HOMESTEAD GARDEN, MY KITCHEN GARDEN

My Basic Kitchen Garden

The Making Of My Spring Organic Kitchen Garden

The best way for me to enjoy fresh and very locally grown, organic produce is to grow my own in a basic kitchen garden for body and soul.

When I planted organic vegetables in the Rural Money Homestead Garden in Spring 2010, my humble kitchen garden stepped into the spotlight.

If you’ve been yearning to grow your own garden, now is the time to start.

A kitchen garden, or potager, can be as big or small as you want it to be.

To get started, all you need is a level, sunny spot because most herbs and vegetables require six to eight hours of sun a day, and a shovel.

Before you start digging, you’ll want to map out a neat pattern of garden beds with paths in between.

The beds can be a grid of straightforward raised rectangular beds edged with pressure-treated 2 by 6 lumber, or more rustic roofing tin, etc.

Just keep them small enough that you can reach the center of the bed without trampling your plants.

Also, make sure the paths are wide enough for a wheelbarrow.

Try 4-foot-wide beds and 2 foot-wide paths.

Before you dig, outline your beds with string so you can truly envision what they’ll look like.

After ten years of digging and using wood chips (yes, I’ve been there and done that, too), I have opted for the “no-dig” gardening method, done my way.

Amend the soil with organic matter, such as compost, or composted manure.

And, consider whether you’ll need a fence to protect your crops from deer, rabbits, groundhogs, and other hungry critters.

If you begin early enough, you can start seeds indoors, which enables you to raise rare and heirloom varieties your local garden center might not stock.

But you can also order seedlings, and round out your garden with less exotic plants from the nursery.

When you plant your beds, stick to a single variety of two per bed for maximum impact.

A raised feature, such as a trellis, adds dimension, as well as support for tomatoes or runner beans.

An eye-catching DIY trellis or fence like I have made from rot-resistant plastic netting supports tomatoes, cucumbers, beans, melons, etc. while squash will flourish down below.

Also, I planted Swiss chard, Chinese kale, beet greens, turnips, collards, peas and fennel in containers that I will add to my basic kitchen garden.

And don’t forget about edible flowers, such as calendula, nasturtiums, or Johnny-jump-ups, which provide color as well as garnishes for salads.

Giant Sunflower In The Rural Money Homestead Garden

My original kitchen garden was where you see the compost bin (in the first image) between two large peach trees (planted from saved seeds).

I had to relocate my potager because the peach trees grew to about 15 feet tall and shaded out the garden.

A Basic Kitchen Garden Is Nature’s Bounty

Flowers and vegetables will intermingle in my no-dig bed.

Plastic netting fencing on the 2 by 6 lumber fence posts reinforced with chicken wire deter deer and rabbits.

Nasturtiums will tangle with corn and beans.

Heirloom tomatoes such as, Italian Bush Roma tomato will mix with super sweet cherry tomato varieties.

Where To Buy Organic Seeds For Your Kitchen Garden?

  • The Cook’s Garden, 800-457-9703, cooksgarden.com
  • Nichols Garden Nursery, 800-422-3985, nicholsgardennursery.com
  • Renee’s Garden, 888-880-7228, reneesgarden.com
  • Amazon.com

Image By MabelAmber