Nakuru Agronomists are advising tomato and capsicum farmers in semi-arid areas to adopt inorganic mulching methods in a bid to maximize on yields and reduce the cost of production.
Agronomist Kiplangat Kosgey says inorganic mulching suits farmers wishing to reap with a limited budget.
Under inorganic farming, sheets of plastic paper with a black inner and a white outer coating are laid on well prepared four-inch soil ramps and drip pipes before planting of seedlings.
Kosgey says the cost of putting up a conventional green house to grow vegetables is above the reach of many farmers owing to the costly steel needed for construction as compared to the mulching model that he says needs the drip pipe, plastic paper and a bed of appropriate soil to grow crops.
Kiplang’at says the concept is meant to retain optimal heat in the soil and keep weeds from growing adding that a well mulched garden has a potential to yield up to 50 per cent more than an unmulched garden.
He says inorganic mulching efficiently helps a farmer to control large weeds that grow around mulched layers as the farmer can easily pull out the weeds without the need for paid labor or long working hours on the usually tedious weeding exercise.
However, many are still familiar with the traditional organic model that experts now say is unsustainable due to diminishing organic materials.