Through a well-established Kitchen Garden, you can either make money or even save money from consistent buying of fresh farm produce. As of today, many people utilize it for the likes of Medicinal Herbs or even spiced up farm plants. Basically, Medicinal Herbs are plants that are used for medicinal purposes.
While other types of herbs include culinary herbs, used to flavor food, and aromatic herbs used to add fragrance. It’s important to realize, medicinal herbs cover a wide range of types of plants. And for one thing, they can be annuals or perennials; woody or herbaceous; sun-loving or shade requiring.
So, whether you want to grow a kitchen garden herb as a hobby or to save money — or just for healthier eating — there are just plenty of herbs you can grow in your backyard. Before I let you know some of them to consider, let’s learn more about a kitchen garden in detail.
What Is Kitchen Garden?
Traditionally, a Kitchen Garden is also known as a Potager (from the French Jardin Potager) or in Scotland, a Kailyaird. It’s a space separate from the rest of the residential garden – the ornamental plants and lawn areas.
Most vegetable gardens are miniature versions of old family farm plots, but the kitchen garden is different — not only in its history but also in its design. Not to mention, it also differs from an allotment — in that a kitchen garden is on private land attached to the dwelling.
The kitchen garden may serve as the central feature of an ornamental, all-season landscape. Or it may be little more than a humble vegetable plot. It’s a great source of herbs, vegetables, and fruits. But, it’s often also a structured garden space with a design based on repetitive geometric patterns.
It has year-round visual appeal and can incorporate permanent perennials or woody shrub plantings around (or among) the annuals. Back in time, having a garden was essential to your survival. Presently, a great percentage of humanity depends on grocery markets for their produce and stables.
Advantages of Kitchen Garden include:
- Supply of fresh fruits and vegetables high in nutritive value
- Help to save expenditure on purchase of vegetables
- Supply fruits and vegetables free from toxic chemicals
- Vegetables harvested from the home gardens taste better than those purchased from the market
- Effective utilization of kitchen wastewater and kitchen waste materials
- Exercise to the body and mind
How many people do you know have a vegetable garden all year long? And how many people have told you that they don’t have a green thumb? History has shown us that our ancestors had grand gardens. It had various vegetables, herbs, and ornamental plants.
How to Design a Kitchen Garden
As a matter of fact, I saw a very great resource while writing this article from the lifebeyondthecity blog. Whereby, the author stated that it’s very easy to skip the market prices and head over to your kitchen garden. Perse, for all sorts of fresh farm products, like herbs and many other money-saving flavors.
However, things don’t just fall in place overnight! It’s everything to do with the space you’ve got, the willpower, and the overall design. After all, getting started is as easy as A, B, C… But, as long as you’ll have the right plants to start with too (more on that later).
Site Selection: Backyard of house. Preferably open areas with plenty of sunlight near the water source.
The size and the shape of a vegetable garden depend on:
- Availability of land
- Number of persons in family and
- Spare time available for its care
The layout of the Kitchen Garden
- Fence – Barbed wire fence or live fence with Agatha
- Perennial crops (Mango, Sapota, Acid lime, Amla, Morniga) should be planted in the peripheral areas of the kitchen garden (avoid shading)
- One or two compost pits may be provided on one corner
- Fences on all sides should be trained with Cucurbitaceous vegetables (Bottle gourd, Bitter gourd, and Snake gourd)
- Some vegetables are direct-sown – (Amaranthus, Bottle gourd, Bitter gourd, and Snake gourd)
- Some vegetables are nursery transplanted (Tomato, Brinjal, Chillies, Onion)
- Divide the area into equal-sized plots for raising annual vegetable crops
- As intensive and continuous cropping is done in a kitchen garden.
- Fertility and texture of soil may be maintained by applying adequate quantities of organic manures frequently.
- Ridges and furrows are formed in each plot.
- Season of planting: June – July, September – October
- Bee-hive may be provided for ensuring adequate pollination of crops besides obtaining honey.
However, in order to harvest good crops, chemical fertilizers are also essential. Pick and destroy the larvae found on fruits and vegetables and then spray Neem oil @ 4 ml/liter of water or Neem Seed Kernel Extract @ 3 %. Avoid spraying of toxic chemicals (learn more).
In nutshell, this type of garden has had many titles. Such as a Witch Garden, a Vegetable Garden, a Kitchen Garden, a Potager Garden, etc. And, as I mentioned, in Scotland, it’s called Kailyaird Garden. Charles Estienne wrote in detail about the 16th-century kitchen garden in Maison Rustique.
You can separate this practical garden from the pleasure gardens, enclosed by a thick hedge or stone wall. Bearing in mind, hedges are more resilient and cost-effective. Since they are much easier to repair and maintain. The hedge, he says, you can plant with red and white gooseberry bushes, medlar and olive trees. Or even woodbine, whitethorn, wild apples, brambles, and eglantines.
Lattices were woven from willow branches and every year renewed unless made with juniper poles that had been reinforced with charred oak. Of the planted crops, turnips required the most room. Also, planted next to these were coleworts, and a path leading to plots of sorrel, arugula, parsley, spinach, beets, and orach.
Then again, separated from the greens was another path to the root vegetables, leeks, onions, garlic, carrots, and scallions, and so on. As well as for edible flowers and winter potherbs too. Like thyme, sage, lavender, rosemary, hyssop, southern wormwood, savory, lemon balm, basil, costmary, spikenard, chamomile, and pennyroyal.
Marigolds could grow perennially in untilled fields, and their juice and flowers were reputed to have many benefits from soothing eye irritation to relieving tooth pain. Rumour is that strawberry juice and wine have similar benefits for the eyes.
And, according to Estienne, the berries themselves had “no need of great toile or tilling”. Modern researchers continue to study whether reduced tillage improves weed control and yield for strawberry plants. Other plants found in the kitchen garden include asparagus, artichoke, sow, thistle, endive, chicory, watercress, etc.
As well as scallions, chives, parsnips, purslane, smallage, tarragon, borage, bugloss, radishes, rapeseed, skirret, poppy, mustard, cucumbers, and gourds. Citrus and melons could be part of the kitchen garden also if the conditions of soil and climate were such as to support their growth.
One historical design precedent is from the Gardens of the French Renaissance and Baroque Garden à la française eras potagers. In this type of vegetable garden, to enhance the garden’s beauty, you can plant flowers (edible and non-edible) and herbs along with vegetables.
The goal is to make the function of providing food aesthetically pleasing. You can choose plants depending on their functionality, color, or formation. Many are trained to grow upward. A well-designed potager can provide food as well as cut flowers and herbs for the home with very little maintenance.
A vegetable garden (also known as a vegetable patch or vegetable plot) is a garden that exists to grow vegetables and other plants useful for human consumption. More so, in contrast to a flower garden that exists for aesthetic purposes. It is a small-scale form of vegetable growing.
Basically, a vegetable garden typically includes a compost heap, and several plots or divided areas of land intended to grow one or two types of plant in each plot. You can also divide these plots into rows. With an assortment of vegetables grown in the different rows. It is usually located to the rear of a property in the back garden or back yard.
Eventually, the herb garden is often a separate space in the garden, devoted to growing a specific group of plants known as herbs. These gardens may be informal patches of plants. Or designed with care too.
Even to the point of arranging and clipping the plants to form specific patterns, as in a knot garden. Herb gardens may be purely functional. Or they may include a blend of functional and ornamental plants. In most cases, herbs are usually good in flavoring food while cooking.
Though they may also have other uses as well. Such as discouraging pests, providing pleasant scents, or serving medicinal purposes (such as a physic garden), among others. You can also create a kitchen garden by planting different herbs in pots or containers. With the added benefit of mobility.
Although not all herbs thrive in pots or containers, some herbs do better than others. Mint, a fragrant yet invasive herb, is an example of a herb that is advisable to keep in a container. Or it will take over the whole garden.
With worsening economic conditions and increased interest in organic and sustainable living, many people are turning to vegetable gardening. Especially, as a supplement to their family’s diet.
Not forgetting, food grown in the backyard consumes little if any fuel for shipping or maintenance. Additionally, the grower is sure of what exactly they used to grow it. Organic horticulture, or organic gardening, has become increasingly popular for the modern home gardener.
So, with that in mind, do you think that a Kitchen Garden is worth a shot? Have you started yet? Would you like to start any time soon? Feel free to share your opinion thoughts with us.
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