Working in a backyard Kitchen Garden is a fun activity for the family and a great learning experience for the children. Whether you aim to gain some sun and exercise or enjoy fresh and healthy produce, here is the five step guide that will start you off with your very own Kitchen Garden.
Step 1 – Gear Up
Just like stepping into any new venture it is advised to gear up. Likewise, the requirement for kitchen gardening is to equip yourself with some good quality gardening tools. Buy high-quality tools and consider it an investment rather than going for the cutting cost scheme.
A few items to start with:
1. Round head shovel – for digging bigger holes.
2. Rake – for gathering and transporting debris around the garden or to the plants.
3. Gardening Gloves – fetch for badger clawed gloves which will help you in not only protecting your fingers but also assist in digging small holes, and weeding.
4. Shears – to prune brown leaves or snipping herbs
5. Watering can/ hose/ dripping solution – either one of these or it may vary from your gardening needs and the water source.
Step 2 – Garden Layout and Location
One of the essentials of Kitchen Gardening is to choose an area which gets enough sunlight. The plants having access to water and drainage plays a vital part in the well-being of your Kitchen Gardening. The size of the Garden and layout that you choose varies on the available space and the time you wish to invest in the Garden. However, the ideal size for a backyard garden is 500 sq. ft. You might also want to consider any future plantation plan to ensure flatbeds, to avoid any uneven water distribution and erosion.
Step 3 – Garden Bed & Soil Prep
Garden success stories depend on the quality of the soil. The bulk of your work depends on choosing between the garden beds i) traditional (in-ground); ii) container based, or iii) raised beds. Raised beds function better under colder climates, as the soil is quicker under the spring sun, allowing you to plant much sooner.
Preparing the soil is crucial, and in case the soil of your backyard has never been gardened, then your vegetables will flourish in the first year. The soil will be added with its subsequent nutrients for the future.
Step 4 – Choosing the right Vegetables to grow
The vegetables you decide to grow depend on your personal choice, but it would also be wise to consider your weather condition, the time of year and the type of soil. Always start small and begin with vegetables that require less commitment and are easy to grow.
Step 5 – Ready to Grow
Once your seedlings are in the ground, it’s all about keeping a watchful eye. Use additional compost for water retention, look out for weeds, and keep seedlings protected from intense sunlight or animals.
A well laid out garden provides years of rich fruits with minimal routine maintenance.