Do you want to grow your own vegetables and fruits and wish to sell them? Well, you can definitely do so by dedicating a small piece of your garden to growing edibles. This is called a Kitchen Garden.
Kitchen Gardens are also known as vegetable gardens but are smaller dedicated spaces that involve growing vegetables either indoors or outdoors.
This article discusses Kitchen Gardens and how to build and maintain them.
Keep reading to know more and eat your homegrown vegetables.
What is a Kitchen Garden?
A kitchen garden is based on kitchen gardening and that is of two types.
These include indoor and outdoor kitchen gardening essentially done by a home gardener to grow vegetables.
Indoor kitchen gardening can help you regrow vegetables from previous food scraps.
You can dedicate some space in your kitchen to that. It is also possible to grow vegetable patches in your kitchen’s windowsill.
However, outdoor kitchen gardening is on a larger scale.
You can grow vegetables and other edibles in your backyard and these vegetables are for your kitchen not in it.
The difference between a kitchen garden and a vegetable garden is that its a smaller dedicated space in your garden that is in line with your garden’s aesthetic and symmetrical beds.
Their purpose is to eat and sell organic and fresh food rather than make it into canned food.
Kitchen gardening increases per unit vegetable production and tries to be free of chemicals and pesticides.
In order to produce the best products and edibles, you need to have a proper kitchen garden design and requirements.
Learn about them below.
Kitchen Garden Design
The most important element of a kitchen garden will be getting adequate sunlight.
Hence you should choose a position south of tall buildings or landscapes so that you will acquire direct sunlight.
The next most important element is a water source.
You should have a proper irrigation system for your plants and you should choose a site that is close to the water source.
Your ideal site should always be within your reach and in line with your home aesthetic.
Ponder over how you can extend the garden that does not affect your home’s aesthetic but actually enhances it.
Therefore, you should have easy access to your kitchen garden so that you can monitor it and maintain it and it should be closely tied to your lifestyle.
Another important element is good soil and the selection of that soil.
However, one way to go about it is to have the garden designed as raised beds.
You will not have to work and amend your native soil and can actually get to planting right away.
You do not need to worry about the material. Anything will go well as long as it goes with your home aesthetic.
Moreover, these raised beads allow more plantation in a small area.
Garden grow well in garden beds.
Though, raised beds are not a necessity. As long as you are growing and harvesting vegetables even from the ground, you have a kitchen garden.
However, they will give you the option to intensively plant and grow more.
Moreover, you also need to make sure that your site allows good air circulation for vegetables.
Therefore proper drainage and aeration are important for your land preparation.
You can also add organic matter to the soil a few months before sowing seeds so that it is well mixed with the soil and acts as a natural fertilizer.
A good natural fertilizer can be animal dung or leaf litter. Land preparation ensures good crop production.
So you should carry out hoeing with manual tools or a plow for a bigger land.
What Should You Grow?
You can basically grow everything in your kitchen garden but you should choose what is best for you to grow.
Since kitchen gardening is not limited to household use, farmers may want to grow vegetables, herbs and fruiting plants that are more profitable.
Kitchen gardening has allowed many farmers to make extra money for the family from their homes and is playing a part in eliminating poverty.
However, if you want to grow solely for yourself to eat organic then you can grow your favorite vegetables and herbs in a herb garden.
Ideally try to grow all herbs, all green veggies and the fruiting plants of your choice.
You can grow herbs such as rosemary, basil and leafy greens like kale, lettuce, moreover, you can have fruiting plants like growing tomatoes, cherry tomatoes and cucumbers.
Moreover, you can try to make maximum use of your available land whenever possible.
You can grow vegetables like spinach are grown on small land which has a long harvest duration.
Choose dwarf varieties of the plants you are growing. Such compact versions are bred to grow smaller.
You can grow tomatoes that go up to 2 feet high rather than 6 feet to make more use of your small space.
Therefore, this will give you enough space to grow compact varieties of other vegetables as well.
Also, try to grow vegetables on ridges or beds to prevent attacks from insects and weeds on flat surfaces.
Try to keep a timely manner of plantation and harvesting.
This will ensure good and quality products according to the vegetable’s suitable growing season and if not harvested immediately it can deteriorate the vegetables.
Also, try to ensure that if vegetables germinate in a container then they are not left dry or super moist all the time.
Both of these can cause diseases and destroy the harvest.
You should also keep vegetables with the growing habitat of vines separate from those that do not have vines.
Such vegetables include bitter gourds and cucurbits.
These vegetables need support and then should be given a separate space with walls or support.
It goes without saying that your vegetables should get six to eight hours of sunlight and vegetables without vines should be at a 1-foot distance from the wall.
Maintenance of The Kitchen Garden
Maintaining a kitchen garden is some tough work.
However, you should let the process happen naturally and organically.
Put large plants in the middle of your raised beds.
Followed by medium plants on the side and small plants on the corners and edges for raised bed gardening.
Small plants may consist of herbs and flowers to add beauty to your kitchen garden.
This kind of planting method is called intensive planting and this helps to form layers of plants hence eliminating weeds.
This kind of system increases water retention and the flowers help to prevent insects, weeds and diseases.
Another way to prevent pests is to do hand weeding.
By regular hoeing, you will maintain the land, rid it of weeds, increase aeration and water drainage.
Hence, be active, vigilant and careful in your kitchen garden.
Why Should You Do Succession Planting?
Vegetables should be harvested immediately when they are fully developed.
However, it is also good to sow periodically. Cultivate and grow immediately as you harvest if this is the right season for the vegetable’s and herb’s growth.
Planting and growing crops continuously alongside harvesting is called succession planting.
You should use up all the space in your small kitchen garden wisely.
You do not need to limit yourself to certain vegetables as not all crops, plants are vegetables are meant to grow in all seasons.
Growing seasonal vegetables and fruits will not leave your kitchen garden barren if you experiment with different vegetables and fruits in different seasons.
You will have different foods to harvest every other season.
Therefore, experiment with a variety of plants, crops and vegetables through succession planting and keep sowing to always have a full kitchen garden.
Though you should not mix different vegetables at the same time.
This will help in planting and sowing new seeds next time and preparing the land.
Why Do You Need a Kitchen Garden?
These days we consume a lot of products either canned, frozen or even supposedly fresh.
However, we cannot guarantee if the preservatives are causing us any health concerns.
The whole food chain is quite ambiguous and we have little to no control over what involves in growing our food.
Though through a kitchen garden, you are in full control of what you consume and it also benefits you financially as well as plays its part in conserving the environment.
Kitchen gardens are used in certain countries to eliminate poverty.
Women of the household grow their own vegetables and herbs to feed their children.
This massively cuts the amount they spend on buying food and creates enough food for them to even share or sell the excess.
Therefore, kitchen gardens are enormously helping low income families to cut their expenditures and sale their harvest if they wish to.
Kitchen gardens are also a very good solution for those who want to eat organic.
Organic food can cost a bunch as it does require care. However, you can give that care to your homegrown crops and plants as well.
Keeping the plants away from weeds, diseases and pests may look difficult but once you get familiar with it then you will get enough kitchen gardening ideas to experiment and protect your harvest.
Try to set up your kitchen garden with one plant and vegetable.
See if it works for you and how do you feel about it.
Then begin planting more and enjoy your own homegrown vegetables, herbs and fruits.