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 nutrience 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 Is A Kitchen Garden?
There are two type of kitchen gardens, the first one is grown in your kitchen in a window or small pots on your counter. The second type is the one we are going to be talking about in this post.
A kitchen 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 the need to grow a large amount of food in a relatively small garden plot.
A kitchen garden is 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 pretty at the same time. Typically a kitchen garden is grown for fresh eating instead of preserving.
What Are The Advantages Of Having A Kitchen Garden?
A kitchen garden is a wonderful addition to your yard but what are some advantages to growing one?
- A kitchen garden is astetically pleasing often grown to compliment the arcitecture 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 a kitchen garden is very rewarding, but it’s also incredibly beautiful! Mixing 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 a kitchen garden may be just the thing for you.
What Plants Go In A Kitchen Garden?
So what goes in a kitchen 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 kitchen garden, 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.
- Ornamental pieces can often be found in a kitchen garden and even beautiful arbors and obelisk trellises.
Kitchen Garden VS Vegetable Garden
Even though you can find many of the same things in a vegetable garden as you can in kitchen garden there is a difference. A kitchen garden is ushually more maintained, and created to be assetically 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 every day 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!
Choosing A Site For Your Kitchen Garden
The most important part about planning your kitchen garden is location. You need a spot that has the most light 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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 middle or 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.
Prune and harvest your kitchen garden regularly to keep it looking nice and producing. Water your kitchen garden when nessary especially during times of drought.
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 gapping holes in your garden design.
Tips For Starting A Kitchen Garden
Are you excited about starting your own kitchen garden yet? Here are some tips to get you started:
- Grow things that your family will eat.
- Pair flowers with fruiting vegetables and herbs in patterns.
- Try compaion planting in your kitchen garden.
- Maintain your kitchen garden, it’s much easier to keep up with a garden then it is to attempt to regain control.
- Fertalize when needed, we like to spray every once in a while with compost tea or an organic fertalizer.
Before you go, check these out!