What additional problems may home gardens face?

Landless and marginal families have to face problems and constraints in the cultivation of vegetables other than those of a technical nature. Some common problems are poultry damage, irrigation/drought, and floods.

Poultry Damage

In poor households, chickens are sometimes kept. mainly to earn some additional income. Many home gardens have no fencing, which creates problems for the cultivation of vegetables because the chickens are inclined to destroy the beds where the vegetable seeds have been sowed.

There are two solutions to this problem. First, the garden can be fenced off. Household gardeners cannot afford conventionsl fencing materials, so low-cost live fencing should be used instead. Certain local plants such as red gram (arohor), hedge plants, epil epil, and koroi make good live fences.

Another way to solve the problem is to prevent the chickens from entering the vegetable garden. This can be achieved by motivating the farmers through group discussions to control their chickens, especially before the plants have emerged.


The irrigation of vegetables throughout the year is difficult for many households. There is a limited number of tubewells in rural areas and those which do exist are usually a long way from the home. Ringwells are the main source of water for most of the target groups in home gardening programs. During the hottest and driest time of the year, rain can be scarce or non-existent. This can result in the underground water level going below the capacity of the ring wells. Sometimes even supplementary sources of water for irrigation such as rivers, ponds, and beels dry up. This kind of drought can seriously hamper vegetable production.

Several measures can be taken to combat this problem. As far as irrigation is concerned, efforts should be made to grow crops requiring less irrigation. The most important time for irrigation should also be identified. As for the problem of drought, covering the plant with materials such as water hyacinth and banana leaves can be used to provide moisture to the crops. Drought-resistant crops such as sweet potato and kangkong can also be grown. In addition, measures directed at maintaining soil moisture can be taken including the use of more organic matter in the soil, and mulching with locally available materials such as straw and leaves.


Bangladesh is a flood-prone country. Every year heavy rain causes floods that can seriously damage home gardens. We cannot control floods but we can take steps to minimize the damages they cause. Some simple suggestions are to grow flood-resistant crops such as kangkong, to establish better drainage systems, and to use a system of raised beds in the garden.

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