Why is Soil Expensive?

10-09-2019    18:56   |    Goedemorgen

You would think soil in Nairobi is very cheap until you get a quote from a landscaper or a gardener. Soil is one of the items that push up the cost of landscaping, especially if a homeowner wants a big, lush garden.

You would think soil in Nairobi is very cheap until you get a quote from a landscaper or a gardener. Soil is one of the items that push up the cost of landscaping, especially if a homeowner wants a big, lush garden.

On the chaotic Ngong Road in Nairobi, traders have piled soil that they sell to homeowners looking to grow vegetables on their backyards or do landscaping.

Margret Nyambura, one of the roadside soil sellers stocks red loam, which is on high demand.

“I ventured into this business 23 years ago,” Margaret says.

For landscaping or growing vegetables in a city home, she says she mixes the red loam with cow or goat manure to ensure healthy growth.

“For example, we mix three sacks of red soil with one sack of manure. For manure, a seven-tonne lorry costs about Sh24,000 while red soil costs around Sh9,000 per seven-tonne lorry,” she says.

She sources her red soil from construction sites and also buys from forests.

The highest amount of money that Margaret has earned from soil at once is Sh200,000.

“The client was building three houses. He came to buy soil mixed with manure to be used in landscaping,” she notes.

However, Benson Oruko, a landscaper at Garden Consultancy Services says one can get cheaper red loam. Benson gets the soil from Dagoretti, Ngong and Kiambu.

“We mix 18 tonnes of red soil with seven tonnes of manure. This is the recommended measurement,” the landscaper says.

For a quarter an acre of a land, Benson says one can use up to 18 tonnes of red soil which translates to about Sh16,200, minus transport cost.

For an eighth of an acre, most homeowners use three lorries of soil and manure for landscaping.

Besides red loam, some homeowners opt to use black cotton soil. But Benson says cotton soil is less fertile and porous, while red soil is fertile and it does not need a lot of water.

Some trees and flowers do not do well with black cotton soil, therefore one has to replace it or water the plants constantly.

Click here to read the entire article at Business Daily Africa.

Photo Credit: SALATON NJAU | NMG


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