No garden is to small to grow some vegetables or herbs, and a kitchen garden is a way to grow your own food.
A kitchen garden is simply a place where you grow food to eat, you could call it a vegetable patch, however it is really ease of access that makes it the kitchen garden in todays terms.
How to build a Kitchen Garden.
You can create a kitchen garden in a number of ways.
- A simple hand dug area.
- A raised garden bed.
- Growing herbs and vegetables in Pots or containers also works.
Its a matter of looking at space, location and also resources. A simple dug garden is always the cheapest.
Why grow vegetables and herbs ?
A great way to become involved in gardening is to start a Kitchen garden, every one love to eat fresh food, so the idea of growing you own can easily be achieved with little cost and effort.
Kitchen garden design can be as simple as placing a few pots of useful herbs close to the back door or planning and building a series of raised garden beds that will allow a wide range of herbs, vegetables and fruit trees to be planted and crops rotated as required.
A kitchen garden can include composting facilities, worm farms and even an outdoor sink for washing produce. We provide some basic ideas for planning and designing a kitchen garden.
Ideas for a Kitchen Garden
Larger kitchen gardens will require some planning, we provide a list of considerations rather than plans as such:
- proximity to the kitchen, a kitchen garden close to the kitchen, with easy access will get more use than one that is located a long way away.
- size, a big garden sounds great, and if you are a keen gardener and the rest of the family are willing to help maybe this is the way to go, if not, start small and allow for expansion
- raised garden beds or not ? Raised garden beds are great, not so much bending, generally they are ‘no dig’ and they can look great. However they are more expensive. If in doubt start with some simple ground level dug beds and maybe add some raised beds as you become more confident
- large or small garden beds, remember that access is the key to any garden, wide garden beds are difficult to manage, try something no more than a meter across.
Planning and Design Basics for Kitchen Gardens
You will need to draw up a basic plan of the area that you have to work with. Consider the width of any garden beds for access and also consider costs. A basic ‘dug’ bed is the cheapest. Pots are next and then raised garden beds.
However they all serve different purposes and have their own advantages and disadvantages.
Raised corrugated iron kitchen garden
Best plants for kitchen gardens.
When choosing the plants to use in a kitchen garden it is better to make a list of what you like use on a regular basis, and then choose those that are best suited to your climate and local conditions
This will differ from person to person and will depend on climate, our favourites are :
Herbs for the kitchen garden
Leafy Vegetable for the kitchen garden
- Salad Rocket
- New Zealand yams
- Peas (snow peas)
- Espaliered Fruit trees for saving space.
- An area that can be netted for berry fruit
- Access to a chook run
- Incorporating vegetables and herbs into the ornamental garden as a ‘quick fix’ alternative
- Installing a drip irrigation system to take the hassle out of watering
- Permanent climbing frames for beans and peas
- A shaded area for those leafy greens that like a little shade in the afternoon
Raised Garden Beds for a Kitchen Garden.
Kitchen gardens lend theme selves to raised garden beds, and with raised garden beds the alternatives are growing each year. Substantial masonry (brick) garden beds have been used for many years, however timber, corrugated iron and even recycled PCV are all all alternatives.
Consider modular kitchen gardens, readily available online or from nurseries, some of these even come with watering systems and small igloos (hothouse) that allow the gardening season to be extended.