|Farmers benefit from garden project|
|Friday, 20 July 2012 00:00|
Some Guruve farmers have benefited from the low input garden project being sponsored by Environment Africa. The Marimuvhu Nutritional garden project relies on the production of vegetables and fruit trees organically where manure instead of artificial fertiliser is used.
The farmers do not use chemicals for pest control but rely on integrated pests management techniques chief among them crop rotation.
Guruve Agritex officer, Mr Nobert Kanondo, who assists the farmers technically said growing the same crop on the same piece of land every year gave farmers problems as pests and diseases are transferred from one season to another.
Crop rotation, Mr Kanondo said ensured the break in the life cycle of pests and diseases.
“Crops can be classified into three according to their nutritional requirements. There are heavy, medium and light feeders. A farmer should not repeat heavy feeders consecutively as this affects soil fertility,” he said.
Mr Kanondo said crop rotation also improved the soil structure and soil erosion.
For instance grain crops are heavy feeders; the crop grows well in neutral to acid soil and requires plenty of nutrients and moisture.
By adding plenty of manure or composts it will help feed the plant and retain moisture for the plant use. On the other hand, brassicas (such as cabbage and kale) prefer to be grown in more alkaline soils.
It is obvious that the two will not grow under the same conditions therefore one of them will suffer and give poor results.
By rotating the vegetables, the soil can be manipulated into conditions that suit both needs.