanna ea nka matsatsi a mararo hoisa ho a leshome (3-10 days)
hore e mele.
Kamora’o ho moo, bala lipeo tse metseng.
Mohlaleng o ka holimo, lipeo tse mashome a mane ho tse mashome a mahlano li eli
tsa mela. Hona ho bolela hore ke mashome a robeli lekholong (80%) a peo e
metseng.
Mocheso ka hara polasitiki o
bakiloeng ke lesela le mongobo
Resource Material for Homestead Food Gardeners Chapter 6 Handout 4
3
Mokhoa oa ho metha
Tokiso ea leifo
Leifo ke sebaka serapeng se nang le mobu o manoni, ho bile hona le mokhoa oa ho
sireletsa sethopo seo letsatsing, le hore sethopo se se ke sa fumana serame.
Cheka sekoti 'me u lekanye ka kharafu, bophara le bolelele ba eona. Sekoti se be
bolelele ba mohato kapa mehato e 'meli (1-2m).
Ha u ntse u cheka sekoti, etsa bonnete ba hore u arola mobu o ka holimo (hangata
Monoana = 1.5 cm Menoana e’meli = 3 – 4 cm Seatla = 20 – 30 cm
Bolelele ba kharafu
Sekoti se bophara
bamohato o le
mong
Mobu o ka faše
Mobu o kaholimo
1-2m
30 cm
30 cm
Resource Material for Homestead Food Gardeners Chapter 6 Handout 4
4
o tla fumana o le motsonyana tjee) ho o mong. Lema kahare ho sekoti e le ho
qhalakanya mobu o se ke oa eba le makoete.
Kopanya mobu o neng o le kaholimo ha u ne u cheka sekoti ka likarolo tse lekanang
le manyolo, motsoako oa molora kapa mosuela. Tlasa sehloho sena "Ntlafatso ea
mobu", u tla bala ka mekhoa ea ho lokisa manyolo le mosuela.
Ha u qeta ho etsa motsoako ona, u sefe pele u o busetsa. Ha u sena sefe, e tsa
bonnete ba hore motsoako ha o na lintho tse kang mahlokoana, makhasi a lifate,
majoe, makoete joalojoalo tse ka sitisang sethopo ho hola se atlehile. Qoba ho
tsamaea holim'a seratsoana ha u qetile mosebetsi oa hau.
Resource Material for Homestead Food Gardeners Chapter 6 Handout 4
5
Leifo le lokela hoba bophara ba bolelele
ba kharafu. Lebaka ke hore u tle u tsebe
ho fihlela bohareng ba leifo u sa le hate.
Ho hata ho lima leifo haholo ha mobu o le
metsi, ho senya mobu, obe thata ebe o
sitisa sethopo hore se hole.
Mokhoa o senang litsenyehelo tse ngata
oa ho etsetsa sethopo sa hao moriti ke oa
ho sebelisa lipalo, mahlakana kapa
mohlomo.
Ho jala
Lipeo tse fapakaneng li lokela ho jaloa ka mekhoa e fapakaneng.
1. Ho jala o sa etse sethopo/
Ho sunya peo mobung
Mefuta e meng ea lipeo e batla ho jaloa
serapeng eo li tlang ho holela teng li sa
etsoe sethopo, hobane li ka utloa bohloko
ha lintse li hlongoa li hlongolloa.
Peo jaloa ha sesame ka makhethe hore
e felle hantle ka foron
g
Resource Material for Homestead Food Gardeners Chapter 6 Handout 4
6
Mefuta e joalo ea lipeo ke ea linaoa,bete,
lihoete, cucumbers,garlic, poone, lierekisi,
litapole, mokopu, rapa le meroho e meng.
Lipeo tse sesanyane tse kang tsa lihoete, rapa le meroho e meng lia tebisoa ha li
joloa. Etsa foro e kabang botebo ba monoana(1.5cm deep/1 finger width).
Tšoara peo pakeng tsa monoana oa bosupa le o motona ebe u e jala ka
hlokolosi, u entse bonnete ba hore ha e tebe haholo. Jala peo u ntse u siea
sebaka sa botenya ba monoana lipakaeng . Etsa bonnete ba hore e anetse
mola hantle kaofela. Koahela peo ka mobu, mosuela kapa manyolo, e be u
hatella hantle ka monoana.
Lipeo tse tenya tse kang tsa linaoa,
li jaloa ka botebo bo nkang
botenya ba tsona. Ha ngoe ho isa
bobeling. Ha li ka tsa tebisoa ho
feta mona li ke ke tsa mela. Le
teng ha li ka phaphamala ka
holimo,e tlare sethopo ha se qala se hlaha e be se a robeha.
2. Ho etsa sethopo
Lijalo tse ling li hola le ho atleha ha li entsoe sethopo pele li ntano hlomoala li
isoe serapeng. Lijalo tse joalo e kaba broccoli, k'habeche, cauliflower, chilisi,
eggplant, lipepere, leeks, selae, anyanese, sepinichi le tamati.
Tse ling tsa lijalo tse kaholimo li ka jaloa li le joalo kapa tsa etsoa sethopo, khetho
ke ea motho ka mong hore na eena u thabelang. Lijalo tse joalo ke sepinichi,
anyanese, garlic le litapole.
3. Tlhokomelo ea sethopo leifong
Lipeo sesanyane joalo ka tsa k'habeche, tamati, anyanese joalo-joalo, ha li jaloe
li teteantsoe, hobane sethopo sa teng se tla hlaha se le sesesane, se sa atleha
hantle,e bile sena le mafu. Ka tsela ena sethopo se iphumana se tlameha ho
tsekisana sebaka sa ho hola hammoho le khanya. Joale, jala peo ha sesane
feela e anele leifo lohle. Lipakeng tsa peo, sia sebaka se lekanang le botenya
ba monoana. Hang ha u qeta ho kenya peo mobung, ho bohlokoa hore u
boloke mobu u le mongobo ka linako tsohle.
Foro kapa mola otlameha ho ba
botebo ba monoana (1.5 – 2 cm)
Peo ena e jetsoe ka botebo bo
lekanan
g
le
p
eo ea linaoa
Fatše
Resource Material for Homestead Food Gardeners Chapter 6 Handout 4
7
Tšella habeli ka letsatsi ha
mocheso o le mongata.
Nakong ea lehlabula,
khothaletso ke hore u
tšelle mantsiboea, mariha
teng, tšella hoseng ha
letsatsi le chabile. Tšella ka
hlokolosi.
Qoba ho tšela metsi ka
sekhahla e sere a hohoba
peo kapa a batalatsa
mobu 'me oa etsa
lek'hoko ka holimo. Ha u
sena shitiri e nang le
molomo o masoba a
masesane, u ka iketsetsa
ea hau tjena: nka
lekotikoti le kang la pente
ebe u le phunya masoba
a masesanyane ka fatše u
sebelisa sepekere le
hamore.
Koahela leifo ka joang. Tlosa joang boo hang ha sethopo se qala ho hlaha,
hobane ha usa etse joalo, u sitisa sethopo hore se hole hantle.
Hlaola leifo khafetsa ka makhethe.
Ho arola sethopo ke ho etsa hore se hole hantle se atlehile. Ha se hlaha, tsetolla
se sesesane, ebe u jala feela tse atlehileng. E tsa bonnete ba hore lipakeng tsa
sethopo u sia sebaka sa botenya ba menoana e 'meli (3-4 cm) e le hore
sethopo sa hau se tle se hole hantle se sa petetsana.
U ka sireletsa bo-kathoko ba leifo la hau ka majoe a sephara. Hona ho thibela
mongobo ho lahleha o tsoa mabopong a leifo. Matsatsi a mararo ho isa ho a
mahlano pele u hloma sethopo, fokotsa makhetlo ao u tšellang ka ona le ho
tlosa sesireletsi sa letsats, e le hore sethopo se tloale mathata a komello le
mocheso oa letsatsi
4. Ho hloma sethopo
Nako e nepahetseng ea ho hloma sethopo ke ha
sena le makhasi a mabeli hoisa ho a tseletseng(2-
6). Le methapo ese e tiile. Makhasi a mabeli a
hlahang pele ha a bontše hore u ka tsoela pele
Lekolokoti le
phuntsoeng
masoba ka
tlaase
Leifo le sirelelitsoeng ka ho poti-
potisoa ka majoe le joang
Resource Material for Homestead Food Gardeners Chapter 6 Handout 4
8
oa hloma sethopo sa hau, joale emela sethopo hore se tietie pele.
Hloma sethopo mantsiboea kapa ha hole
maru. Ka tsela ena, sethopo se tla tseba
hore se be se tiele pele ho letsatsi le
hlahlamang. Haeba ho bata haholo,
sethopo se ka hlongoa hoseng ha letsatsi
le se le chabile, mobu le oona ose o
futhumetse hanyenyane.
Lokisa serapa moo u tla jala sethopo teng, u be u se tšelle
Etsa bonnete ba hore mobu ha ona makoete, e bile ona le manoni a kang
manyolo, molora kapa mosuela.
Hlomolla sethopo ka hlokolosi o sebelisa kharafu e nyenyane ea letsoho (SE
KE OA HULA SETHOPO KA MATSHOHO!) Leka hore u hlomolle sethopo se ntse
se na le mobu o mongata methapong. Tšoara sethopo ka makhasi eseng
kae kapa kae.
Nakong eo u hlomang sethopo, etsa bonnete bahore methapo ea sona ha
e ea kobeha. E tšoanela ho otloloha, e se ke ea sobokelloa ka mokoting.
Hang ka morao ho moo, tšela mobu ka sekoting e be u paka ka hlokolosi ho
pota-pota methapo ea sethopo ele hore ho sebe le moo moea o ka
kenang.
Sethopo se nang le
makhasi a mabeli a nnete
Ho tšoara sethopo ka makhasi
Ha u sebelisa kharafu
kapa sesebelisoa sefe
kapa sefe, sethopo se
tla tsoa metso e sa
qhalakana
Ho tsomula sethopo ntle le se
sebelisoa se kang kharafu joalo-
j
oalo
,
ha hoa ne
p
ahala
Resource Material for Homestead Food Gardeners Chapter 6 Handout 4
9
Tšella sethopo hang ha se qeta ho hlongoa.
Ho qoba hore mongobo o lahlehe ka pele, koahela ka
joang.
Sireletsa sethopo letsatsing ka ho
sebelisa lekala la sefate kapa k'hateboto
(cardboard). Setšireletsi sena se tlosoe
ka mora matsatsi a mane hoisa ho a
mahlano, ha ho bonahala hore sethopo se se se
tsitsitse.
Metso ha e ea
qhalakana e ntse
e me e otlolohile
Hatella fatše
Mobu o mongobo Ha ho moea ho pota-pota metso
ea sethopo
Noesetsa hang ha
sethopo se qeta ho
hlongoa
Beha joang kapa
matlakala ha u
qeta ho jala
sethopo, hore
mon
g
obo o se ke
oa lahleha
kapele
Lekala le sirelelitseng
Setho
p
oletsatsin
g
Resource Material for Homestead Food Gardeners Chapter 6 Handouts
Resource Material for
Homestead Food Gardeners
Chapter 6: Handouts
(isiZulu)
Handout 1 Ukuthuthukiswa komhlabathi wakho (Improving your soil)
Handout 2 Ukwemboza (Mulching)
Handout 3 Umquba wezitshalo wezilwane kanye nongamanzi (Brews for plant
nutrition)
Handout 4 Indlela yokuzakhela i - trench bed (Trench beds)
Handout 5 Ukukhiqizwa wezithombo (Seedling production)
Resource Material for Homestead Food Gardeners Chapter 6 Handout 1
1
1. Ukuthuthukiswa komhlabathi wakho
Umhlabathi ophilile
Umhlabathi onempilo umhlabathi ophilile . Unezinto eziningi eziphilayo.
Uyashona,uthambile ,kulula ukuwugumba futhi ugcwele umoya kanye namanzi.
Umhlabathi ophilayo uxube izinto eziningi:
Inxenye encane yesihlabathi, umhlabathi ocosakele nebumba, okuyizinhlobo
ezahlukene zomhlabathi.
Inxenye yezinto ezibolayo, amacebhe, utshani,
umquba.
Okungaboliyo okufana namatshe.
Amaminerals afana ne(potassium).
Umoya namanzi.
Izibolisi: lezi izilwane ezincane zincane kakhulu ukuthi ungazibona futhi zihlala
emhlabathini. Zivundisa umhlabathi ngokuthi zindle okubolayo zikushintshe kube
ukudla okunothile kwesitshalo. Izilwanyane ezincane ezinjengo msundu, nezinye
izilwane nazozihlala emhlabathini.
From: Lessons from Nature
Resource Material for Homestead Food Gardeners Chapter 6 Handout 1
2
Izinhlobo zomuhlabathi
Umhlabathi wakhiwe ngokuvithizeka kwezithako zemvelo kanye nokusansimbi
okuvela emhlabeni. Lokhu kutholakala kuyisimo sedwala. Esikhathini eside esandlula
amadwala avithizeka aba izinhlayiyane ezincana lokhu kwenziwa izulu, umoya
kanye nelanga lihlangene nomoya kanye namanzi. Lokhu kuphenduka kube
umhlabathi okwanzi ukusiza izitshalo kanye nezinto ezibolisayo ukuthi zikhule.
Njengabantu izitshalo azikwazi ukukhula ngaphandle kwamanzi, umoya kanye
nokudla.
Wonke umhlabathi unxube isihlabathi, inzika yodaka kanye nobumba. Umehluko
okhona ngenani lesihlabathi, inzika yodaka kanye nobumba yikho okusho indlela
umhlabathi obamba ngayo amanzi. Izibonelo zezinhlobo zomhlabathi yilezi
isihlabathi, isihlathi esigadenzima, igadenzima, ubumba olugadenzima kanye
nobumba.
-Isihlabathi senza umhlabathi ube uthambe.
-Inzika yodaka iyihlabathi esicolisakele. Ibamba amanzi kanye nokudla
kwesitshalo kangcono kunesihlabathi esihhayekile, kodwa lugezeka kalula
emhlabathi.
-Ubumba inxenye yomhlabathi ebambelelayo ngakho-ke ibamba amanzi
iwahlanganise ndawonye. Ibamba amanzi njengesipontshi.
-Umhlabathi omuhle ilowo obizwa ngokuthi igadenzima ngoba uxube izinto
ngokulingana isihlabathi, inzika yodaka kanye nobumba.
Izimo zenhlabathi:
Umhlabathi oyisihlabathi
Izinto ezinhle ngalomhlabathi Izinto ezimbi ngalomhlabathi
Kulula ukuwugubha nokusebenza ngawo
Uyashesha ukushisa entwasahlobo
ngemuva kobusika
Muhle ezitshalweni ezimila ngaphansi
komhlaba
Amanzi nomoya kungena kalula
emhlabathini oyisihlabathi
Uyashesha ukoma
Akuyigcini imvundiso yomhlabathi
Akuwabambi amanzi kahle
Ugadenzima inxube yesihlabathi kanye nobumba
Izinto ezinhle ngalomhlabathi Izinto ezibi ngalomhlabathi
Ubamba amanzi kahle
Muhle ekukhuliseni izimpande
Unezinto ezibolisayo
Lomhlabathi uyaqina uma womile
UBUMBA
Tse ntle ka mobu ona Tse seng ntle haholo ka mobu ona
Ubamba amanzi kahle amanzi isikhathi
eside
Ubamba imvundiso kahle
Kunzima ukusebenza ngawo; uyasinda
Uthatha isikhathi ukuthi ushise
entwasahlobo
Uyabambelela uma umanzi
Uqinile uma womile
Resource Material for Homestead Food Gardeners Chapter 6 Handout 1
3
Ungabona kanjani ukuthi unjani umhlabathi wakho
Ungabona kanjani ukuthi singakanani isihlabathi, inzika yodaka kanye nobumba
emhlabathini emhlabathini wakho lokhu ungakwenza ngokuwuzwa umhlabathi
wakho. Manzisa umhlabathi bese uwenze ibhola phakathi kwezandla zakho.
Phendula lelibhola libe njengevoso. Ungakwazi ukubona ukuthi nhloboni
yomhlabathi ngokubuka itebula elingenzansi .
Kubalulekile ukwazi ukuthi uwuhlobo lini umhlabathi wakho. Lokhu kungakusiza
ukuthi wazi ukuthi kumele wenzenjani uma ufuna ukuthambisa noma ufuna
ukucubuza inhlabathi yakho. Ukucubuza inhlabathi noma ukuthambisa inhlabathi
yakho kuyasiza ekutheni inhlabathi ikwazi ukubamba amanzi kanye nomoya
omningi, okuyilokho izitshalo ezikudingayo ukuze zikhule. Ukwenza inhlabathi yakho
icubuzeke kumele uqubeke ufake umquba omningi, ikhomposi kanye nesembozo.
Ungalokothi uhambe lapho usutshale khona okukakhulu kazi uma kumanzi.
Isihlabathi sidinga ukuthi ufake izinto ezibolayo ezengeziwe ukuze sizokwazi
ukubamba amanzi kanye nokudla kwesitshalo. Ubumba ludinga ukufakwa izinto
ezibolayo ezengeziwe ukuzelikwazi ukubamba umoya ngokwengeziwe bese likhulula
ukudla kwesitshalo okukulo. Lonke uhlobo lwenhlabathi ludinga okubolisayo ukuze
lithuthukise ukuvunda,noma ukudla kwesitshalo.
Ubukeka kanjani
umhlabathi
Izwakala kanjani
inhlabathi Uma uyiphendula ivoso Umhlabathi unje:
Uyisihlabathi
kakhulu Ihhayekile kakhulu Ayiphenduki ivoso
Uyisihlabathi
kakhulu
Uyisihlabathi nje Ihhayekile Iyaphenduka ivoso
kodwa kodwa
Isihlbathi
Inxenye
iyisihlabathi
inxenye
ilolongekile
Ihhayekile Ivoso liyagobeka
kancane
Isihlabathi
esiyigadenzima
Ilolongekile
okukakhulu kazi
Isihlabathi
esincane
ukulolongeka nje
kodwa
ayinamatheli
Ivoso lkiyagobeka
indlela
engangohhafu
ojikelezayo
Igadenzima noma
inzika eligade
nzima
Ilolongekile
okukakhulu kazi
Isihlabathi
esincane
ukulolongeka nje
kodwa
iyanamathela
Ivoso lisakwazi
ukujika indlela
engaphezu
kukahhafu
Ubumba
olugadenzima
noma isihlabathi
esiyibumba
Resource Material for Homestead Food Gardeners Chapter 6 Handout 1
4
Ilolongekile Ilolongekile futhi
iyanamathela
Ivoso liyagoba
lifane nelingi
Ubumba
Ukuvunda komhlabathi
Zonke izinto eziphilayo zinezithako zemvelo ezivela emhlabeni Izitshalo zinezinto
ezifana ne hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium nokunye okunciyane
okwe magnesium, sulphur kanye ne calcium kanye nezinye izithako zemvelo
ezincinyane.
Izitshalo zidinga lezinhlobo ezintathu zokudla:
I-Nitrogen (N) – Yamacembe kanye nesiqu esiphilile iphinde isize nasekukhuliseni;
Phosphorus (P) – Yezimpande eziphile kanye nokwakheka kwezithelo;
Potassium (K) – Yempilo kanye nezimbali eziphilile kanye nezithelo.
Izinhlavu ezinkulu zamagama ezikubakake (N, P, kanye no K) zimbizwa ngokuthi
izinkombisa zobuthi. Uma uthenga izivundiso noma obunye ubuthi, kusetshenzisa
izinhlamvu esikhundleni samagama aphelele.
Zonke lezinhlobo ezintathu zokudla zitholakala ekhomposini kanye nasemqubeni.
Ungakwandisa lokukudla emhlabathi ngokuthi wemboze ngamacembe emidumba
(njengo bhontshisi, uphizi, uphizi wamajuba kanye nomgambi (isihlahla
esinamacembe anameva) comfrey, usebenzisa umanyolo ongamanzi, umsundu
kanye nezinto ezibolisayo. Kumele usebenzise umsundu ube izinto ezibolisayo
ngokushesha. Lezi izindlela ezahlukene zokuvundisa umhlabathi wakho.
Resource Material for Homestead Food Gardeners Chapter 6 Handout 1
5
Ezinye zezindlela zokuthuthukisa umhlabathi
wakho
Umquba
Zonke izinhlobo zomquba
wezilwane ungasetshenziswa. Lokhu
kufaka izinkomo, iziklambu, izimbuzi,
izigulube, kanye nezinkukhu.
Ukusebenzisa
umquba
Umquba omuhle ongawusebenzisa
ilowo oxutshe notshani kanye
nomcamo otholakala esibayeni.
Shanela lokhu ukubeke iqumbi okungenani kanye ngesonto, bese ukwemboza
ngotshani noma ngopulasitiki.
Umquba ungafakwa ngezindlela ezahlukene:
Ungawusebenzisa uma utshala izithombo, ngokuthi unxube izandla ezimbili kuya
kwezintathu zomquba emgodini lapho utshala khona izithombo.
Resource Material for Homestead Food Gardeners Chapter 6 Handout 1
6
Ungambelwa emhlabathini ukuze uthuthukise ukuvunda komhlabathi. Lapha
udinga ukusebenzisa ibhala eligcele (okungango 50 kilogram ) embhedeni
olingana nemitha eliphindwe kahlanu.
Ungasetshenziswa embhedeni oshisayo. Lapho umbhede umbiwa ushone
kangango 30 cm, lokhu kulingana nobubanzi besipeto. Bese kumbozwe
ngomquba omusha into elingana no 10cm ukushna ngaphansi. Lokhu kulingana
nobubanzi besandla sakho.Utshani, ukhulakanye nokubolayo kungafakwa
ngaphambi kokuba uvale umgodi ngenhlabathi yaphezulu kuphela. Omunye
umquba noma ikhomposi kungahlanganiswa nomhlabathi ngaphambi kokuthi
utshale.
Lokhu kubizwa ngokuthi imibhede eshisayo ngoba umquba uyashisa ngenkathi
ubola emhlabathi. Lokhu kushisisa umhlabathi embhedeni wakho. Lokhu
kuyangcomeka ezindaweni ezinobusika obubandayo.
Umquba ungafufuzelwa phezu komhlabathi kanjenge sembozo. Lokhu
kunobuhle bokuthi bandisa ukudla kwezintshalo. Umquba ungafakwa enqumbini
yekhomposi lokhu kwenza ikhomposi enhle kakhulu.
Ikhomposi
Ikhomposi inxubevane yezitshalo ezimanzi nezomile kanye nomquba obolile lokhu
kwenza ukudla okunothilekwesitshalo.
khomposi iyasiza ukuthi umhlabathi ukwazi ukubamba amanzi uphinde ugcine
izitshalo zingenazo izifo.
Ini oyidingayo ukuze wakhe inqumbi yekhomposi?
Kumele uqoqe lezintoezilandelayo:
Izinhlanga zommbila noma kwezinye izivuno. Lokhu kubizwa ngokuthi insalela
yesivuno.
5 metres
Izinto ezinhle ngekhomposi
Ikhomposi iyisidlo sesitshalo esesilungile,
ayidingi ukuvithizwa izinto ezibolisayo
kuqala.
Ikhomposi ayidali ukhula oluningi,
kanjengomquba wezilwane.
Ungathola ukudla okuhle ngaphandle
kokusebenzisa imali eningi uthena
izikhuthazi.
Izinto ezimbi ngekhomposi
Ikhomposi inomsebenzi omningi wokuyilungisa
nokuyisebenzisa.
Ubungakho bekhomoposi buncike ekutheni
yakhiwe kanjani nokuthi yini esetshenzisiwe.
Uma ingakhiwanga kahle, ngeke ibe ukudla
okuhle kwesitshalo.
Kungaba nzima ukuthola izinto ezibolayo
ozidingayo ukuze wakhe ikhomposi.
1 metre
Resource Material for Homestead Food Gardeners Chapter 6 Handout 1
7
Utshani (obungenayo imbewu)-bungaba hlaza noma obomile.
Amacembe ekhabishi kanye nokhula (aluhlaza noma omile) angenayo imbewu.
Umquba wezilwane.
Umltha wezinkuni.
Ezinye izinto ongazifaka equmbini yekhomposi yilezi: umquba wezinkukhu, amanzi
okuwasha,izibi ezitholakala ebaleni, izilwane ezifile, amathambo, uboya, izimpondo
kanye nempaphe kubalulelike ukuvaka ucomfrey enqumbini yekhomposi.
IZINTO OKUMELE UNGAZIFAKI: Uplasitiki, igilazi, insimbi, ukhuni, amabhulethi
amadalanoma enye into engaboli (lokhu kusho into engavithiki emhlabathini).
Ungayakha kuphi inqumbi yekhomposi yakho
Endaweni esethunzini kodwa hhayi eduze kwesiqu sesihlahla.
Ivikeleke emoyeni omkhulu.
Emhlathini oqondile.
Eduze nengadi yakho naseduze kwamanzi.
Kude nezilwane (okukakhulu kazi izingulube, izimbuzi kanye nezinkukhu).
Ungayakha kanjani inqumbi
yekhombosi
Isinyathelo sokuqala 1:
Khetha indawo yakho bese uphendula
umhlabathi ngeflolongo noma
ngekhuba. Indawo kumele ibe ngango
1mitha uyiphinde ngo 2 mitha (ubude
besipeto esisodwa nobubanzi
obungangezipeto ezimbili ubude)
umlotha wezinkuni
2 cm ea uhlabathi othambili
4 cm umquba
20 cm utshani +okuluhlaza
umhlabathi ovithizekile
isembozo sotshani noma uplasitiki
ikhomposi
Resource Material for Homestead Food Gardeners Chapter 6 Handout 1
8
Isinyathelo 2:
Qoba izinsalela zamacembe esivuno,
utshani, kanye nokhula ukwenze kube
kuncane. Lokhu kufaka I comfrey,
ikhabishi, amacembe, ukhula kanye
neziqu zommbila. Kumele kuqotshwe
kube kuncane kube ngango 10cm
ubude. Lokhu kukulingana nobubanzi
besandla sakho sivaliwe. Lokhu kungenza
ikhomposi isheshe ilunge.
Isinyathelo 3:
Ndlala amahlanvu kanye nezinkunyane phezu komhlabathi owuphendulile.
Isinyathelo 4:
Yemboza lokhu ngenxube oyiqobile, kulingane no 30cm ukushona. Lokhu kuyisandla
esisodwa ukushona. Uma unokudala kwasekhishini, kungavakwa lapha.
Resource Material for Homestead Food Gardeners Chapter 6 Handout 1
9
Isinyathelo 5:
Thela umquba phezulu okungango 4cm ukushona. Lokhu kunobubanzi
obungangeminwe embili.
Isinyathelo 6:
Thela umhlabathi phezulu komquba okulingana no 2cm ukushona –ububanzi
bomunwe.
Isinyathela 7:
Fafa umlotha wezinkuni ngaphezu komhlabathi. Ungafaka ne lime, bonemeal noma
tshe lephosphate, lokhu ku ngafafazwa phezulu.
Resource Material for Homestead Food Gardeners Chapter 6 Handout 1
10
Phendula inqaba
yekhomposi
Isinyathelo 8:
Faka amanzi kule nqumbi aze
amanzi avele ngaphansi
kwenqumbi.
Isinyathelo 9:
Qubeka wakhe inqumbi yakho,
ulokhu uphinda ufaka ezinye izinto
ngaphezulu, kuze kulingane
nesifuba sakho.
Isinyathelo 10:
Kunconyiwe ukuthi
uyemboze inqumbi
yakho, ungayemboza
ngopulasitiki noma
amaqungwa noma
utshani. Lokhu kusiza
ekutheni kugcineke
amanzi nokushisa
bese kukwazi
nokubola. Kuyasiza
ekutheni izinkoma
zingayihliphizi inqumbi
yakho ziyibulale.
Kuhle ukuthi uyiphendule
inqaba yakho ngemuva
kwamaviki amabili. Uma
inqumbi yakho yomile,
kumele ufake amanzi. Uma
wenza lokhu ikhomposi
yakho ingalunga ngemuva
kwamaviki angu 6 ehlobo
ebusika emavikini angu 8-9
ezindaweni ezineqha,
kudingeka uyemboze
inqumbi yakho – kungenjalo
ngeke kwenzeke lutho.
From: Production without
Destruction, Pelum
Resource Material for Homestead Food Gardeners Chapter 6 Handout 1
11
Inini lapho ikhomposi ilunga khona?
Uma kusekhona intushana ephuma emqubeni lokhu kusho ukuthi inqumbi iyabola.
Ikhomposi uma isimnyamana lokhu kusho ukuthi isilungile ibukeka ifana nomhlabathi
onomswakama. Ngeke libe khona iphunga (uma inephunga futhi ishisa, chabobo
akusiyo ikhomposi leyo).
Ukuphathwa
kwekhomposi
Isitshalo isithombo ngo 2-3
izandla ezigcwele
zekhomposi.
Mbela ikhomposi
emhlabathini: phendula
umhlabathi uthambise
ukushona
okungangesipeto
esisodwa. Fafaza izipeto
ezingu 4zekhomposi
endaweni engango 1
square metre. Mbana
kancane bese uyatshala.
Sebenzisa ikhomposi
njengesembozo
ngokuyifafaza yonke indawo emibhedeni.
From: Vikela, May 2003, FSG
1 metre
1 metre
1 metre
1 metre
1 Square metre
Resource Material for Homestead Food Gardeners Chapter 6 Handout 2
1
2. Ukwemboza
Ukwemboza ukundlala into phezu komhlabathi ongaphezulu. Lokhu kwemboza
umhlabathi kuwugcine unomswakama futhi upholile ehlobo. Kugcina umhlabathi
ufudumele ebusika.
Kungani kumele semboze?
Ukwemboza kunezinto ezimbili okusizisa ngazo:
Konga amanzi ,ngoba kuvikela ekutheni ilanga nomoya kungomisi umhlabathi.
Lokhu kusho ukuthi uzodinga amanzi amancane ezitshalweni, ngoba amanzi
akho awalahleki ngenxa yokushisa kwelanga noma ngenxa yokuphephetha
komoya.
From: Production without Destruction. Natural
Farmin
g
Network, Zimbabwe
Resource Material for Homestead Food Gardeners Chapter 6 Handout 2
2
Ukushisa kwelanga kanye nomoya
Kungcina umhlabathi ulingana .Ukwemboza kwehlisa ukushisa okukhulu kanye
okuphola okukhulu . Lokhu kwenza kube lula ukuthi izitshalo zikhule.
Umhlabathi omboziwe
Ububi bokwemboza Ubuhle bokwemboza
Kunzima kwesinye isikhathi ukuthi uthole izinto
ezanele zokwemboza
Kwesinye isikhathi ukwemboza embhedeni
wezithombo kungathikameza ukukhula
kwezithombo zamakhalothi . Zingaba
ntekenteke
Abanye abantu bacabanga ukuthi ukwemboza
akubukeki
Ukwemboza kungabanga iminenke kanye
Kuvikela ekulahlekeni kwama minerals / nama
nutrients umsoco emhlabathini
Kwenza kubekhona ukubola emhlabathini
Kunciphisa ukuba khona kokhula
Kuvikela ekuqekekeni komhlabathi okwakha
uqheqhe oluqinile ngaphezulu
Izimpande eziqinile zimila phezulu eduze
kwalapho kuqala khona umhlabathi. Lokhu
kweza kube lula ukuthi isitshalo sithole
ukudla kwaso eduze kanye nomoya
Ukubola kwesembozo kungasiza ekuvundiseni
umhlabathi
Kuvikela imvula eza ngamandla kanye
nokusaphazeka komhlabathi ezitshalweni –
lokhu kungafafaza izifo
Ukulahle
Umhwamuko
Umhlabathi omanzi
Umoya ongenzima Ilanga kanye nomoya kuthatha amanzi
Ukwanda
kokulahleka
Ukwanda
komhwamuko
Umoya Umoya wenza
kusheshe
Ukoma
kwesihlahla
Umhwamuka
omhkulu
Ukumunceka
okuncane Weds
Umhlabathi
owomile
oshisayo
noqekekile Akukho okubolisayo
Umhlabathi omubi
Umhwamuko
omncane
Ukumunceka
okukhulu
kwamanzi
Kukhona okubolisayo
Umhlabathi omuhle
From: Production without Destruction. Natural Farmin
g
Network, Zimbabwe
Resource Material for Homestead Food Gardeners Chapter 6 Handout 2
3
Ini esingayisebenzisa njengesembozo
Ngokujwayelekile sisebenzisa:
Izinto ezisala emasimini (iziqu kanye namacembe okusala umasesivunile.
Ungalingi usebenzise izintshalela zesivuno ebesinesifo. Uzothelela umhlabathi
wakho kanye nezitshalo zakho entsha.
Ukhula oluzuphuniwe lwase lwabekwa ukuze lome.
Utshani basemasimini. Qinisekisa ukuthi usebenzisa utshani obomile. Utshani
OBULUHLAZA buthatha konke ukudla emhlabathini wakho bese izitshalo zakho
ziba nokudla okuncane.
Amatshe alucwephe.Wona ayemboza kodwa awengezi ukudla emhlabathini.
Mahle uma ezungeze izitshalo ezinkulu kanye nezihlahla zezithelo.
Amaphepha (newspaper ) lokhu kwemboza kancane bese kufaka umsoco
omncane / ukudla kwesitshalo emhlabathini. Manzisa amanews paper uma
uwafaka emhlabathini, ukuze angaphephulwa umoya.
Umquba, sebenzisa OWOMILE noma OMDALA ukwenza lokhu.
Amacembe abuthwe ngaphansi kwezihlahla.
Utshani obudala bokufulela.
Upulasitiki omnyama.
Semboza kanjani
Kunconyiwe ukuthi uziqamule izinto owemboza
ngazo(ukhula kanye notshani) kulingane nesandla sakho
(10-20 centimetres)
Sebenzisa ucwephe oluncane lwesembozo ezithombeni
kanye nasezitshalweni ezincane –kulingane nomunwe
owodwa ukubanzi kokushona (1.5cm)
Ezitshalweni ezithe ukuba zinkulu sebenzisa isembozo esithe
ukuba sikhulu –okulingana 2-3 ububanzi bomunwe (3-4)
Ezihlahleni , isembozo esikhulu impela ,isandla esiphelele
noma ngaphezulu (10-20) kungafakwa
Izinto ezibolayo
From: Production without Destruction. Natural
Farming Network, Zimbabwe
Konke kunciphisa
umhwamuko
Amatshe
Amaqhembe
amaphepha
10 – 20 cm
1.5 cm
3 – 4 cm
Resource Material for Homestead Food Gardeners Chapter 6 Handout 2
4
Uma isembozo sesivithikile , kufanele ufake esinye ; kuzokumangaza ukuthi lokhu
kwenzeka masinyane kanjani .Ngokujwayelekile isembozo sifakwa kanye ngemuva
kwezinyanga ezintathu .Ezindaweni lapho kunesithwathwa esiningi,kuwumqondo
omuhle ukuthi ucindizele phansi isembozo uma isithwathwa sinamandla uma
umhlabathi usuqala ukuba neqhwa.isembozo esingaqinile sinomthelela omubi
eqhweni.
Ucwaningo
Khumbula ukusebenzisa ipulani yakho yocwaningo njalo
uma uzama into entsha.
Ipulani yokwenza ucwaningo endaweni encane
Ini inkinga?
Isiphi isixazululo kulenkinga?
Kungani lomphumela uzoyixazulula lenkinga?
Ngizohlola kanjani isixazululo ngokulandelana?
Ngizowubheka kanjani umphumela? Yini engizoyibheka?
Ngingawubheka kanjani futhi umphumela? Yini okumele ngiyikale?
Ngingayikala kanjani imphumela noma isiphetho?
Ngingawuqathanisa kanjani umphumela wami nendlela eyejwayelekile engilima
ngayo?
Yenza umdwebo wocwaningo lakho ensimini yakho.
Nansi eminye imibuzo ongazibuza yona uma wenza ucwaningo ufaka
isembozo
Ingabe usebenzise isembozo kuzo zonke izitshalo zakho,noma kwezinye nje?
Ingabe izitshalo ozimbozile bezinkulu futhi zingcono kunalezo ongazimbozanga?
Ingabe usebenzise amanzi amancane ezitshalweni ozimbozile?
Resource Material for Homestead Food Gardeners Chapter 6 Handout 2
5
Ingabe yini oyisebenzisile ukwemboza? Ini ebe yinhle? Ini ozoyisebenzisa
ukwemboza ngesikhathi esizayo?
Resource Material for Homestead Food Gardeners Chapter 6 Handout 3
1
3. Umquba wezitshalo wezilwane kanye
nongamanzi
Umquba ongamanzi indlela elula yokusiza izitshalo zakho. Ungenziwa ngezitshalo
noma ngomquba wezilwane. Inhloso yalokhu ukunikeza izitshalo ukudla kwemvelo
ngenkathi zisakhula. Kusiza kakhulu kulezo zitshalo ezidla kakhulu njengekhabishi
ukuthi unikeze izithombo uxhaso ngenkathi zisakhulu
Ungawukhanda kanjani umquba wamanzi
Isitshalo esihle ekukhandeni umquba wamanzi u comfrey. Okukakhulu kazi
ungasebenzisa amacembe aluhlaza kanye neziqu zakhona kanye nokhula konke
kulungile. Ngwema izitshalo ezinephunga elinamandla. Izitshalo zakhiwe ngezinto
eziningi zemvelo ezitholakala emhlabathini futhi zithatha lezinto emhlabathini. Kakho-
ke kubalulekile ukuthi ukuthi usebenzise izinhlobonhlobo zezinto.
Qinisekisa ukuthi isitsha sakho sihlanzekile ngaphambi kokuthi usisebenzise.
Qoqa izitshalo uzifake esitsheni sakho usigcwalise. Bese uqubeke ulokhu ufaka
njalo ngeviki.
Beka itshe ngaphezu kwezitshalo bese uvala ngesivalo. Ungawafaki amanzi.
Izitshalo zizozenzela amanzi azo.
Beka ngaselangeni bese ubheka ngemuva kwamaviki amabili ukuthi
amacembe awakabi mnyama yini. Uma ugunqula isitsha sakho kumele
kuphume okusamanzana amnyama. Lokhu kungamanzi ashubile angumquba.
Lamanzi ashube kakhulu kumele ahlanjululwe kanje :Izithombo : 1 ithini lomquba
wamanzi emathinini angu 4 amanzi Izitshalo ezinkulu : 1 ithini lomquba wmanzi
emathinini angu 3 amanzi. Uma unxube kwashuba kakhulu kungawashisa
amacembe akho.
Njalo ngemuva kwamasonto amabili thela lomquba uzungeleze izitshalo zakho,
ngemuva kokuthelela.
Kumele uthele okungenani ithini elilodwa lalomquba osuhlanjululiwe ngamanzi
esithombeni ngasinye noma isitshalo. Ithini kumele kube ilelo elilingana nalelo
likajamu.
Resource Material for Homestead Food Gardeners Chapter 6 Handout 3
2
Udinga lokhu:
Udinga isitsha esngu:
101itre noma ngaphezulu
Isaka lelo ungalithola :
kungaba elamawolintshi
,elokudla noma isaka
lengubo
Induku eqinile noma
indophi
Into ozobopha ngayo isaka
Isivalo sokuvala isaka.
Ungawakha kanjani umquba wamanzi ngomquba
wezinkomo
Umquba ongasetsheziswa owezinkukhu,
onogwaja ,inkomo ,imbuzi kanye
namagusha.Umquba oxutshiwe uyancomeka.
Faka umquba wakho omusha oxutshiwe
bese uwufake esakeni bese ubopha
phezulu.
Faka isaka esitsheni bese ulibophela
endukwini noma emchilweni. Bese ugcwalisa
isitsha ngamanzi . Udinga ukuvaka amalitha
angu 10 amanzi ku 1kg womquba .Lokhu
kusho ukuthi isaka lamawolintshi eligcwele
umquba lingena ebhakedeni elikhulu ,noma
uhhafu wesaka ebhakedeni elijwayelekile
lasekhaya. Lokhu kuyindlela yokugcina umquba namanzi kuhlukene, akumele
ufake umquba omanzi ezitshalweni zakho.
Vala isitsha sakho ngesivalo.
Ngemuva kwamaviki amabili umquba uzobe usulungile ukuthi
ungasetshenziswa. Kumele kubukeka njengetiye elilula. Ngaphambi kokuba
usebenzise lomquba kumelele uwugoqoze kahle.
Lomquba unzima kumele uhlanjululwe ngamanzi.
Izithombo : 1 ithini lomquba wamanzi emathinini angu 8 amanzi (ibhakede noma
amabhodlela )
Izithombo: 1 ithini lomquba wamanzi emathinini angu 4 amanzi
Uma uxube kwabanzima kungashisa izithombo zakho
Njalo ngemuva kwamaviki amabili faka umquba wamanzi ezitshalweni zakho,
ngemuva kokuchelela.
Futhi, sebenzisa ithini likajamu
eligcwele kuleso naleso sitshalo
noma isithombo. Qikelela ukuthi
awufaki umquba wamanzi
phakathi nemini noma elangeni
elishisayo.
From: Production without Destruction
izithako zemvelo
zicwile emanzini
isivalo sikapulasitiki
induku yokugoqoza
isaka elinomquba
ongango 40kg noma
izitshalo
idilamu elinamalitha
angu 200 ligcwaliswe
ngamanzi
Resource Material for Homestead Food Gardeners Chapter 6 Handout 4
1
4. Indlela yokuzakhela i - trench bed
Isingeniso
I trench bed yindlela yokwandisa imvundo kanye nomswakama engadini yakho.
Lena yindlela ekahle yokulungisa umhlabathi wakho uma ungumlimi osezingeni
elincane. Lendlela ibandakanya ukumba umgodi, ukwugcwalisa ngemfucuza
ebolayo ukuze ikwazi ukuvunda isikhathi eside (isikhathi esingacishe sibe
yiminyaka emihlanu).
Indlela yokuyenza
Yimba umgodi ube ngu 60cm
nangaphezulu ukuya phansi. Ububanzi
bujwayele ukuthi bube yimitha ukuze
kubelula ukuwusebenza (lokhu kuchaza
ukuthi kungenzeki ukuthi umuntu
anyathele uma esebenza khona) kanti
ubude bungaya ngokuthi owakhayo
unamandla angakanani.
Uma umba thela inhlabathi emnyama
ngakolunye uhlangothi, kuthi ebomvu iye
kolunye. Kumele ihlukaniswe.
Ngakwesokudla, u Mandla (e Phuthadjithaba) umba
umgodi wakhe. Uthela inhlabathi emnyama
yangaphezulu nganxanye (lena emnyama iyona
enemvundo), kanti lena enye ebomvu yangaphezulu
uyithele yayinqumbi kolunye uhlangothi (lena
ebomvu ayinayo imvundo noma inemvundo
encane).
Uma inhlabathi ingavundile, akufanele
ifakwe emgodini. Kufanele isakazwe
ngaphandle kunoma iyiphi indawo,
nasemiseleni eletha amanzi kuwona
lombhede.
Resource Material for Homestead Food Gardeners Chapter 6 Handout 4
2
Phansi emgodini kufanele wendlale amathini noma amagatsha. Lokhu
kuzosiza ukuthi kukwazeke ukubambeka umoya obaluleke kakhulu
emsocweni odingwa yizitshalo
Amathini kufanele ukuthi apaqazwe ngaphambi kokuthi afakwe emgodini.
Umkhakha wamathini kufanele ujule ngamathini amathathu ukuya phansi. Uma
engekho amathini, sebenzisa amagatsha azacile. Gwema amathini ane
“aluminium” ngoba iwushevu. Lamathini, ngamathini kabhiya kanye
naweziqedakoma (cold drinks)
Gcwalisa inhlabathi yakho ngezinhlobonhlobo zemfucuza kanye
nenhlabathi
yangaphezulu.
- Qala ngotshano
obomile noma ukhula
(kujule ngamacentimetre
angu 10 )
- Landelisa ngomanyolo
(kujule ngamacentimetre
amabili)
- Kulandele umlotha
wezinkuni (Umkhakha
omncane ongaba ngu
1cm ).
- Bese kuza umkhakha
wenhlabathi
yangaphezulu (ijule
ngamacentimetre angu 5)
Xuba lemikhakha
ngemfologo
Uma usuyixubile, yigxishe
ngezinyawo ishone phansi
- NISELA lomxube wakho
kakhulu!!
- Bese phinda futhi.
Ngaphezulu; I- trench bed
yase Phutadjithaba
iyagcwaliswa, kuyaxutshwa
bese kugandaywa. Qaphela
ingxube kamanyolo, utshani
kanye nenhlabathi.
Resource Material for Homestead Food Gardeners Chapter 6 Handout 4
3
Ngakwesokudla; I- trench bed yase Potshini iyagcwaliswa. Lapha inhlabathi yangaphezulu
ibuyiselwa phakathi emgodini. Qaphela ukuthi inhlabathi yangaphansi eliphuzi ibekwe
engxenye. Ayizukusetshenziswa kulomgodi.
Ungakusebenzisa okokuvundisa okufana nokhula olomile nolusemanzi, kanye
namakhasi amaveji avela ekhishini, amakhathoni, amaphepha kanye
namathambo.
Uma usukwenzile lokho
qala phansi futhi
ngokuthela imfucuza,
kuze umanyolo, umlotha
kugcine inhlabathi, uxube
bese uyanisela. Kwenze
lokhu uze igcwale
umgodi.
Manje I - trench bed
yakho kumele iphakame
ngo 10-15cm ngaphezu
komhlaba. Phezulu
sebenzisa ingxube ekahle
yenhlabathi
yangaphezulu
nomanyolo kanye ne
khomposi uma ikhona.
Ngakwesokudla kukhonjiswa I-trench bed esanda kwakhiwa.
Imfucuza efakwe kwi trench bed kumele ilindwe izinyanga ezimbili kuya
kwezintathu ize ibole ngaphambi kokuthi kutshalwe.
Omunye umbono futhi ukusebenzisa I-trench bed yakho njengombhede
wokutshala izithombo. Uma uqonde ukwenza lokhu, izithombo zakho
ungazitshala ngaso leso
sikhathi uma I-trench yakho
usuyiqedile. Ukukhulisa
izithombo ngokutshala
imbewu ngqo enhlabathini
kudinga inhlabathi
evundiswe yalungiswa
ngokupheleleyo. Izimpande
zezithombo ezincane azijuli
kakhulu. Imfucuza efakwe
kwe-trench ingabe
iqhubeka nokubola kwayo
ngesikhathi izithombo
zakho zikhula ngaphezulu.
Ngakwesokudla sibona imbewu
Resource Material for Homestead Food Gardeners Chapter 6 Handout 4
4
kakherothi kanye no-anyanisi itshalwa embhedeni wezithombo e Potshini. Lapha sithola
ukuthi I-trench bed yayisanda kwakhiwa.
Qaohela; Inhlabathi ecolisakele ivuvuzelwa
ngaphezu kwezithombo. Lokhu kwenziwela
ukuthi imbewu ingazabalazi ukuhluma
ngoba nayo incane kakhulu. Uma inhlabathi
ivuvuzelwe ngalendlela, izohluma kangcono.
Kulesisithombe sithola ukuthi ama-trench
bed amaningana akhiwe engadini yase
Potshini. Umnikazi wawo usebenzisa
amabili njengemibhede yokukhulisa
izithombo (seed beds) Embozwe ngotshani
ukuze umswakama ungahwamuki kalula
ngesikhathi imbewu ihluma. Lobutshani
buzisuswa ngesikhathi lapho izithombo
sezivela..
Umbhede ophakathi nendawo umise
okwesicathulo sehhashi. Lendlela
lombhede owakhiwe ngayo yenza kubelula
ukuthi umuntu afinyelele kuzo zonke
izinhlangothi zombhede. Ivumela amanzi
ukuthi ageleze aye maphakathi nendawo.
Lapha sibona ukuthi umnikazi wendawo itshale
izithombo zespinashi. Zlezizithombo zikhule
kahle, noma bekukhona ukwesaba bokuthi
ukukhula kwaso kuzophazamiseka ngesikhathi
imfucuza isabola ngaphansi kwenhlabathi.
Kulesisithombe sibona imbewu ka carrot
itshalwa kwi trench encane, laphayana
ekhoneni. Kukhona futhi nezinye izithombo
ezibonakalayo.
Ngaphambili kukhona I-trench bed esanda
kwakhiwa, lapho kutshalwe khona izithombo
zekhabishi. Kanjalo nalapha ikhabishi likhule
kahle, aliphazanyiswanga ukubola
wemfucuzangaphansi kwi trench.
Resource Material for Homestead Food Gardeners Chapter 6 Handout 4
5
Kubakulekile ukuthi kuchelisiswe ngamanzi ngesikhathi I trench isakhiwa nakamuva.
Imfucuza ngaphansi angeke ibole uma yomile.
Ziningi izindlela zokunisela, inqobo nje uma amanzi efakiwe.
Esithombeni,
uhlelo lokunisela
olubizwa ngokuthi
yi-drip irrigation
izosetshenziswa
ekuniseleni le-
trench bed.
Kamuva uma sekuzophela isikhathi sesivuno (isithombe ngezansi) sibona ikhabishi elitshalwe
kwi trench bed liniselwa ngohlelo lokunisela olubizwa ngokuthi yi drip irrigation kanti
libonakala likhula kahle kakhulu. Sibona nezinye izitshalo ezitshalwe kwi trench bed lapho
kuniselwa khona ngamabhakede; njengespinash (swiss chard) kanye ne Beetroot.
Esithombeni, kuzosetshenziswa uhlelo lwe Drip irrigation lapha ukunisela I-trench bed.
Resource Material for Homestead Food Gardeners Chapter 6 Handout 5
1
5. Ukukhiqizwa wezithombo
Ngenhla kunesibonele sombhede ombozwe ngomhlanga oboshwe aqiniswa ndawonye uvikela
emoyeni naselangeni ezithombeni.
Ukuqala
Kumele uqaphele ukuthi ,unembewu enhle nephilile
Qaphela ukuthi unamanzi eduze (amanzi anodaka oluningi awamahle)
Qaphela ukuthi umhlabathi wakho uvundile,uthambile (bona ukuthi
ungawunothisa kanjani
umuhlabathi wakho
ekhasini
elikulencwadi).
Qaphela ukuthi
likhona ithunzi. Imithetho ebalulekile ngembewu
Imbewu kumele ihlale iphilile:gcina imbewu unyaka owodwa
kuyakwemibili kuphela. Bheka idate emaphaketheni ngaphambi
kokuthi uthenge.Ungenza ukuhlolwa kokumila kwembewu ngaphambi
kokuba uyitshale yonke(bheka ngenzansi)
Imbewu kumele ibesendaweni epholile, enobumunyama
neyomile.Uma uthenga esitolo esincane,bheka ubone ukuthi imbewu
ibekwe endaweni eyomile nepholile uma amaphakethe embewu
eselangeni –ungawathengi
Uma uzibekela wena imbewu,qiniseka ukuthi utshala imbewu
engenaso isakhuntela,ukuklwebheka noma izimbobo
Uma uthenge imbewu,bhala inyanga nonyaka othenga ngayo,ukuze
ukwazi ukubheka amadate.
Resource Material for Homestead Food Gardeners Chapter 6 Handout 5
2
Ucwaningo
UKUHLOLWA KOKUMILA
KWEMBEWU- kungenzeka
ufune ukuzama lokhu uqinisekile ngokuthi imbewu
yakho isoqophelweni oluphezulu futhi iphila kahle
Ngaphambi kokuba
utshale imbewu
ungayihlola ukuthi izomila yini.Ungahlola ukuthi zingaki
izimbewu zakho ezingamila.
Thatha imbewu engu-50 uyibeke phezu kwephepha elimswakama,indwangu
noma ithoiyilethi paper.
Beke iphepha noma indwangu okunembewu phakathi esikwameni sikapulasitiki
bese uphephethe ngomoya esikhwameni sikapulasitiki,ngaphambi kokuthi
uvale.
Bheka imbewu njalo ukuze ukuthi zingaki ezinilayo.Loku kungathatha izinsuku
3-10.
Bese ubala izimbewu ezimilile.
Lapha isibonelo 40 kwezingu50 izimbewu zimilile. Lapha izinga lokumila libalelwa ku
80% (80/100). Lokhu kusho ukuthi ezingu 80 kuphela phezu kwezingu 100 izimbewu
ozozitshala zizomila.
Imithetho ebalulekile
ngamanzi
Amanzi kumele abe seduze
Amanzi kumele ahlanzeke –
amanzi anodaka oluningi
futhi angcolile angenza
kubenzima ukuthi zimile
izithombo.
Resource Material for Homestead Food Gardeners Chapter 6 Handout 5
3
Ukukala
Ukulungisa umbhede wezithombo
Umbhede wezimbewu inxenye encane kakhulu yengadi enomhlabathi onothile futhi
enesembozo lapho kumila khona imbewu.Isembozo sivikeka isithwathwa.
Imba umsele ongango 30cm (okulingana nokudla kwesipeto) ukushona nobude
(obulingana nobude besipeto) . Umsele kumele ulingane no 1kuya 2 wamamitha
(okungangamagxa elilodwa kuyakwamabili).
Umuno owodwa = 1.5 cm Imino embili = 3 – 4 cm Isandla = 20 – 30 cm
1m
Umsele ulingana
no 1 mitha inxa
elilodwa)
Umhlabathi wangaphansi
okhanyayo)
Umhlabathi waphezulu
omnyama
2
30 cm
30 cm
Resource Material for Homestead Food Gardeners Chapter 6 Handout 5
4
Hlukanisa umhlabathi onothile ngaphezulu (imvamisa umnyama) komunye
umhlabathi. Thambisa umhlabathi ongaphansi ngefolongo noma ngesipeto.
Hlanganisa umhlabathi wangaphezulu kanye nenxenye elinganayo nomquba kanye
nomlotha oxutshiwe noma ikhomposi (bheka futhi ukuthi ungawuthuthukisa kanjani
umhlabathi ekhasini elikulencwadi ,thola kabanzi ukuthi ungawulungisa kanjani
umquba kanye nekhomposi).
Sefa lokhu ngenkathi ukuphindisela emgodini . Uma ungakwazi ukukusefa
sekuxutshiwe ,qiniseka ukuthi ayikho into engathikameza ukukhula kwezithobo ,izinto
Resource Material for Homestead Food Gardeners Chapter 6 Handout 5
5
ezifana nezinduku ,amacembe ,amatshe amangade noma umhlathi oqinile
.Kubalulekile ukunganyatheli embhedeni wakho uma usuwulungisile.
Ubude bombhede wezithombo kumele
ubengangemitha (1metre) (noma
ulingane nobude besipeto ) .Lokhu
kwenza kube lula ukuthi ukwazi
ukufinyelela phakathi nendawo
nombhede emecaleni womabili
,ngaphandle kokuthi uhambe noma
unyathele embhedeni wa kho.
Ukunyathela umhlabathi okukakhulu uma
ummanzi ,kungona ukuthamba,
ukucoleka, futhi kuwenze uqine. Lokhu
kuqina kungenza kubenzima ukuthi
imbewu ikwazi ukumila.
Ungazenzela wena ithunzi lembewu elishibile ungalenza ngezingodo/umhlanga
/iqalo kanye notshani.
Ukutshalwa kwembewu
Imbewu ehlukene kumele itshalwe ngezindlela ezahlukene.
1. Indlela yokutshala
Ezinye zezitshalo kumele zitshalwe lapho
zizomile khona , izitshalo ezincane azithandi
ukuthuthukiswa njalo .Lokhu kwaziwa ngokuthi
Imbewu ikhonjiswe ithothene futhi
izikhala zilingene
Resource Material for Homestead Food Gardeners Chapter 6 Handout 5
6
ukutshala nqo (direct sowing).
Lokhu kufaka ubhontshisi, ubhithiludi, amakhalothi ,ukhukhumba, ugaliga,
ummbila, uphizi,amazambane, amathanga, ilelishi kanye nothenephu. Imisele
kanye nemigodi kumele ibe manzi ngaphambi kokuba utshale.
Imbewu encane njengamakhalothi,ilelishi kanye nothenephu akushoniswa
kakhulu .Khanda umsele ongango 1.5cm (ububanzi obungangomunwe ).
Tshala kahle imbewu yakho ngokucophelela ngomunwe kanye nesithupha
emseleni. Kumele ucophelele ukuthi imbewu ayiminyene. Imbewu kumele
iqhelelane ubude obulingana nomunwe owodwa emseleni. Faka imbewu
indawo elinganayo. Mboza imbewu yakho ngekhomposi encane ,ngomquba
noma ngomhlabathi. Cindezela ngomunwe wakho.
Imbewu enkulu imbewu efana
nobhontshis i, zitshalwa ngokushona
okungango 1-2 kunembewu. Uma
zitshalwe zashona kakhulu, ngeke
zimile. Uma zishone kancane
izitshalo ziyawa.
2. Ukutshala embhedeni kuqala
Ezinye izitshalo zimila kahle uma ziqalwe zatshalwa embhedeni wezithombo
kuqala bese uma seziqinile izithombo bese uzikhipha uzitshale. Lokhu kufaka
ubroccoli, ikhabishi, u cauliflower, upelepele, i eggplant, u green pepper, i leeks,
u lethisi, u orka,uanyanisi, isipinashi kanye notamatisi.
Ezinye zezitshalo ungazitshala embhedeni wembewu noma uzitshale nqo lapho
zizomila khona kukuwe ukuthi okukusebenzela kahle. I lezi izitshalo ongazitshala
isipinashi, uanyanisi, ugaliga kanye namazambane.
3. Ukunakekelwa kwembewu embhedeni wezitshalo
Ezimbewini ezincane njenge khabishi, u kale u tamatisi, uthenephu kanye no
anyanisi, ungatshali imbewu ihlangane ndawonye ngoba iyahlangana bese
iminyane. Izithombo zizontengantenga ziphinde zihlaselwe izifo. Zifuna
ukubangisana ngendawo kanye nelanga. Tshala kancane bese ulinganisa.
Tshala izitshalo ububanzi obungangomunwe phakathi kwezitshalo.
Ukutshala emseleni kulingana no
1.5 - 2cm ukushona
Utshalwe ekushoneni
kobhontshisi owodwa Ileveli
yomhlabathi
Resource Material for Homestead Food Gardeners Chapter 6 Handout 5
7
Uma izitshalo sezitshaliwe,
kubalulekile ukuzigcina
zinomswakama sonke
isikhathi. Kungadingeka
ukuthi ugcelele kabili
ngosuku uma libalele.
Kungcono ukugcelela
ntambama ehlobo, ebusika
ugcelele phakathi
kwasekuseni.
Gcelela ngokucophelela,
ngesipuleyi esigcelela
kancane. Ngoba-ke
ungashe umukise izitshalo
zakho ngamanzi, noma
ugandaye umhlabathi
wakho.
Ungazenzela ikani lasekhaya lokuthelela. Bhoboza izimbobo ezincane ngaphansi
ekanini lakho ngesando.
Yemboza umbhede wakho wembewu. Lapha ungemboza maphakathi nolayini
lapho utshale khona imbewu. Noma wemboze umbhede wonke bese ususa
isembozo uma imbewu isiqalisa ukumila. Uma ungasisusi isembozo singenza kube
nzimza ukuthi imbewu yakho ikhule. Kubalulekile ukuthi wemboze ngamatshe
ayizipaca emacopheni ombhede wakho. Lokhu kuqinisekisa ukuthi amanzi
ahlala embhedeni wakho awahamuki emaceleni.
Kubalulekile ukuhlakula noma ukugcuphuna ukhula embhedeni wakho.
Kumele ukhiphe ezinye zezitshalo ukuze zizoshiya indawo yezinye ukuze zikhule
kahle. Uma izitshalo zivela uyabona ukuthi iziphi ezizinzile nalezo
ezibuthakathaka. Khipha lezo ezibuthakathaka. Qinisekisa ukuthi izitshalo ezinzile
zinendawo eyanele ukuthi zikhule ,okungango 3-4 cm ( noma ububanzi
beminwe emibilie).
4. Ukutshalwa kwezithombo
Ngaphambi kokuthi uzikhiphe izithombo zakho
kubalulekile ukuthi uziqinise. Lokhu kuzokwenza
ukuthi abemancane amathuba okuthuka kwazo
uma sowuzitshala. Ukuziqinisa kusho ukwenza
isimo esesitshalo sibenzima kancane. Ithunzi
uyalisusa uphinde unciphise amanzi othelela
Ikani lokuthelela
elikhandwe
ngethini
Umbhede wembozwe
ngamatshe kanye
notshani
Isithombo esinamacembe
amabili
Resource Material for Homestead Food Gardeners Chapter 6 Handout 5
8
ngawo. Lokhu kwenziwa isikhathi esingangezinsuku ezintathu kuya kwezine
ngaphambi kokuba uzitshale.
Isikhathi sokutshala izithombo ilapho
sezinamacembe angempela amabili kuya
kwamathathu, uma izipande sezikhule
ngokwanele nesiqu esizinzile. Amacembe
okuqala amabili aphuma emhlabathini
akusiwo awangempela – ngakhoke
uyalinda isitshalo sikhule.
Tshala izithombo mantambama noma uma kunesimo esiguqubele sezulu. Lokhu
kunikeza izithombo isikhathi sokuthi zilulame ngaphambi kokuthi kufike ukushisa.
Uma kubanda kakhulu, zitshale maphakathi nasekuseni, lapho umhlabathi
usufudumele kancane.
Lungisa bese uchelela imigodi lapho uzotshala khona
Qiniseka ukuthi umhlabathi wakho uthambile futhi unezinto ezivundisayo,
njenge khomposi kanye nomquba noma umlotha.
Phakamisa isitshalo ngokucophelela, usebenzisa ithuluzi (UNGALINGI
UZIKHIPHE NGEZANDLA) wenze ngokusemandleni ukuthi ushiya umhlabathi
omningi ozungeze izimpande. Bamba izithombo ngamacembe azo hhayi
ngesiqu.
Uma utshala, kumele izimpande zimeziqonde zingampitsheki emgodini.
Umgodi kumele ugcwaliswe ngomhlabathi, okumele uqinise
ngokuzungeleza isitshalo. Cindezela umhlabathi phansi ujikelezele isitshalo,
ukuze kungabikho umoya ongena zimpandeni.
Bamba isithombo ngamacembe
Ngethuluzi izimpande
zisala zibambene
Ukukhipha izithombo n
g
aphandle
kwethuluzi akukuhle
Resource Material for Homestead Food Gardeners Chapter 6 Handout 5
9
Chelela izithombo ngemuva nje kokuba uzitshale.
Zemboze emibhedeni yazo.
Nikezela ithunzi ezithombeni, ngokusebenzisa
amahlahla noma amakhalibhodwe.
Lokhu kungasuswa ngemuva
kwezinsuku ezine kuya kwezinhlanu,
lapho isitshalo sesizinzile.
Izimpande
ziqondile
Cindezela
Umhlabathi
Awukho umoya emceleni
Chelela ngemuva kokutshala
MbozaIhlahla lethunzi
Agricultural Water Use for Homestead Gardening Systems
Resource Material
for
Facilitators and Food Gardeners
Chapter 7
Income Opportunities from
Homestead Food Gardening
Agricultural Water Use for Homestead Gardening Systems – Resource Material
ii
iii
Chapters: Resource Material
Introduction to the Learning Material (TT 431/1/09)
Chapter 1 Rural realities and homestead food gardening options (TT 431/1/09)
Chapter 2 - Facilitation of homestead food gardening (TT 431/1/09)
- Handouts: Chapter 2 Homestead Food Gardener’s Resource Packs
Chapter 3 - Living and eating well (TT 431/1/09)
- Handouts: Chapter 3 Homestead Food Gardener’s Resource Packs
Chapter 4 - Diversifying production in homestead food gardening (TT 431/2/09)
- Handouts: Chapter 4 Homestead Food Gardener’s Resource Packs
Chapter 5 - Garden and homestead water management for food gardening
(TT 431/2/09)
- Handouts: Chapter 5 Homestead Food Gardener’s Resource Packs
Chapter 6 - Soil fertility management: Optimising the productivity of soil and water
(TT 431/3/09)
- Handouts: Chapter 6 Homestead Food Gardener’s Resource Packs
Chapter 7 Income opportunities from homestead food gardening (TT 431/3/09)
Agricultural Water Use for Homestead Gardening Systems – Resource Material
iv
Chapter 7: Income opportunities from homestead food gardening
v
Chapter 7 Table of Contents:
Income opportunities from homestead food
gardening
Chapters: Resource Material ................................................................................ iii
Table of Contents: Income opportunities from homestead food gardening v
List of Tables ............................................................................................................ vi
List of Activities ........................................................................................................ vi
List of Case Studies & Research ............................................................................ vi
Aims ......................................................................................................................... vii
What am I going to learn? ................................................................................... vii
Icons ......................................................................................................................... ix
7
7.
.1
1
M
Mo
ov
vi
in
ng
g
o
on
n
f
fr
ro
om
m
f
fo
oo
od
d
t
to
o
i
in
nc
co
om
me
e
f
fr
ro
om
m
h
ho
om
me
e
f
fo
oo
od
d
p
pr
ro
od
du
uc
ct
ti
io
on
n
.
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
.
1
1
Incentives for homestead gardening (ISO Farming) ......................................... 1
The ‘first brick’: Food security and resilience through diversification ............... 1
Second-phase: Income opportunities from home food production ............... 2
Key questions on income opportunities from homestead farming .................. 2
7
7.
.2
2
S
St
ta
ar
rt
ti
in
ng
g
t
to
o
s
se
el
ll
l
a
an
nd
d
a
av
vo
oi
id
di
in
ng
g
p
pi
it
tf
fa
al
ll
ls
s
.
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
.
3
3
Mobilising action: motivating people to start..................................................... 3
Three basic principles to get started.................................................................... 3
Ongoing commitment to income activities: Incentives and disincentives ... 7
Three basic principles for marketing .................................................................... 7
7
7.
.3
3
P
Po
ot
te
en
nt
ti
ia
al
l
f
fi
in
na
an
nc
ci
ia
al
l
b
be
en
ne
ef
fi
it
ts
s
f
fr
ro
om
m
h
ho
om
me
es
st
te
ea
ad
d
a
ag
gr
ri
ic
cu
ul
lt
tu
ur
re
e
.
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
.
1
13
3
7
7.
.4
4
M
Ma
ar
rk
ke
et
ti
in
ng
g
i
id
de
ea
as
s
a
an
nd
d
a
ap
pp
pr
ro
op
pr
ri
ia
at
te
en
ne
es
ss
s
.
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
.
1
17
7
Appropriateness for cash-scarce households .................................................. 17
How to identify how risky a venture is? .............................................................. 17
Income generation ideas for home food gardeners ...................................... 18
7
7.
.5
5
R
Re
ef
fe
er
re
en
nc
ce
es
s
.
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
.
2
29
9
I
In
nd
de
ex
x
(
(C
Ch
ha
ap
pt
te
er
r
7
7)
)
.
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
.
3
30
0
Agricultural Water Use for Homestead Gardening Systems – Resource Material
vi
List of Tables
Table 1: Summary of incomes produced through vegetable production,
2009 ..........................................................................................................................13
Table 2: Cata Water for Food households: value of production,2005 ........ 14
Table 3: Cata Water for Food households: five year extrapolation of
production value ................................................................................................... 15
Table 4: Mma Tshepo Khumbane, Cullinan: Food grown in Winter 2002(De
Lange, M. 2003)..................................................................................................... 15
Table 5: List of income generation ideas.......................................................... 19
List of Activities
Activity 1: Assessing marketing ideas for appropriateness ............................ 19
List of Case Studies & Research
Case study 1: Start by selling locally .................................................................. 6
Case study 2: Continuity in selling locally .......................................................... 8
Case study 3: Think ideas, not problems.......................................................... 11
Chapter 7: Income opportunities from homestead food gardening
vii
Aims
This chapter aims to introduce you to some of the basic concepts of market
gardening. We will look at incentives and disincentives for marketing and
appropriate strategies of marketing for various situations. We will consider local
marketing, pricing and niche marketing in different areas. We will look at some of the
principles of marketing by using case studies and examples. These include the
principles of supply and demand, the principle of continuity and the principle of
innovation.
We will then look at the potential financial benefits from homestead agriculture,
again using examples and case studies and finally we will introduce a range of
potential marketing ideas that could be considered.
What am I going to learn?
The following is a list of the things you should be able to do when you have
successfully completed this chapter. This list gives you some idea of what to expect
when you start working on the chapter, but, more importantly, you should come
back to the list when you have completed the chapter to check if you have
achieved all the objectives set out for the chapter. This means that you can monitor
your own progress quite accurately. On the following page is the list of outcomes for
this chapter.
Agricultural Water Use for Homestead Gardening Systems – Resource Material
viii
Compare the incomes generated by homestead
farmers using different marketing techniques
and ideas
Know what financial gain you can expect from
homestead agriculture
What am I going to learn? What should I be able to
do
after
completing this unit?
Done
Can’t do
1
Starting to sell
surplus vegetables
Start with where we are and what we have
Know your product and price
Have some ideas how to diversify your
production to be able to sell more
2
Incentives and
disincentives to
marketing
Gauge supply and demand of a crop to be
sold
Grow crops for which there is a local demand
Grow and sell new crops for which a local
demand is likely and experiment with selling
these.
3
Use the principles to think through marketing
ideas
The Seven Cs of
marketing
4
Assess different income generation ideas for
homestead food gardeners
5
Ideas for value
adding, processing
and marketing
Potential financial
benefits from
homestead
agriculture
Chapter 7: Income opportunities from homestead food gardening
ix
Icons
You will find that several different icons are used throughout the Chapter. These icons
should assist you with navigation through the Chapter and orientation within the
material. This is what these icons mean:
Facilitation tools
Processes that you can use in workshop situations,
to support your work in the field.
Research /Case study
The results of research or case studies that
illustrate the ideas presented.
Looking at research, facts and figures
to help contextualise things.
Activity
This indicates an exercise that you should do
– either on your own (individual) or in a group.
Copy and handouts
These sections can be copied and used
as handouts to learners / participants.
Agricultural Water Use for Homestead Gardening Systems – Resource Material
x
Chapter 7: Income opportunities from homestead food gardening
7-1
The impact of home food gardening is
of greatest value to households in the
lower income categories and generally
is of less direct interest to households in
higher income categories.
7.1 Moving on from food to income from
home food production
Incentives for homestead gardening (ISO Farming)
The ‘first brick’: Food security and resilience through
diversification
In Chapter 1 – “Rural realities”, we looked at recorded impacts of homestead food
production, and concluded that:
For households in low-income categories, affordable and high-yielding home food
production brings significant benefits. It enables them to:
Diversify their diets and enjoy better health, in spite of their shortage of money;
Save money on food that they otherwise would have had to buy; and
Earn some cash income from selling vegetables and fruit, in some cases.
Typically, households could earn about R50-150 per month extra (in 2006), which
was an increase in family income of 10-30% for households that were dependent
on a single old-age pension.
We also considered “Mobilisation for homestead farming” in the Introduction to this
manual. We looked a bit deeper into the incentives and disincentives for
homestead farming. To recap, we looked at:
Food and income as the two ‘pull factors’ for production – with food being the
primary driver for food insecure households;
The different incentives for different households, from basic survival to income
generation, and a range of ways in which households’ specific objectives
differed. Farmer typologies were described as a way to categorise people with
similar objectives; and
We also looked at various theories of motivation, like human needs, the ten
‘human capabilities’ and the Life Model, to help us understand better:
How to mobilise households into production;and
How to help them stay in production.
Agricultural Water Use for Homestead Gardening Systems – Resource Material
7-2
Home food gardening and a better
understanding of our nutritional
needs, can equip families in all
income categories to eat better and
avoid preventable diseases.
In Chapter 3 – “Living and eating well”,
we developed a good feel for the health
benefits of more diversified diets, and saw
how homestead production made it easy
and affordable for households to have a
continuous flow of good food throughout
the year.
We also saw that the economic benefits
of overcoming the high levels of
malnutrition in South Africa, extends well
beyond the individual to the national
economy, through ensuring a better intellectual capacity of a wider cross-section of
the population and thus better building blocks for a thriving economy. The savings
on the national health system could also be substantial.
Second phase: Income opportunities from home food production
In the Introduction to this manual, we saw that the income earned from home
production of vegetables, could push up the family income of low income
households by 10-30%, sometimes already in the first season of production.
As people’s gardens expand and their diversity of production increases, the income
potential also grows significantly. The following aspects can enhance the overall
income and the stability of income streams from homestead farming:
Expansion and further intensification of production, for instance, by planting a
specific bed three or more times per year;
More fruit production,through planting a variety of fruit trees with different
harvesting dates;
Diversification of production by including a variety of livestock, poultry and fish,
and using waste from each component of the homestead farming system to
feed into other components (for instance, chicken manure to fertilise vegetable
beds and feed fish, and vegetable scraps to feed chickens); and
Processing, preserving and value adding of food, so that it keeps longer and can
be used and/or sold throughout the year.
This Chapter looks in more detail at income opportunities from homestead farming.
Key questions on income opportunities from homestead farming
1.What gets people into selling products from their homestead farming activities,
and conversely, what keeps them from starting to sell?
2.How can one compensate for the inherent scarcity of cash?
3.What motivates people to keep on selling, and what are the typical events,
processes and disincentives that result in abandonment of income activities?
Can these be avoided or counteracted?
4.What is the role of the local interest/learning groups in income generation
opportunities? What are the pitfalls?
5.Is it achievable to save and even earn significant money from homestead
farming in South Africa? And are there opportunities for value-adding which are
achievable for resource-poor households?
6.Can one easily recognise and avoid seemingly attractive possibilities, but which
carry too much risk for already food insecure households?
Chapter 7: Income opportunities from homestead food gardening
7-3
7.2 Starting to sell and avoiding pitfalls
Mobilising action: motivating people to start
Many people have never sold anything to other people, and are shy or uncertain
how to go about it. Like riding a bicycle, once you have taken the plunge, it
becomes much easier the second time! From then on, one can try new things and
get better and better at it.
A Limpopo development worker told the story of the woman who asked him:“But
how can I sell my vegetables?” He responded: “Take this wheelbarrow of yours, fill it
with those vegetables, and go and stand over there next to the road. Then wait for
someone to come and buy.” This sounds incredibly simple, but to that woman, it was
all the advice (and encouragement) she needed. It worked. He didn’t tell her
anything she didn’t know already, but it got her across the hurdle of uncertainty and
resistance, and she was able to do much more later on.
The facilitator should also realise that some individuals will never grow to like selling,
while others love it.
Three basic principles to get started
Principle 1: Start with where we are and what we have
We have some land, some water, some expertise in growing vegetables and food,
knowledge of what we like to eat and when, knowledge of how much we are
prepared to pay for food, and knowledge of how we like to be sold food. This is all
we need as a start to get going with marketing.
Sizakele Mduba sells mustard spinach to a neighbour and friend
in Potshini, KZN, April 2007. Photo: E Kruger.
Start by selling your
produce locally. It is
always the easiest and
cheapest. Your costs
are low, so your profits
can be high.
Agricultural Water Use for Homestead Gardening Systems – Resource Material
7-4
This is the concept of
SUPPLY and DEMAND. If
there is too much supply,
the demand is low and
prices are low. If the
demand is high and the
supply is low, prices are
high.
Principle 2: Know your product; know your price (supply and demand)
We can always start by growing the crops that we
know people will always want and need. In the
case of vegetables these are likely to be cabbage,
tomatoes and onions.
But we should try not to grow and sell EXACTLY the
SAME things as everyone else is growing and selling,
because there may be oversupply and we may
battle to sell ours.
If, for example, you can sell cabbages in your
village and the cabbages in town are scarce and
expensive, you can ask a much higher price than
when there is a plentiful supply of cheap cabbages
in town.
The prices of vegetables change all the time and you need to keep yourself
informed of the current prices, so that you know how much you can charge.
You may have beautiful
cabbages for sale, but you
cannot charge more than the
going rate for them. This may
feel unfair, but is how it works.
Don’t we all try to buy the best
we can get at the lowest
possible price!
People end up preferring
to go to town to buy
cabbages, because local
growers ask a very high
price. It ends up being
cheaper for them to travel
and buy, than to buy
locall
y
.
You may need to sell your
cabbages at a slightly
lower price to ensure that
you can sell them!!!
Chapter 7: Income opportunities from homestead food gardening
7-5
If you sell something
different that people
want, this is a niche or
speciality.
Principle 3: Diversify (Niche marketing)
If people know that you sell something that others in
the area do not, they will come to you for that
product.
It can be many different things. Here it is important
rather to make up your own ideas. If you copy the
ideas of others nearby, it will no longer be a niche...
Following these three basic principles will provide a good start to marketing your
produce. Many homestead gardeners found that they make a good income by just
starting something. This is already a good incentive to continue.
You may for example be
growing a type of spinach
that people in the area
enjoy, but not many
others are growing. You
could have got the seed
from a family member
livin
g
elsewhere.
People will learn that they
can buy this “special”
spinach from you. If you
can now work in a way
that you can have this
spinach available for a
longer period of the year,
you will have a good
niche product.
Agricultural Water Use for Homestead Gardening Systems – Resource Material
7-6
Case study 1:
Start by selling locally
Bongiwe Hlongwane is a young single mother living in Potshini and responsible for
managing the home. Her father also lives there and has some cattle. He grows maize
and beans, but has no further income. She receives two child grants. They need to
augment their incomes and livelihoods. Through their involvement in the gardening
learning groups in Potshini, they started a homestead vegetable garden and now
have a large underground water storage tank.
Initially Bongiwe grew a beautiful garden for household supply of extra food (2006-
2007). However, their situation became more desperate with the impact of the world
fuel and food crises beginning to show in dramatically higher food prices from town
and increased taxi fares. Bongiwe went to Gauteng to look for work. She, however
found nothing and came back home, to garden with serious intent.
In her first season of growing after her return she sold spinach and cabbage: and
earned R150.00 from spinach and R350.00from selling cabbage. She quickly found
that it was better for her to take the taxi to town and sell her produce there. People
were more willing in town to pay the price she was after.
As Bongiwe’s income from grants is around R230/month, the amount she earns from
selling her vegetables is very significant for her. She can make twice as much in a
month selling vegetables than she earns from her grants.
Bongiwe learnt that there is a higher demand for vegetables now, both locally and
in town, and that she can sell her vegetables in both places. Issues for her are:
-Transportation as people in the taxis complain when she takes her vegetables; and
-Availability of enough water to expand her garden from its present size of 5 m x
20 m.
Bongiwe’s garden in January 2009, when she was
selling spinach and cabbages. It was well tended
and almost fully planted.
Chapter 7: Income opportunities from homestead food gardening
7-7
Bongiwe’s garden in April 2009.
It was quite overgrown and clearly not well kept.
Bongiwe still needs to cultivate the ability to keep up her efforts, so that she can keep
the continuity of income from her vegetable garden going. At the moment she is still
going through cycles of having and selling, and then not having anything – this can
be de-motivating.
Ongoing commitment to income activities:
Incentives and disincentives
Three basic principles for marketing
Principle 1: Continuity
Once a gardener is able to sell vegetables the next step is to start planning to ensure
that they have vegetables to sell at all times. They have to make sure that they plant
more regularly and plant different varieties for different seasons. Basically, gardening
becomes more of a focus for them and they spend more time on it. They may also
need to expand their garden, to make sure they have enough to sell and enough
variety to sell.
Agricultural Water Use for Homestead Gardening Systems – Resource Material
7-8
Case study 2:
Continuity in selling locally
Mr Zondo
Mr Vimba Zondo from Potshini has been selling vegetables for a few years now. He
has a reasonably sized garden of 20 m x 20 m and grows and sells a range of crops
throughout the year. He sells to the local community only. He made R920 between
January-March 2009 selling tomatoes, carrots, chillies, beetroot and cabbages.
Other income in the family consists of his pension of R1 010/month.
He feels that he has no challenges selling his vegetables, as there is a high local
demand. Areas of improvement for him are farm management and bookkeeping.
Mrs Gumbi
Mrs Gumbi from Phuthaditjaba has a garden of 6 plots in her yard and another 3
plots at the crèche across the road = 1,864 m2.
She grows a variety of crops:
Potato, green beans, carrot, cabbage, tomato, onion and pumpkin in summer;
and
Carrot, beetroot, cabbage, mustard spinach, turnip, spinach, peas, onions and
rape (mustard green) in winter.
She sells mostly to neighbours who come and buy when they need, especially on
Fridays for funerals on Saturdays.
She also says: “We sell our surplus to Pick ‘n Pay. Pick ‘n Pay doesn’t pay as much
[R5/kg]*, but they will buy our beetroot as long as the beetroot aren’t too big (they
like them small). Pick ‘n Pay has also bought our spinach [R5/kg]. They also bought
1000kg of potatoes from us. We only sold to Pick ‘n Pay once [Feb 2009] when the
Department of Agriculture transported our crop for us. If we want to sell to Pick ‘n
Pay again, we take a sample to them and then they place an order. We then would
have to deliver to them in town”.
*
NOTE: Pick ‘n Pay pays R5/kg for beetroot, which is approx R0.20 per beetroot, versus R1.40
per beetroot made selling to neighbours. This is a difference of R1.20 per beetroot (or a
R30/kg difference).
Mrs Gumbi and the local facilitator
for her village stand in her
vegetable plots at the crèche.
Photo: J. Wright April 2009.
Chapter 7: Income opportunities from homestead food gardening
7-9
Mrs Gumbi also sells to the local Department of Agriculture Extension Officer who
takes bundles to fill orders from staff at the main office once a month when she’s not
too busy.
Further, Mrs Gumbi sells to hawkers who sell at the clinic. They take about R145 worth
of spinach every month.
Selling vegetables is a main source of income for Mrs Gumbi and her husband. They
save R200/month in a bank account. She also receives a pension (~R1,000/month).
Mrs Gumbi in
her extensive
home garden.
Photo: J
Wright, April
2009.
Issues are:
Not enough water;
Inadequate fencing;
Shortage of garden tools; and
Too little land.
To improve she would like a bigger garden, as there is a high local demand. She also
feels that there is not a lot of local competition, because she communicates with
other people who are selling so that everyone can grow different things. She sends
people to other growers if she cannot supply.
Agricultural Water Use for Homestead Gardening Systems – Resource Material
7-10
Principle 2: Think different. Think ideas, not problems
Here, different ideas start to present themselves in the process of marketing. You
might start to wonder for example whether:
You may also have a problem that is in fact an opportunity:
I can grow my crops out of season
to get a good price, what about
processing (drying, pickling,
jams….), what about home
delivery, what about combining a
few different vegetables in a box,
or cuttin
g
m
y
p
rice to com
p
ete...
“I can’t grow tomatoes – they get too many
diseases, the chemicals are too expensive...
Are there other tomatoes which I can grow?
Are there better times or ways to grow
tomatoes? Is there another crop that sells for
a good price? What about a different client
who eats something besides tomatoes?
Chapter 7: Income opportunities from homestead food gardening
7-11
Case study 3:
Think ideas, not problems
Mr Thetela Mohale from Qwa-Qwa grows vegetables as a full time concern and it is
his family’s primary source of income.
Their garden is 3000 m2 and fully planted. They grow carrot, beetroot, cabbage,
lettuce, green beans, maize, pumpkin and tomatoes in summer and spinach,
chicken wing, lettuce, mustard spinach and rape in winter.
Mr Mohale with his wife and daughter in
their vegetable plot.
Mr Mohale surveys damage to his spinach
after the heavy rains in March 2009.
Photos: J Wright.
Their income in the last few months was as follows:
For February: R1400 (Tomatoes: R35/crate x 40 crates)
For April: R2400 (Spinach: R6/bunch [1 bunch = 20-25 leaves] x 400 bunches)
Rain destroyed crops in March.
They also earn three child grants (R720/month).
Mr Mohale employs two labourers (R400/month each) to assist in his garden.
Mr Mohale says: “I park my bakkie in town every Friday. Everyone knows my bakkie
so they come and buy from me. I don’t have to pay any sort of fee or get any sort of
permission to sell there.”
He also mentioned that he owns a bakkie which he bought after winning an
agricultural competition several years ago. He did have a verbal contract with
Pick ‘n Pay, but he quit after a month because it wasn’t enough money. He had
to deliver his spinach to town for only R2.50/bunch (20 leaves).
There is a high demand for vegetables and the family could earn more if they
produce more. Labour is however a limiting factor. He feels that having a tractor
would enable him to expand his production to five more fields that he has access to.
Agricultural Water Use for Homestead Gardening Systems – Resource Material
7-12
The market is not out there,
it is in here!!
Experiment!
Try as many different things
in as many different ways as
you can think of.
And preferably don’t copy
your neighbour.
Principle 3: The seven Cs
Careful:
Think before I start – not just I want to grow vegetables; but……
Clear:
Which vegetables, for whom;
Calculate:
How much of it, to sell at which price and how much will it cost.
Courageous:
Do it!!! Mostly we fail our ideas; our ideas do not fail us!!!
Compete:
So, someone else is doing the same thing – will I give up, do them in, or come up with
a way that my product is more appealing to a buyer?
Co-operate:
And if all else fails, why not try to work together...
Control:
Do not trust anyone that says: “sure I will sell your produce for you...” Ask them
questions: “for how much?”, “to whom?” Insist on a written agreement. Control over
the sale environment is very important.
Chapter 7: Income opportunities from homestead food gardening
7-13
7.3 Potential financial benefits from
homestead agriculture
How much can typical families earn from production at home? Situations differ
greatly, as we have already seen from some of the case studies above.
The following tables provide some results from different areas over the past couple of
years, to give you a sense of what people have achieved.
Table 1: Summary of incomes produced through vegetable production, 2009
NAME and
area
Size of
plot Crops grown Marketing
Average
monthly
income
Phuthaditjaba, Free State
Mrs and Mr
Gumbi
~1,800 m²Variety: carrots, beetroot,
spinach, mustard, rape,
onions, cabbage, tomatoes,
potatoes, green beans,
turnips, peas...
Locals R400.00
Mr and Mrs
Ntai
~1,000 m²Spinach, pumpkin, peas,
lettuce, potatoes, mustard
spinach, rape, turnips, carrots,
beetroot, maize
Vendors
and locals
R1,180.00
Mr Sibeko ~ 500 m²Spinach, rape, mustard, green
and flat beans, pumpkin,
potatoes, onions
Locals
and Pick n
Pay
R418.50
Mr and Mrs
Mohale
3,000 m²Beetroot, cabbage, lettuce,
green beans, maize, pumpkin,
tomato, spinach, rape,
mustard spinach
Sells in
town, with
own
transport
~R2,200.00
Potshini, KZN
Ms P
Mavundla
36 m² Cabbages, tomatoes,
potatoes, beetroot, spinach
Locals R125.00
Mr V Zondo 400 m²Tomatoes, carrots, chillies,
beetroot, cabbage, spinach,
onions, sweet potatoes,
turnips, peas
Locals R400.00
Ms B
Hlongwane
100 m² Cabbage, spinach,onions,
chillies
Locals R150.00
Ms Z Mduba 180 m² Chillies, tomatoes,cabbage,
spinach, potatoes, Kenyan
spinach
Locals R250.00
It is possible to analyse the incomes from food gardening in terms of the contribution
Agricultural Water Use for Homestead Gardening Systems – Resource Material
7-14
to the livelihood of that family. The example below of Cata provides some insight into
the significance of seemingly small incomes to the overall livelihood security of the
participating homesteads. The following figures come from records kept by Water for
Food households in Cata,(Eastern Cape) for eight months from mid-2005.Border
Rural Committee (BRC) summarised the results as follows (De Lange, 2007):
Table 2: Cata Water for Food households: value of production, 2005
TitleFirst nameSurnameSales of
produce
V
alue of
produce
consumed
or donated
Total value of
produce
MsSisiweKibaR 705.00R 363.00R 1,068.00
MsNothembaLanguvaR 2,492.50R 623.50R 3,116.00
M
r
ZolaniLutiR 963.00R 120.00R 1,083.00
M
r
PumzileMbosoR 1,435.00R 775.00R 2,210.00
MsNobuntuNtshutshaR 484.00R 987.00R 1,471.00
M
r
MzwamadodaPamaR 965.50R 302.25R 1,267.75
MsNomziSampempeR 1,091.50R 343.00R 1,434.50
MsBoniswaTontsiR 746.00R 441.00R 1,187.00
M
r
MawethuTontsiR 1,329.00R 217.00R 1,546.00
MsNoluthandoVakataR 885.00R 232.50R 1,117.50
R 11,096.50R 4,404.25R 15,500.75
Cata Water for Food households
Value of production over 8 months from mid-2005
Source: BRC internal report: Summary of records kept by Water for Food households, Cata.
The equivalent value of this household production would be an average of R2325.11
per year, R193.76 per month or R6.46 per day.
Some remarks can be made about these figures:
Firstly, R6.46 per day seems very little, but only until we compare it with the
statement that “…half of SA survives on R20 a day” (Business Day Article).
Secondly, it is sobering to consider that these households would not have had
access even to the portion shown as ‘produce consumed’ without this
intervention, simply because they would not have had cash to purchase
these vegetables instead. It is internationally accepted that mothers’
continuous access to own produce is one of the most direct strategies to
achieve adequate child nutrition.
Thirdly, this produce came from the first seasons of production, with only a
portion of the home food garden established. Mrs Khumbane’s records show
that her production per trench improved year-on-year as the trenches
matured, and she advocates a ‘five-year food security plan’ to households,
meaning that the number of trenches are gradually increased over a five-
year period. If we assume that the Cata households will expand their gardens