In Summary
  • Natural methods like garden hygiene, crop rotation and scaring away birds should be encouraged especially for pest control.
  • Weeding calls for much more attention since it’s a key determinant factor of the volumes of harvest.
  • Different crops need different soil nutrients to thrive and interchanging them.
  • The best crops to grow in a backyard garden are vegetables because they mature quickly

Backyard gardening is one of the most preferred hobbies by many farm-loving urban folks, since it gives them an opportunity to vent their farming passions.

But these pastime shambas can be managed in a way that they produce enough yields not only to support a family kitchen and cut the costs of visiting the green groceries, but also earn the owner a small income.

The following is a five-step programme to increase yields from your backyard garden according to Carol Mutua, an expert from Egerton University’s department of Crops, Horticulture and Soils.

Weeding and watering

Watering is critical during the dry season where one should ensure their garden is watered twice a day, preferably in the morning and evening. This is determined by the types of crops since vegetables need more watering than maize or tubers like sweet potatoes.

However, weeding calls for much more attention since it’s a key determinant factor of the volumes of harvest.

“It can be done culturally which involves the manipulation of the environment to suppress the growth of weeds and promote growth of plants which involves mulching, cover cropping, early planting and proper spacing,” Mutua explains.

“Other methods include using a slasher or a jembe (hoe) and use of chemicals, which should be the last option in a backyard garden owing to its proximity to the house”.

Proper use of manure

This is the best form of additive in a backyard garden given the fact that the quantities needed are very small, Mutua explains.

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