It’s taco night! But as you’re gathering your fresh ingredients from the refrigerator, you find yourself frantically rummaging through the drawers for a tomato, only to come up empty. You can’t believe you forgot to buy tomatoes the last time you were at the grocery store.
Tacos without tomatoes? Your family won’t stand for it. So, what’s a girl to do? This is a perfect time to 1) send your husband to the store and 2) finally start a kitchen garden.
Outdoor kitchen gardens are not only edible, they are gorgeous and add to the beauty of your landscape. Becoming more and more popular, kitchen gardens are your ticket to healthy, homegrown food. Read on for some tips on starting your very own edible kitchen garden.
Where to Plant Your Garden
A kitchen garden can be big or small. It can be a cornered off patch in your backyard or row upon row of fruits and vegetables on your rooftop. It all depends on how much food you want to produce.
However, for a kitchen garden to be successful, you must choose a space where your garden can have access to full sun, plenty of water, and good, rich soil.
Fruits and vegetables need 6-8 hours of direct sunlight every day. However, if some or all of your garden needs to be in the shade for some of that time, consider planting leafy vegetables such as spinach, lettuce, and cabbage.
To make sure your plants get plenty of water, choose a space close to a water source. The best way to ensure your plants get all the water they need is to install an irrigation system set on a timer. This is especially helpful for families with busy schedules who can’t always be home to water the plants.
Plants draw their nutrients from the soil where they grow. Eventually, you’ll be eating those nutrients. Doesn’t it make sense, then, to give your plants the best soil you possibly can?
Give your plants good, rich soil that is full of healthy, organic matter that you either compost yourself or buy at your local nursery. It also doesn’t hurt to throw in some ground coffee and eggshells every now and then.
Seeds vs. Transplants
Depending on just how green your thumb is, you’ll have to decide if you want to start with seeds or transplants from your local nursery. If you want to start with seeds, you’ll have to set up your own little indoor nursery where you can germinate your seeds with love and warmth. It’s amazing to watch them grow from a tiny, little seed into a mature plant that helps feed and sustain you and your family. On the other hand, it’s also very gratifying – and easy – to buy plants that you can directly plant into your kitchen garden.
You’ll want to keep your plants disease and pest free. Avoid harmful pesticides and use natural, earth friendly pest control strategies such as putting up a fence around your garden to keep the furry critters out and dusting or spraying with dichotomous earth to keep the bugs out.
Having a kitchen garden not only provides for convenience and healthy living, it saves you a lot of money too. Now, instead of having to run to the store to buy a couple of tomatoes for taco night, all you have to do is walk right outside your door and pick that juicy tomato straight from the vine.