Beginner Guide to Starting a Kitchen Garden

Beginner Guide to Starting a Kitchen Garden

A kitchen garden is a small designated area used to grow edible plants like vegetables, fruits, and herbs. This space should ideally be close to the kitchen and easily accessible by the cook.

Gardening at home will save you some money as you will not have to buy your favorite vegetables from the grocery store. In addition, growing your own food guarantees quality in flavor and texture compared to store-bought products.

However, although most people would love to own a kitchen garden, many lack the know-how. Well, do not worry as there are some practical steps you can follow to bring your garden to life.

 

1.    Take note of the available space

Space is the first thing to consider when you plan on starting a kitchen garden. As opposed to what most people may think, you don’t need to have acres of land to grow your fruits, veggies, and herbs. On the contrary, you just need to be a little creative with the available space.

For instance, if you live in an apartment you can use planters and containers suitable for your balcony, corridor or windows.  As long as there is adequate sunlight, plants will survive regardless of space size. You can also consider vertical farming for maximum food production.

For bigger spaces like backyards, you can use raised beds to grow your food. Unlike planting directly on the ground, raised beds, planters and containers make it enjoyable and easy to tend to your plants.

However, if your soil is rich in nutrients you can plant your crops directly to the ground. Just be prepared for more tedious work in the garden’s maintenance and upkeep.

 

2.    Identify the crops to grow

Choosing crops that are easy to grow and suitable for your space is a good start in kitchen farming. On the same note, crops that are not ideal for the climatic conditions of your area will demoralize you as they are unlikely to perform well.

You can start with your favorite fresh fruits, veggies and herbs that adhere to the weather conditions.

It is important to choose crops that will give you a good return on your investment. Crops that produce continually while taking up small spaces are ideal for starting a kitchen garden in apartment settings.

Examples;

.Kale

.Spinach

.Lettuce

.Peppers

.Tomatoes

On the other hand, if you have a bigger space you may grow any crop of your choice. Some of these may take up a lot of space for little produce with extended growing seasons.

Examples;

.Cauliflower

.Broccoli

.Cabbage

.Zucchini

 

Herbs are also a great choice to include in your garden as they may also assist in pest control.

Examples;

.Thyme

.Rosemary

.Cilantro

.Oregano

.Basil

 

3.    Choose your planting medium correctly

Apart from soil which is the most common planting medium, crops can also be grown in water through pipes. However, if you are using planters, containers or raised beds, you need to have quality soil to start your kitchen garden.

Choosing soil that has the correct nutrient components for respective plants is mandatory. In the case where you don’t have enough space for a compost pit, ensure to get your readymade soil from a trusted and certified source.

 

4.    Acquire quality seedlings/seeds

Purchasing quality seeds or seedlings is a crucial step in starting a garden. Although some people may opt to buy seeds and grow their seed bed, it is safer to buy ready seedlings for beginner gardeners.

Growing seedlings may not make practical sense for some gardeners even though it is quite cheap compared to buying ready seedlings.

Bad-quality seeds may also affect your crop growth and production.

 

5.    Manage/maintain your garden

After planting ensure your crops are sufficiently watered while avoiding overwatering. Look out for the plant behavior as that will guide you to the next cause of action. For instance, drooping or color changes on the leaves may indicate the insufficiency of certain nutrients.

Pests and crop diseases can wipe out your entire garden. Be sure to look out for those and apply the appropriate pest, insects and disease control. For things like rodents, you can set traps to carb crop destruction.

Weeding is necessary to prevent crop exhaustion from competing with weeds for nutrients, sunlight and water. A hoe is ideal for dealing with these.

Pruning and harvesting regularly will ensure continued health, growth and productivity for your kitchen garden so don’t slack on it.

 

You can start today

Gardening doesn’t have to be complicated unless you make it. All you need is a bit of space, crops of your choice, seeds/seedlings, soil, water and a will to maintain your kitchen garden.

In turn, you will get so much fulfilment as you consume your favorite healthy and fresh food from your garden.

You can start small and expand with time.


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