When hearing the term “kitchen garden” it’s easy to visualize a windowsill full of little flowerpots containing a few herbs. While that may be a kitchen garden of sorts, the term really refers to an outdoor garden plot where you grow items you will use in the kitchen. This can include vegetables, fruits, berries, herbs and flowers.
Kitchen gardens can be as simple or as complex as you want to make them. A lot will depend on what items you choose to grow and how you layout your garden plot.
The first step is to take a serious look at the space you have available for a garden plot. Keep in mind that the larger the garden, the more weeding and maintenance you will have to do.
When choosing a spot for the garden, it is very important to select ground that gets a lot of direct sunlight. Plants need sunlight to thrive.
It is also important that the ground has good drainage because plants that stay too wet tend to rot and yield little or no harvestable goods. Therefore, keep the garden on higher ground and avoid low-lying areas that collect and hold water.
Once you have decided on the place for the garden plot, it is time to think about a design. Gardens can be a simple square or rectangular plot or you can get fancy and design the garden to be a circle, triangle or octagon. If you don’t like those configurations, use your imagination and make it any shape that you want.
What you plant will help to determine the layout of your garden. You can plant in the “traditional” row method, which often requires more maintenance work than square foot gardening where you plant the plants in one-foot squares. An advantage of square foot gardening is that the plants you grow tend to spread out and shade the ground underneath them. The shade is a deterrent to weed growth.
When it is time to buy garden seeds, you can find them everywhere from the grocery store to garden seed companies. Start by planting the fruits, berries, vegetables and herbs that you enjoy eating. There is little reason to plant red beets if the whole family hates them. If you love pesto, plant plenty of basil so you can make your own.
If you decide to add flowers to the garden mix, choose plants that you enjoy looking at. If you’re planning on taking them indoors, make sure they smell good too!
There are a few things to consider when choosing the items you intend to plant. Whether buying seeds or plants, make sure they are hardy to your area or zone. Zone information is listed on almost all seed packs. If you buy plants from your local greenhouse, chances are good that they will be well suited to your area.
Garden plots can simply hold the plants that you choose to grow, but they can also be turned into beautiful spots in your yard. Add some garden or yard ornaments for a nice touch. Place some garden stones throughout the plot. Put a bench nearby and enjoy the sites, colors and smells of your garden, which is really a plot representing the fruits of your hard work.
Want to learn more about kitchen gardening? Check out these links below: