How to Construct Multi-Storey Gardens, Increase Your Production and Support Food Security in Kenya

Multistorey gardening is a farming technology that aims at producing more vegetables and fruits, so as to meet the rising food need in Kenya, while utilizing spaces such as home backyards.  The most suitable plants to grow in this system are kales, spinach, capsicum, eggplants, coriander and amaranths, strawberries just to mention a few. The use of multi-storey gardening is a step up from the sack gardening that was previously used by a majority of Kenyans.

multistorey farming system Kenya
Multistorey gardens by Richfarm Kenya


One multi-storey garden has six layers, although some can go up to eight layers. Each terrace layer is filled with soil that is mixed with the less acidic goat manure with a 1:1 ratio. The top ring of the storey garden contains the top soil. The materials used in constructing the structure have a lifespan of up to 10 years, since they are ultra-heated prior to installation.

In a case where a farmer planted some vegetables that ended up failing, they should just uproot the plants and plant a fresh batch, without having to deconstruct the whole set-up. Inter-cropping a variety of vegetables is advised, as a way of pest control. Coriander and onions are a good pest repellents.

Each structure, occupies a one metre squared space. It then accommodates up-to 120 plants, depending on the type of fruit or vegetable planted. This proves to be more economical, when compared to the 10 plants that would be planted on the same space in the conventional way. The question is, will you grow only one type of vegetable per garden, or will you mix it up?

In addition to maximizing the available space, layering helps in minimizing evaporation, thus conserving irrigation water. The farmer will then need to water the crops for at most three days a week. Depending on the weather, one such structure will need a maximum of 20 litres of the irrigation water. Richfarm Kenya, a company that installs multi-storey gardens for people in Kenya, has an automated irrigation system for this gardening technology. This irrigation system does the irrigation for you at the specific time you set it to.

The best part of this set up is that the structures are not labour intensive, since there is no major weed control required. The structures can either be set up in the rural area, or in the urban setting, at the comfort of your balcony.

How to construct your own multi-storey garden

  1. Identify your site. In the case of an urban set up, your own backyard or balcony will be ideal for the structure.
  2. Collect the soil needed. Since the soil needed must be well-drained and free from pests and diseases, one does not need to necessarily use the soil that is readily available at the site you have identified. You can get the soil needed from a different place, then import it to your site. Note that getting you soil from a busy farm increases the risk of contamination.
  3. Collect manure. As discussed earlier, the best manure to use is goat manure, since it is less acidic. It should be well decomposed.
  4. Call Richfarm Kenya on 0724698357 to come and construct the multi-storey gardens and the automated irrigation system for you. They will bring all the materials and labour needed to complete your project and leave it running.

Depending on the crops that you want to grow, a farmer can plant the seeds directly or plant the seedlings from a nursery. In the case of strawberries, runners can be used as planting materials. You can still get strawberry runners of different varieties from Richfarm Kenya. If you fail to have the necessary knowledge on what and how to plant, make sure you contact an expert, so as to reduce the risks involved.

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