[dropcap]W[/dropcap]hen you cook a meal using vegetables from your own kitchen garden, or fruit for that matter, the happiness it creates is simply inexplicable. What an incredible feeling it is to share the fruits and vegetables from your kitchen garden! It makes you feel on the top of the world.
However, it’s important to pay attention to acquiring the right knowledge, proper planning, designing, and carrying out a successful kitchen gardening plan. The bliss of being able to produce organic fruits, vegetables, and herbs doesn’t come without the right kind of acumen and hard work. So let’s see what it takes to achieve success in kitchen gardening.
1. Find the space
There need be no reason that can stop you from setting up your kitchen garden. Not even space constraints. It’s amazing to see how people are using innovative design ideas to have a full-grown kitchen garden even in their apartments. Smart space management and the use of stylish planters indoors as well as outdoors come in handy in this regard.
2. From your backyard to your balcony
Raised beds can be used outside and on the balcony to create well-defined spaces for your kitchen garden, while providing much more soil depth for the plants to grow than pots and other planters can. Raised beds can be made out of brick and mortar, wood, or even metal sheets.
3. Innovation is the key
You don’t need an entire farm to grow vegetables and spice plants. Some of the edible plants such as mint leaves are so forgiving that they can be grown in a mason jar or even a used soda bottle. Some of these plants can even be grown on the kitchen counter with barely any exposure to the sun. It just takes a little creativity.
4. Choosing the pots
Apart from the plants themselves, the beautiful pots and planters are also some perks to look forward to in a kitchen garden. There are a myriad of innovative planters that come in hanging, stackable, or wall-mounted options. The materials used for these planters are vivid and all-inclusive – ranging from bamboo, wood, ceramic, terracotta, cement and glass jars. Also, don’t forget to gather some gardening tools before you get started.
5. DIY compost
Home-made compost can provide the best manure for your plants without spending even a dime. It’s as simple as this – if you can eat your food, you can also create your compost and organic lawn fertilizer with it. There are several DIY compost tutorials and guidelines that you can follow to prepare your own compost. UpGardener‘s Elizabeth Waddington wrote an in-depth feature about composting with coffee grounds that we recommend as the ideal solution to your composting needs and we cannot recommend it enough.
6. The right amount of sunlight
Not all plants need plenty of sunlight. The requirement of sunlight varies from plant to plant. This is where a solid knowledge of plants and the specific requirements that support their growth and sustenance comes into play.
7. Check the soil
Having good knowledge about the soil is like winning half the battle. If you know the soil, you know exactly what kind of plants you can grow in it.
8. What plants can you grow
As a kitchen gardener, you may want to have as many plants as you can set your eyes on. However, keep in mind that no matter which plant you choose, it’s not with you for a day or two. It’s like developing a bond that stays for as long as the plant remains alive.
9. The right amount of water
Some plants need more water, while some don’t even need to be watered every day. Knowing how much water needs to be given to each of your plants can truly be a lifesaver and your plants thank you for.
10. Smart and effective layout ideas
A lot of attention and mindful planning is required for a proper kitchen garden layout plan. Whether you have an expansive backyard or a raised bed on your terrace, crops can be planted in rows, in small clusters, or even in spiral patterns depending on the taste and functionality of the plants.
11. Herbs that Grow Throughout the Year
Certain kitchen garden herbs can be grown throughout the year. They include mint, coriander, green chilies, cardamom, oregano, basil, and much more.
12. Veggies that grow throughout the year
Some of the vegetables and kitchen garden plants that can be grown throughout the year include potatoes, tomato, ginger, onion, and garlic.
13. Knowing about seeds and saplings
Your gardening skills will never be fruitful if you don’t have proper knowledge about the seeds and the saplings you’re working with. It’s as good as handling something that has a life hidden inside it. Hence, it is advisable to handle them all with utmost care.
14. Loosen up the topsoil
Loosening up the soil helps to oxygenate the soil and the roots. It also gives the gardener a feel of the soil, which in itself can be a blissful experience.
15. Use the right support
Some plants need to be protected with barricades and supported with firm rods. The supporting rods are important for climbers and small plants with feeble stems. It provides firmness and a direction for them to grow.
Gardening is therapeutic. Apart from giving you access to the best plant-based food and spices, it can be a very fulfilling experience. We hope you find the above kitchen garden tips and links useful. All the best for your gardening endeavour!
Are you planning to set up a kitchen garden? Let us know about it in the comments below.
This article was written by an Essential Millennial guest contributor, Kevin Nelson. Kevin has been a content writer for 3 years. He studied Design and Arts at College in Pennsylvania. A fan of home interior design, he has taken it upon himself to spread his love for decorating homes by informing people of some of his ideas through his articles.