For years now, I have been envious of those who grew the majority of their own food. The idea of gardening, for some reason; however, seemed very daunting to me. The amount of money I could save by growing my own food motivated me to do some research. I am by no means an expert in this area, but since it’s an interest of mine currently, I decided to share my findings. Maybe I will inspire you to join me on this journey!
How to start your kitchen garden
Herbs, vegetables and fresh fruits are some of the produce that you can grow in your kitchen garden. The closer it is to your kitchen, the easier it will be to get to your freshly grown vegetables. Did you forget to put rosemary in your chicken? It’s only steps away.
If you have the luxury of choosing the exact spot to place your kitchen garden, choose a spot that receives a lot of sunshine every day. To find out if your soil drains well, just pay attention to the puddles after some rain. If puddles remain, you have picked a good site.
Next, figure out what you want from your kitchen garden. If you are just trying your hand at gardening, start small and scale up, your tasty harvests will inspire you and keep you motivated. Expand your garden you get more comfortable with gardening.
Preparing your site
If you intend to convert a patch of lawn into your kitchen garden, you can either decide to plant directly in the ground or raise it for the seed beds. If you have poor draining soil, raised beds are the best place to plant in. Remove the sod and compost it to keep weeds from coming up in your garden. You can use a spade and some elbow grease to do this.
The easiest kitchen garden to grow is a salad garden. Lettuce does not require much care, or know how to grow. Herbs such as rosemary and thyme, basil and mint enhance your food’s flavor. Peppers, tomatoes and eggplants are also easy to take care of, but remember to prop up your tomatoes.
Seeds or transplants?
Most gardeners will start their gardens from seeds. This is cheaper, allows for a greater selection and the satisfaction of knowing you grew them all by yourself.
Don’t forget to mulch
After you sow and plant, you have to remember to introduce your plants to their new best friend; mulch. Mulch is anything organic you can get your hands on- Straw, grass, dead weeds, shredded leaves, anything that will rot can be used as mulch.
Mulch will help your soil to retain water, deter weeds and also make your soil healthier as it decomposes. Make your soil healthy with mulch, and your plants will thank you for it.
Maintaining your garden
Salad greens and radishes will produce crops as early as 30 days after planting, in the right conditions. Check on your plants regularly to ensure no one harvests them before you do; Rabbits, raccoons and other pests being the main culprits. If these present a real problem, put up a fence if necessary.
As you grow more confident in your skills, incorporate methods such as succession planting, to ensure you always have something to harvest. Incorporate perennials into your garden and don’t forget to plant some flowers if you have the space. Flowers not only serve to beautify your home, but can also repel undesirable insects while attracting the good ones.
Save money. Eat healthy. Grow a garden.