A kitchen garden gives you the pleasure of working in the garden as well as the pleasure of using what’s grown. It’s an easy way to make sure vegetables are organic and pesticide-free. Moreover, you can save money, cut down on food miles and add to the beauty of your garden.
Strawberries, lettuce, pumpkin, herbs and tomatoes – fill your kitchen garden with what you are most likely to use in your cooking. You might consider berries and fine vegetables, which are more expensive in retailer stores, for example peas, green asparagus, string beans as well as raspberries, blackberries or currants. Visit your local retailer to get inspiration and to see which plants and herbs are suitable for your climate. Contemporary popular herbs are all varieties of basil, besides all kinds of mints and sages; also chilli is enjoying great popularity. Asia herbs are seemingly coming in: Wasabi, Vietnamese coriander (persicaria), lemon grass and garlic.
For the cutting, digging, cleaning and ventilation of an upcoming garden, secateurs, hatchet, rake and spade are the four most outstanding garden tools. For detail work or work in smaller beds and flowerpots, hand trowels are useful. Make sure to choose quality tools, which sit well in your hand and – not least important – tools that look good!
Create a kitchen garden – quick guide:
1) Choose a light spot – vegetables should not be planted in heavy shade. Ideally your kitchen garden has immediate access from the kitchen, so you can harvest what you need as you are cooking. If you don’t have access to a garden, a small green house or pots and boxes on your terrace or balcony will work just as well.
2) Start small – choose a few vegetables or plants that you are likely to use in your kitchen.
3) Divide the garden into planting zones or sections. A simple design of crossed paths creating four planting sections and surrounding walkways is effective.
4) Introduce mulch and plant. Wet the soil and wait for a day or more before introducing the seedlings or plants into the garden.
5) Water the sections. Avoid planting vegetables that require frequent watering by those that prefer dry soil.
6) Harvest! The beauty of a kitchen garden is that once it begins to produce, it is not uncommon for some vegetable to be ready whenever you walk out the door.