A kitchen garden is a wonderful addition to your yard that is both beautiful and practical. Crafting one of these gardens is a wonderful way to keep your kitchen in fresh nutrient-dense veggies.
Growing a kitchen garden is a wonderful hobby, even if you are new to the world of gardening. This is a great way to get your feet wet and start growing your own food.
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What Are Different Types Of Kitchen Garden?
What is the difference between a kitchen garden and a vegetable Garden?
There are two types of kitchen gardens, the first one is grown in your kitchen in a window or small pots on your counter.
Aero Garden Harvest has this great small countertop garden that is perfect for growing your herbs for cooking indoors. It has a built in a bright LED light to make sure that the plants always have the perfect amount of light for best results. These kits are good for beginners that are new to the planting and growing of gardening world and want to start small or you just want to garden over winter. For this device you order your seeds from the company in pods and then load the machine. The light will be turned on 14 hours of the day to make sure the plants have enough light. The unit lets you know when you need to add water or fertilizer.
SereneLife also sells a countertop hydroponic garden. It too has a built-in light to keep your garden happy. It has an automatic timer to turn the light for the unit off and on. Because it is hydroponic, no soil is needed and you can grow up to 6 plants at a time.
Home Grown has these little window sill kitchen garden kits if you have a sunny kitchen window to grow your herbs. The kit comes with instructions on how to plant the seeds and take care of your herbs. What it may not tell you is that some of these herbs naturally grow quite large and you at some point may want to transplant them outside to let the plants to get to their full size and give you more than you could if you kept them just in these pots. The pots are a neutral color so they won’t stick out in any decor. It comes with plant stake labels and there is enough seeds for more than one planting if you have a hard time with the first one.
Traditional Kitchen Garden
Now for the more traditional type of kitchen garden..
The history of this garden is a concept that has been around for a very long time, in France, they have been known as a Potager garden. American colonists brought the concept of the kitchen garden with them and for many years the kitchen garden was a part of homes. During WW2 these beautiful kitchen gardens were replaced by victory gardens when they need to grow a large amount of food in a relatively small garden plot.
A kitchen garden is normally a designed space, with symmetrical beds organized and planted in an aesthetically pleasing way. Translation a kitchen garden is meant to be both practical and beautiful at the same time. Typically a it is grown for fresh eating instead of preserving.
What Are The Advantages Of Having A Kitchen Garden?
It is a wonderful addition to your yard but what are some advantages to growing one?
- It is aesthetically pleasing often grown to complement the architecture of your home.
- They aren’t just beautiful but they are productive, growing edibles and flowers together.
- Food grown close to your kitchen means it’s always just out the door.
- Landscaping with a purpose means that you aren’t just wasting space.
Why Should You Grow A Kitchen Garden?
Growing this type of garden is very rewarding, but it’s also incredibly beautiful! Mix beautiful designs, and varieties of plants to create a finished look.
But why should you grow a kitchen garden? Is it even right for you? That’s going to depend on your specific needs. There is nothing wrong with going with a victory garden style, but if you would love to have a beautiful garden to be the focal point of your yard then this may be just the thing for you.
What Are Some Kitchen Garden Plants?
So what goes in this type of garden anyway? I’m so glad you asked! You have two options when it comes to growing a kitchen garden; the first is to grow a lot of a few things or to grow a few of a lot of things. Pick what works for you and your unique garden. Now let’s dive into what exactly you can grow in these beautiful gardens.
- Herbs are a great option for your it are plants such as basil, thyme, rosemary, cilantro, yarrow, oregano, and parsley. Grab a copy of Herb Garden Handbook to get you started with herbs and what to do with them.
- Veggies like cherry tomatoes, bright-colored peppers, eggplant, and even cucumbers, snap peas, and beans make great additions to kitchen gardens. Pick up a copy of our garden journal to get your garden organized.
- Flowers are another great addition to your kitchen garden. I like to mix edible flowers, and nonedible flowers in mine to finish the look. Flowers like marigolds, zinnias, roses, bachelor’s buttons, sunflowers, dahlias, and cosmos all find their way into my kitchen garden.
- Different types of lettuces would be a lovely addition to your garden. Start lettuce seeds often and in a variety so that you will have a constant salad garden all season long.
- Ornamental pieces can often be found in a kitchen garden and even beautiful arbors and obelisk trellises.
- A tea garden is another great thing to have in your kitchen garden
Kitchen Garden VS Vegetable Garden
Even though you can find many of the same things in a vegetable garden as you can in this garden there is a difference. A this garden is usually more maintained and created to be aesthetically pleasing.
A kitchen garden is not something that is just thrown together, it requires thought and strategic planning to create something that looks like it’s always been a part of your home. A kitchen garden is meant to be the focal point of your yard, not tucked away in some unseen part of your yard. This garden is meant to stand out and be a place you enjoy, tied to your everyday life as close as possible.
How To Start A Kitchen Garden
Are you convinced that you need a kitchen garden yet? Great, let’s get started on crafting your very own kitchen garden!
Where Should Your Kitchen Garden Be?
The most important part of planning your kitchen garden is location. You need a spot that has the most sunlight as possible, and preferably as close to your home as possible. The exact location of your new kitchen garden may vary depending on what is already in your yard.
Designs For A Kitchen Garden
Once you decide on a location it’s time to think about a design for your new kitchen garden. There are a lot of options to choose from, but two of my favorite options are no-dig garden beds edged with rocks or bricks or raised beds arranged in symmetrical rows with pathways in between.
You don’t have to use raised beds or no-dig beds for your kitchen garden Any space divided up into symmetrical beds with pathways and attractive plantings of herbs, flowers, and veggies.
What You Need To Start A Kitchen Garden
To start a kitchen garden, you are going to need some tools. Some of these will vary by which garden design you go with.
- A hand trowel will come in handy for planting your plant starts in your kitchen garden. You will need something sturdy.
- A trellis or garden obelisk is a great way to support taller plants and herbs.
- A garden fence will help protect your kitchen garden from pets or children that you would rather not have in the garden.
- A garden gate is a beautiful way to show off the entry to your kitchen garden.
- A wheelbarrow can be really handy when it comes to putting in a garden.
- Garden gloves are another great thing to have around when you are putting in a kitchen garden.
- A rake is another wonderful tool to have around when starting a kitchen garden. A bamboo rake is good for raking up leaves and the metal tined heavy rake is great for smoothing the soil in the garden and working in amendments into the soil.
- A really good Hose & hose-end sprayer is another great thing to have available when planting a kitchen garden.
- Compost or well-rotted manure is another great thing to have on hand to prepare your garden soil for planting.
- Gardening bench for kneeling or a rolling garden cart for sitting is also really helpful in your garden for doing things like weeding and picking.
- A kneeling pad for gardening is always good to protect your knees while you work.
- A garden apron is perfect to keep your clothes clean while you dig in the dirt.
- Seed starting pots are a great way to get a jump on your planting by starting your seeds indoors.
- Seed starting lights Seed starting lights are a great way to make sure that your plants have the light they need to really thrive. Just place them under the lights, water and watch them grow. Then transplant outside when they are ready.
- Seed starting heating pad A seed starting heating pad is a great way to get your seeds for the garden to germinate properly. Slip this under your pots and you will see a huge difference. Unlike a regular heating pad these will not overheat your seeds. Keep an eye that they don’t dry out though.
- A Sun hat is a great way to protect your head and face from the sun.
- A good strong pair of garden shoes are a must-have. They will protect your feet, prevent slipping and save your regular shoes.
- Soil pH meter is a good way to see the status of your soil so you know what your soil will need to grow a good kitchen garden.
- Soil Test Kit will
- You will need a good set of garden scissors for harvesting herbs, cutting back your plants, picking flowers, etc.
- Gardening kits can be purchased with a lot of the tools all in one. Many come in a bag so that you can keep your tools in it organized and keep your seeds and other things in to transport to your kitchen garden.
- Add a beautiful garden bench to your garden.
- Don’t forget to bring a harvesting basket with you to harvest your first goodies.
Preparing The Soil For Your Kitchen Garden
Before planting your kitchen garden you are going to need to prepare your soil. If you are doing raised beds you will need to fill them with garden soil (check out our raised bed garden soil recipe). If you choose to go with a no-dig method you will need to smother any weeds and add compost at least three weeks before planting.
If you want to go with another method of garden bed you will need to prep your garden soil ahead of time and do a soil test. You can read more about preparing your soil for planting in this article.
Growing A Kitchen Garden
A kitchen garden needs to be regularly maintained to keep it looking beautiful. Remove any weeds, dead plants, or debris from your garden.
Plant your tallest plants in the back of your bed depending on how you lay them out. Follow that with the slightly shorter plants, continue planting smaller and smaller plants out from that keeping them fairly close together. If you want the bed to view on all four sides you can have your tallest plants in the center and work you way out to the edges with shorter plants there.
Prune and harvest your garden regularly to keep it looking nice and producing. Water when necessary especially during times of drought. Never cut more than 1/3 of your plant at a time. This will prevent shock. Remove any spent flowers on your flowers so that your plants will keep looking pretty. Keep your herbs like basil trimmed well so that it won’t go to seed (it has gone to seed when the herbs start to flower).
Succession planting is a must when it comes to growing a kitchen garden. Because your garden space is limited you need to keep replanting as you harvest so that it doesn’t leave you with big gaping holes in your garden design. So start seeds frequently as your seasons change so that you will always have a beautiful garden space.
Tips For Starting A Kitchen Garden
Are you excited about starting your own garden yet? Here are some tips to get you started:
- Grow things that your family will eat. If you grow fennel and your family hates it, it is a waste of space. Grow what you love or what a friend loves so you can gift it to them.
- Pair flowers with fruiting vegetables and herbs in patterns.
- Try companion planting in your kitchen garden.
- Maintain your garden, it’s much easier to keep up with a garden than it is to attempt to regain control.
- Fertilize when needed, we like to spray every once in a while with compost tea or an organic fertilizer.
Before you go, check these out!
- How To Plan A Garden
- Where To Buy Seeds For Your Garden
- How To Starting Seeds For Your Garden
- How To Harden Off Seedlings
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