Kitchen gardens have been around for a very long time, so long that their history is not known. From the records that remain kitchen gardens have been mentioned in literature as early as the second century BC.
Only vegetables typically used in cooking were planted. The plants were not grown randomly but were carefully arranged in geometric rows with straight paths between them.
Kitchen gardens became popular among royalty and nobility during the medieval period and this trend spread to common people at about the same time as castles stopped being built.
In fact, it was a way of life for royalty and nobility to have kitchen gardens on their estates where they could relax while eating fresh produce from their own garden and use herbs from there for cooking.
What is a Kitchen Garden?
A garden that is close to the back door of our kitchen where you can grow vegetables, fruits, flowers, and herbs is referred to as Kitchen Garden. This garden is made to grow fresh vegetables and herbs that are fresh and ready to be used in your recipe. You can include those vegetables and fruits in breakfast, lunch, snacks, and dinner each day.
Types of Kitchen Gardens
There are two types of kitchen gardens–the French-style or potager and the English-style or kitchen garden. In France,
the kitchen gardens were traditionally found at the rear of houses with patios or terraces overlooking them and usually had box hedges and flowers along the pathways. In England, it was not as formal as France, but it also included decorative flowers among other things.
What is the purpose of the kitchen garden?
In the kitchen, garden-fresh vegetables are grown year-round which saves money since the family members do not have to buy them from local shops.
A kitchen garden is also more satisfying because you can control what plants will be grown by planting and harvesting the ones that you like.
A kitchen garden is a resource for those who want to learn agriculture in their homes. They can get the education on a smaller scale by growing vegetables and fruits in their own kitchen gardens. There might only be few types of plants in a kitchen garden but it has its own advantages and disadvantages depending on the needs of the individuals.
What can I grow in my Garden?
Berries, greens vegetables for green smoothies, juice, carrots for muffins, or even nuts and fruits can be grown in your kitchen garden.
Common vegetables like, tomatoes, broccoli, peas, zucchini squash, peppers, cabbage, beans, lettuce, beets, carrots, chard, radishes, etc. can be grown easily and in small space of your kitchen garden. In addition, fruits like blackberries, and raspberries, strawberries, figs, gooseberries, honeyberries, goji berries, currants, etc. can be grown too in your own kitchen garden.
What is in a kitchen garden?
The kitchen garden can be thought of as a small oasis if the plants are grown correctly. The idea behind it is to provide shade and climbing plants along the edges so that there is somewhere for people to sit and relax while they wait for their food to be cooked.
There are usually fruit trees and bushes that provide shade in the center of the garden. Most plants are edible with aromatic herbs, such as rosemary, sage, mint, thyme, and bay leaves growing among vegetables such as peppers, tomatoes, and cucumbers. Plants can be selected based on your climate zone or what you like to cook with or eat.
How the kitchen garden differs from natural gardens?
Kitchen gardens are different from a regular garden in many ways. The area covered by the kitchen garden is much smaller than of regular garden. Not to forget, the kitchen garden is actually pretty close to your kitchen.
Why have a garden close to your kitchen?
A kitchen garden is inexpensive and handy and can supply fresh vegetables or fruits, which are fundamental to nutrition and healthy life. It is also a delightful hobby and serves to remove your mental pressures by keeping you busy.
Likewise, vegetable wastage can be used as organic compost, which can be further used as fertilizer for growing new vegetables, fruits, and herbs like garlic, tomatoes, etc.
Just a reminder that it takes about six months to make compost from wastages. By growing vegetables and fruits in our own kitchen garden, the number of harmful chemicals that pollute our environment and waterways can be reduced. Likewise, organically grown food is also sustainable and nourishes your soil by applying safe, natural, and organic compost, fertilizers, and products.
You may reconsider making it
Despite the advantages of the kitchen garden, there are some drawbacks which can’t be overseen.
One of the main problems in maintaining these types of gardens is time. Not everyone will have enough time for the garden. Likewise, you may lose valuable space in your home.
You can also get some injuries while working in the garden if you are not familiar with the gardening tools you need to use. Furthermore, if you lack proper knowledge regarding maintaining the garden, growing foods, watering, and harvesting, then that may be a disadvantage to you instead of having benefits.
How to make a small kitchen garden?
Before starting a kitchen garden, one should decide what they want to grow. The first thing is to establish the size of the kitchen garden.
The next step is to prepare the soil. The soil should be checked and adjusted for pH balance and fertility levels before planting any seeds. The next step is to choose the layout of your kitchen garden.
It can be done by using graph paper and a compass but one can also do it by hand or through trial and error in their backyard or in pots on their deck railing.
It is best to have a drawing that shows you how everything will be laid out. The third step is to select the plants that you want to grow.
Decide which vegetables, flowers, and herbs will be planted and prepare the beds for them by adding organic matter such as compost, peat moss, or leaf mold. Preparing a garden is a lot of work but can be fun if you know how to do it right.