A kitchen garden is the latest trend in home gardening these days and this is due to many reasons. For one, having your own vegetable garden at home means reduced grocery bills since there is no longer a need to shop for vegetables and other produce. Moreover, growing your own vegetables means you are certain that the food you are eating and feeding your loved ones is as healthy and organic as possible. If you are new to gardening but would like to give kitchen gardening a try, here are the kitchen garden tips that every beginner needs to know to start a perfect kitchen garden.
1. Choose the Right Location
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Choosing the right location for your vegetable garden is very important since not all vegetable plants can thrive under full sun. If possible, look for a location that receives at least 6 hours of sunlight each day. To provide the most sun exposure to your plants, one of the most effective vegetable garden tips to keep in mind is to plant the tall varieties in the north side or west side. That way, they would be able to provide shade to the smaller plants.
2. Plant Near the Kitchen
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The importance of kitchen garden is for fresh vegetables to be readily available to cook in your kitchen. Therefore, consider planting your vegetables near your kitchen, or just outside your kitchen door. That way, general care, weeding, and harvesting will be easy.
3. Grow Vegetables in Raised Beds
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One of the most popular types of kitchen garden is the raised beds. This type of garden comes with benefits. First of all, it helps to improve your garden’s productivity and makes planning and sowing your plants much easier. Furthermore, if you’ve got a problem with having poor soil in your backyard, you can simply create beds and fill them up with quality soil. Then you can start growing your vegetables!
4. Consider a Vertical Garden
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One of the most effective kitchen garden ideas for those who have limited space in their backyard garden is the vertical garden. There are several different types of the vertical kitchen garden. You can perhaps install wall planters, hanging baskets, and railing planters for those plants that grow vertically. Vining plants like tomatoes and beans can be grown vertically in a fence or trellis.
5. Install a Garden Enclosure
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Having a garden enclosure will not only protect your crops from your furry friends and neighborhood animals, but it also helps to improve the aesthetics of your kitchen garden. You’ll find a wide variety of options for your garden barriers or fence, from wood, woven wire, metal, and stone. Consider the style of your home exterior before you decide to install a garden fence.
6. Know your Region
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This might sound obvious but you should know that not all vegetable plants can grow everywhere. Therefore, take time to research the characteristics of the garden in your area, most especially the climate and the sun exposure. In fact, this is one of the most important kitchen garden tips to keep in mind before getting started so you will know what your plant options are and when you can start growing.
Also Read: 31 Beneficial Tips for Container Gardening
7. Start With Easy to Grow Vegetables
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Since you’re still new at gardening, it may be best to start out with easy-to-grow vegetables, such as lettuce. Other plants and herbs that are not too challenging to grow are beans, eggplants, peppers, tomatoes, spinach, parsley, mint, and basil.
8. Choose Varieties that Mature Easily
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Aside from choosing plants that are easy to grow, look for those varieties that are known to mature easily. This is especially important for those who live in cooler zones where summer is often short.
9. Use Transplants Instead of Seeds
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It’s a good idea to start sowing seeds in pots instead of planting seeds directly to your kitchen garden. Once your seedlings have grown, that’s when you can transplant them in the soil. Since the transplants are already several weeks old when you start growing them in your backyard, it would be much easier for them to adapt to the garden soil.
10. Apply Companion Planting
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Companion planting means sowing compatible plants together and this is one of the most effective kitchen garden ideas that many gardeners would apply in their backyard garden. Planting similar crops together comes with many benefits and could lead to the overall success of your kitchen garden. Therefore, learn more about companion planting and find out the vegetable crops that are compatible with each other.
11. Do Edge Planting
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Another effective vegetable garden tips that you can apply for your kitchen garden is edge planting. This basically requires growing companion plants or support plants at the edge of the garden beds. These plants can benefit your garden by providing mulch and keeping them protected from weeds.
12. Use the Right Type of Soil
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Make sure you know the right type of soil for your kitchen garden. The best soil to use is one that contains lots of organic matter and compost, such as shredded bark and composted leaves.
Also Read: 25 Best Veggies to Grow in Pots
13. Space Them Properly
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Proper spacing in your garden is necessary. Therefore, you must pay attention to how you arrange your plants. Spacing your plants properly is important in order to get a good yield from each garden bed. You can plant in square or row patterns or try a triangular pattern. Regardless of the types of kitchen garden that you’ll go for, make sure not to cram your crops up in their corresponding beds. The plants won’t be able to reach their full potential if they are too crowded.
14. Apply Mulch
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Apply up to 3-inch layer of organic mulch around your vegetable plants including the irrigation lines. The mulch can help to insulate the garden soil and will keep it cooler during summer while warmer in winter. Mulching also helps to suppress weeds and serves as protection against diseases.
15. Water Wisely
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Feeding your vegetable plants with at least an inch of water each week should be enough. One of the most efficient ways to irrigate your kitchen garden is by using drip lines and soaker hoses. The hoses are capable of delivering water slowly giving the roots enough time to absorb moisture and allows the soil to be hydrated adequately.
16. Be Patient with Pest Control
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Although pests are common in any vegetable garden, you should have enough patience to deal with them. Besides, not all of those insects lurking in your garden are harmful. For as long as you provide enough care to your crops, they should be able to survive any form of pest invasion. Checkout a few natural pesticides here.
17. Don’t Over fertilize
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You should use the right fertilizer to your vegetable crops. After all, the importance of kitchen garden is to have organic crops easily available in your kitchen that are safe for you and your loved ones to eat. Therefore, use organic compost when fertilizing and avoid over-fertilizing your crops. Excessive fertilizer is not only harmful to your plants, but to the garden soil as well.
18. Keep a Journal
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Get yourself a garden journal that you can use to jot down your goals for your garden. This is also a great way to keep track of the activities in your kitchen garden as well as the learnings and lessons along the way.
If you put into practice all of the kitchen garden tips above, you should be able to get your garden off to a right start!