There is something deeply satisfying about using the freshest ingredients while cooking, straight from your home garden. Homegrown produce is not only tastier and healthier, but it can also save you money. Plus, sustainable food production is becoming more and more important by the day. Growing food at home is getting so popular that vegetable seeds are surpassing flower seeds in sales! And it’s actually not that hard to maintain your own garden. All you need is a helpful guide to growing your own kitchen garden and you’re all set!
A kitchen garden doesn’t require much space. A small balcony or rooftop is good enough to start with, and you’ll need some knowledge about what it takes to keep your plants healthy and sturdy. So let’s dive in with the basics!
Guide to Growing Your Own Kitchen Garden: Where to start?
There is never a wrong time to start your kitchen garden. However, early spring is usually the best bet. You need to allocate and decide on the size of the field you would like to use and can manage. If you don’t have much time for gardening, opt for a smaller space with dwarf varieties mixed in among flower beds, and plant in containers. And this guide to growing your own kitchen garden will show you exactly how to do it.
Where should you place your home garden?
- An open, sunny spot – preferably somewhere that gets the morning sun and six to eight hours of direct sunlight every day
- Since wind protection is essential, you will need to install a permeable barrier, or picket fence, hedge, or windbreak
- In compost enriched soil
Preparing the soil
To get the best homegrown crops from your kitchen garden, you need to make sure your soil is ready for it. It’s best to test the soil’s pH levels in your vegetable garden to help you select crops to suit it. Soil testing kits don’t cost much and are readily available online.
Guide to Growing Your Own Kitchen Garden: What should you grow?
growing food at home means you get to plant just what you like. In short: grow what you want to eat. Make a list of your favorite veggies, including herbs, which are usually on the expensive side in the supermarket. Have different varieties of vegetables that you enjoy, map it to your space and growing conditions, and narrow down your selection. Sustainable food production may take some effort, but it’s totally worth it in the end!
Garden bed variety
Raised beds, filled with loamy soil from the local garden center, are ideal for growing small vegetable plots. They’re a good option if the soil in your garden is not great quality.
You can even buy ready-made raised beds for your vegetable garden or make them yourself.
Wooden planks or old railway sleepers look good and are often used to create vegetable beds.
Every plot is different, so work out the best design for your space and needs. There are no rules when creating a kitchen garden.
- The most rewarding experience is to grow from seed, as this is the best way of cultivating your produce.
- Plan to plant vegetables that are expensive to buy compared to growing them yourself. Herbs, mint, sage, thyme, parsley, and rosemary. These are easy to grow, and you can have them fresh nine months in a year.
- Choose high-yield crops like tomatoes that take up less space because sustainable food production is all about being practical. Tomatoes are high maintenance and need a lot of feeding and watering, but they grow vertically and produce lots of fruit. Moreover, you can plan for different varieties, from tiny yellow cherry tomatoes to large black varieties.
- Homegrown salad leaves are cheaper than the bagged ones from the supermarket. So, growing food at home will help you save a lot of money on take-out!
- Swiss chard grows in high volume and is easy to cultivate, almost all year, and not readily available in most shops.
- Choose vegetables that taste better when fully ripened and fresh from the plot, such as strawberries, green chillies and tomatoes.
- Keep a close eye on how your vegetables are growing. Its all about having fun and watching something beautiful grow.
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