by Delicia Warren
Having a kitchen garden is a great to utilize the extra back yard space and also save some money by growing your own food. This gives you more control over the ingredients you use in your food preparation and offsets some of the grocery shopping expenses.
To get started, you need to have gardening tools such as a spade, gardening gloves, Backpack Pump Sprayer, hoe and a wheelbarrow. It also important to create time in your schedule to attend to your garden otherwise your plants will die due to neglect.
Before you start, here are a few kitchen gardening tips to help you.
Choose a suitable location
Your kitchen garden should get a good amount of sunshine so avoid the side of your house where the shadow falls and near tall trees that will also compete for nutrients with your garden plants in addition to casting a shadow over them.
Soil type is also key as you want soil that drains well, that is it doesn’t drain too fast or hold water for too long, so loam soil is ideal. You’ll also need to make sure that the soil is healthy enough to sustain life so adding compost to it will continue to nurture the soil and grow healthy plants.
Choosing your crops
You need to research on what the plants you want to have in your garden need in terms of weather conditions, water, soil fertility and sun light. Unless you are setting up a glasshouse, go with plants that naturally thrive in your climate.
The best way to choose plants for your kitchen garden is by looking at your domestic demands. Plant a crop that you use often in your kitchen like spinach, tomatoes, lettuce and chilies. The goal here is to grow food for your family consumption.
Planting your crops
Once you have made a decision on your choice of crops, the next step is to prepare the garden and plant them. With most crops, you have the options of seedlings you transplant to your garden or seeds you plant and wait for them to germinate.
Although the cheaper option, seeds take longer to grow plus there’s a possibility some may fail or get eaten by rodents.
Whichever option you choose though, ensure that there is enough spacing between your plants. Do not squeeze in too many plants in a bid to increase your yields. This is usually counterproductive since the health of your plants will be poor due to high competition for water and nutrients and some might even die.
Maintaining your garden
Maintaining a healthy garden is easy if you have the time for it. You need to keep your soil fertile by adding mulch in the form of leaves, cut grass or dead weeds to it. This keeps moisture in the soil, prevents the growth of weeds and maintains the soil temperature at favorable levels.
It also important to regularly water your young plants which don’t have deep roots yet. Water your plants at their roots, not on the leaves.