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Kitchen Garden

Grow your own food in a small space.

Done in 120 mins
Skill level medium

This planting system gives you a very good and robust way to effectively grow your own food, even if you don’t have much space. Grow lettuce, peppers, kale, spinach, tomatoes and much more.

Ready made planting system with plants
Ready made planting system with plants

Published under CC:BY-SA by

AAVF - African Association for Vertical Farming

Author · Peter Nyateng

What you need

How you make it

Choose a a good spot for your kitchen garden

Choose the right location with plenty of sun, ample space and close proximity to your water source.

Assemble all the materials and equipment on site.

Cut off the top of the barrel

Use your saw to cut off the top of the barrel.

Mark the outlines for your pouches on the sides

Start by marking a line four inches from the bottom with your marker or grease pencil. Make that mark four inches wide. Next, make another mark eight inches from the bottom, but offset it from the end of the initial mark. In total, you have to mark 50 lines.

Heat the marked lines and make holes.

Heat the marked lines with your heat gun. Push a 300 ml plastic bottle from the outside on the hot plastic. Shape the planting hole that it looks like a pouch.

Barrel with marked lines and already two holes in the sides
Barrel with marked lines and already two holes in the sides

Repeat the same procedure until all 50 holes are done.

Barrel perforated with planting holes
Barrel perforated with planting holes

Make holes in the bottom of the barrel.

Use the hot metal rod to make 10-15 holes in the bottom. Those holes allow the drainage of water.

Cut the pvc pipe that it fits the hight of the barrel.

Use your saw to cut the pvc pipe.

Make holes in the PVC pipe.

The holes are for good water drainage. Make as many holes as possible in the pipe so that the water can spread evenly in the barrel. Use your hot metal rod to make holes in the PVC pipe.

Pipe with holes
Pipe with holes

Suspend the pipe in the middle of the barrel using binding wire.

Lift up your barrel

Use bricks or install legs.

Fill the barrel with gravel and soil.

Add the gravel and rich garden soil gradually. Put the gravel around the pipe in the middle. Place the garden soil between the gravel and the wall of the barrel. Repeat the process until you reach the brim.

Barrel halfway filled with soil and gravel
Barrel halfway filled with soil and gravel

Put dry and green leaves in the PVC pipe

This helps to control water distribution and fertilises the garden as it decomposes.

Use a bucket to moist the soil.

Do not flood.

Optional: Add some worms to enrich your soil.

Plant your favorite vegetables.

Vegetables that work well with this kitchen garden are lettuces, swiss chard, spinach, collard greens, carrots, peppers, kales, tomatoes and egg plants.

Plant onions or herbs inbetween. Now it’s time to grow.

How you use it

Water on a daily basis.

Control pests and diseases.

Feed your garden with organic fertilizer

Find recipes on how to make manure tea and active microorganisms.

Eat handsomely

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