12. Before sowing, remove all the plants and trees on the plot. Shade and the roots of trees prevent vegetables from growing well.
Roots of trees take out of the soil mineral salts which should feed the vegetables.
Trees also harbor insects which may eat the vegetables.
13. Before sowing, you must also work the soil with the spade or the hoe.
But do not turn over the soil. If you turn over the soil, you put on the top those layers of the soil that contain less humus and are of less good structure.
If you till deeply, you must put manure into the soil so as to improve the poorer layers underneath.
Working the soil well means that you let air and water into the earth, mix in manure (see paragraphs 33 and 34) and destroy weeds.
If the soil is too wet, you must wait a little before tilling.
14. A bed is the name for one of the small plots on which vegetables are grown.
Use a length of cord to trace out the beds and put pegs in the earth at the four corners of each bed. Each bed should be 1 metre wide.
In this way you can sow and look after the plants in the middle of the bed without damaging your vegetables.
Between the beds, leave room for a path. For example, leave 60 centimetres so that you can get through with the wheelbarrow.
Vegetable beds with path
If the plot is large and flat enough, make your beds 10 metres long. Then you will have beds 1 metre wide and 10 metres long; that is, 10 square metres (m2). For each bed of 10 m2, add 30 kilogrammes of manure to the soil (roughly the contents of a wheelbarrow).
If the plot is on a slope, make the beds across the slope.
Beds across the slope
When you have marked out your vegetable beds, remove the stones,
break up the clods of earth with the forked hoe or the rake, so that the surface
is quite flat.
Then firm down the earth, for example with the tamper.
Beds in dry season and in the rainy season
15. Decide where in your garden you will place:
- nursery beds,
- compost pits,
- tool shed.
Put up a fence. This can be made with posts, millet stems, maize stems, palm fronds.
Layout of a kitchen garden