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Do you have a kitchen garden or is part of your garden designed to bring food to your table? I’ve grown herbs in the past and currently have strawberries growing in a hanging basket on my balcony. Whether you are already growing food or thinking about it, here is a collaborative post on how to perfect your small kitchen garden.
A kitchen garden can work in any size of plot and even if you only have a few square meters to play with, you can get a lot out of your land. The key to success is knowing what will work in your small space and which plants will sit together happily, making the most of your soil.
Though you might think that there is only one way to grow edible plants, in long rows widely sewn, there is actually a more pleasing way you can set out your garden. All you need to do is set aside your preconceptions of what a kitchen garden should be and use a little bit of imagination. Even the weathervane collection from Cuckooland shows how tradition can be modernized!
Vertical Planting: Salad Leaves, Herbs, and Strawberries
When you have a small garden, soil space is likely to be at a premium. But your land isn’t the only way to grow plants: a vertical garden is easy and cheap to achieve with minimal work. You can use upturned palettes to create planting spaces, embed posts into the ground and use frames to hang hanging baskets and fix planters to your garden wall.
Salad leaves, herbs, and strawberries are all fine with this vertical arrangement as they have quite shallow roots and aren’t too heavy for your structures. Plus, since they are quite small, when it comes to harvesting, you won’t put your back out reaching up to gather your crops. Hanging baskets are also lovely for flowers like marigolds and chamomile which made delicious herbal tea and homemade remedies.
When planting crops, it seems that there are a lot of rules about creating perfectly straight lines for seeds and only growing one crop at a time. Of course, this is silly and wasteful to the small kitchen gardener and we know that plants can thrive together. All you need to know is which vegetables are happy in each other’s company.
For example, radishes work well with carrots because the radishes will break ground before the carrots, giving them a head start. And, when you are ready to harvest your radishes, you will be giving your carrots a little bit more room to grow as they fluff out. Knowing which plants to pair is also an aesthetic choice, though. As you are presumably not planning to live entirely from your little patch of land, you can create something beautiful and edible all year round.
Image Credit: Pxhere
Don’t be Afraid to Experiment
When you only have a small area, sticking to safe options is very tempting since you know exactly what the results will be every time. But this is a bit boring, isn’t it?
Having a small garden should be about experimenting with different ideas and figuring out new ways to make the most of your resources. Try vertical gardening and see how it works out. Give companion gardening a go to see whether two crops or plants will work well together. Let your imagination run wild.
Have you used any of these methods in your kitchen garden? If not, what do you have growing in your garden that you can use in the kitchen? I would love to know in the comments section below.