Kitchen Gardening or Home Gardening
Kitchen gardening is constructed with the sole purpose of growing vegetables that can be grown all year round. It is a more practical garden with a hedge or stone walls to contain the garden. Kitchen gardens are conducive to grow herbs, fruits, and vegetables.
There are two types of kitchen gardening. The first type takes place in your kitchen. It involves either re-growing veggies from food scraps or growing herbs and veggies on your windowsill. But we will discuss the type of kitchen gardening that takes place outdoors. It involves growing fresh, organic vegetables right outside your back door.
How Is Kitchen Gardening Different From “Regular” Vegetable Gardening?
A renewed interest in kitchen gardening, however, is bringing this tradition back into vogue. I took the question of how a kitchen garden differs from a vegetable patch, and here’s what I get to know about it: “what makes a kitchen garden unique from a ‘regular’ vegetable garden is that it’s typically smaller, tended more often, and designed to connect more aesthetically with the design and architecture of the home.” Kitchen gardens are designed spaces with symmetrical beds organized and planted in an aesthetically pleasing way. In other words, kitchen gardens are not only productive, but they’re also pretty. They’re also meant for fresh eating, rather than for growing large amounts of food for canning and preserving.
Where To Put Kitchen Garden?
“Of course, you want to prioritize sunlight most,”
The location you plan to have a kitchen garden should get adequate sunlight for at least 4 to 5 hours a day, preferable morning sunlight but even a little shade. Then, you’ll want to be sure you’re near a water source. Once you’ve thought about sunlight and water, then consider the aesthetics of your home and how you could extend one line or another and create a new space that feels like it’s always been a part of your home. In other words, don’t hastily plunk in a kitchen garden. Think through which space on your property you’d most like to spend time in that also has plenty of light. That’s where you want the garden; not far away and out of sight, but as closely tied to your everyday life as possible.
A kitchen garden can be grown in the backyard, terrace, or just a pot. In India, if you have a terrace, you have ample space and sunlight for the plants. If you are planning to have a kitchen garden in your apartment, even a windowsill will be a good location.
If you are going to use pots (earthen or plastic) to grow your produce, you got to take care of the following points:
- Proper space to help the plants grow.
- Pots should have holes to help in proper drainage.
You can use milk cartons, used plastic bottles, etc. as pots for your kitchen garden.
To get the best homegrown crops from your kitchen garden you need to make sure your soil is up to scratch. It’s useful to test the pH levels of the soil in your vegetable garden to help you select crops to suit it. Soil testing kits don’t cost much and are readily available online.
You can make your kitchen garden soil by yourself at home. Make a mixture of 50% soil and 50% compost. You can collect all your kitchen wet waste like tea leaves, eggshells, vegetable peels, etc, and instead of throwing it in the garbage, gather it in a pot with soil for a few days.
While planting your vegetables or fruits for your kitchen garden, fill the container with a mixture of soil and compost three-quarters (add in a few pebbles or crushed thermocol pieces to prevent clogging in the pot). Plant the seeds or vegetables and spray the water just enough to moisten the soil. Always try not to overwater the soil as it could lead to rotting of the roots. To find out if the soil is dry, insert any finger in the soil till the knuckle to check if the soil is moist and water accordingly.
Weeding and working the soil:
First thing to do is to clear all the weeds or plants or turf (the latter can be stashed somewhere with the grass facedown; after a while, it will become great topsoil that you can put back on the bed for next season). Dig over the soil, then cover the vegetable patch with clear plastic sheeting for a couple of weeks to dry out and warm up the soil (if you’re starting off in spring, which is ideal). This will also help any dormant weeds emerge so that you can whip them out before you start planting
Vegetables To Grow In Kitchen Gardening:
You can grow a lot of things in a kitchen garden but that doesn’t mean you should. A kitchen garden is all about setting priorities. You can either grow a lot of a few things or a little of a lot of things, but you can’t really do both. You can grow all your herbs, nearly all of your greens, and the fruiting plants. Here is a list of crops you can cultivate in your kitchen garden.
Advantages Of Kitchen Garden:
- Help to save expenditure on purchase of vegetables.
- Vegetables harvested from the home gardens taste better than those purchased from the market.
- Effective utilization of kitchen wastewater and kitchen waste materials.
- You get to eat more homegrown seasonal vegetables and herbs that are free from harmful pesticides and toxic chemicals.
- There’s better control over what goes in your meal when you are growing it yourself, making it a healthier option and adding some nutritional value to your diet.
- Kitchen gardening is a very healthy way to involve the whole family in physical activity, it brings exercise to the body and mind.
- Kitchen gardening also helps clean up a lot of air around your home.
- Your kitchen garden goes a long way in healing the environment around you.
Maintaining The Garden:
Maintain your kitchen garden firstly starts with the spacing of plants. Space out your plants to allow them a proper place to grow and flourish. Plants that are placed together have their own humidity and tend to grow poorly.
Another tip to maintain the kitchen garden is pruning. Once the garden is planted and begins to fill in, the most time-consuming tasks are pruning and harvesting, though watering is essential, especially during times of drought To help your produce grow healthy in your kitchen garden, be sure to prune your plants regularly. To simplify what it is: Pruning is the process of clipping dead or dried leaves. The pruning helps the plants in growing, and health improves as well. You can undertake the process of pruning at any time of the year. The more you prone, the more it will flourish. It is best to use pruners, also called clippers, to make clean cuts with swift action.
To minimize maintenance in your kitchen garden, you should think about nature. Most advisors praise intensive planting in kitchen gardens. instead of mono-cropping a raised bed with a mass of just one plant, think about nature and the way these plants would situate themselves. Plant your beds with large plants in the center – usually growing up a trellis – medium plants to the side, and small plants like herbs, greens, and flowers around the outside edge of the beds. This intensive planting creates layers and nearly eliminates the challenge of weeds. It makes water retention so much better, and also prevents pests and diseases as your plants and flowers work together, just as they do in nature.
Why Should Every Home Have A Kitchen Garden?
Our modern industrialized food chain gives us very little control over where our food comes from and what goes into growing it. But by starting a kitchen garden and growing even a small portion of your own food, you’ll not only be cultivating a connection to what you eat, but you’ll also be helping the planet. Not to mention the fact that it just feels good to have a hand in feeding yourself and your family. Plus it’s good exercise!
There aren’t many things in the world that are beautiful and inspiring, productive, and so good for every aspect of your health. When you think about the fact that all of us eat three meals a day, you soon realize that the choices we make with our food add up quickly. I truly believe a kitchen garden revival could change the whole world for the better.