Share The Health

Planting a Kitchen Garden - Let's Get Started!

02-17-2016

Planting a kitchen garden is a great way to add fresh produce to your delicious home-cooked meals. Fruits and vegetables that you’ve grown yourself are usually higher in nutrients than those that have traveled across the country to grocery store shelves, and spending some time outdoors while working on your garden is great for your physical and mental health. So no matter how much space you’re working with, planting a kitchen garden is a great idea!

What type of garden you decide to grow is completely up to you, but it’s best to start by thinking of what foods you eat most often. If you purchase lots of tomatoes, bell peppers and fresh cilantro, those are things you can certainly grow in a small garden or even a planter on your porch. Gardening should be fun, so don’t hesitate to experiment a little bit. Growing kaleidoscope carrots or heirloom tomatoes can be a fun way to enhance your garden and try something new.

Still not sure where to start? Consider a themed garden.

Salsa Garden – Plant tomatoes, sweet and spicy peppers, onions, garlic, and fresh herbs like cilantro and oregano to add fresh salsa to any get together.

Spaghetti Sauce Garden – Plant Roma tomatoes, basil, oregano, onions, and garlic for a flavorful family meal.

Pizza Garden – Top your homemade pizza with tomatoes, basil, oregano, eggplant, or sweet peppers for a fun night of cooking at home.

Cocktail Garden – Plant fresh herbs like mint, basil, lavender, and thyme; or consider growing berries or fruit to spice up your favorite cocktail.

Here a few tips to keep in mind before you get started:

Location, location, location!
Plant your garden near your house or a frequented walkway to make maintenance easy. Keeping your garden in site and conveniently accessible makes it easier to manage. Give your garden just 10 minutes of your attention each day to ensure the weeds stay out, the garden is well watered, and the plants are thriving.

Choose a sunny spot.
When you’re picking the best spot for your garden, either near your house or a well-traveled area of your yard, make sure the location gets enough sunlight. To grow fresh herbs, fruits, and vegetables, your garden box or planter needs at least 6 hours of direct sunlight a day.

Start Small.
Starting with a smaller garden allows you to determine what level of time and effort you can reasonably dedicate to gardening. It’s better to have success with a small garden and branch out once your confidence grows.

Get Creative.
If space is an issue, there are many ways to maximize your growing space. Use gutters to create a stacked gutter garden; perfect for growing salad greens. Hanging bags and buckets are a great way to grow tomatoes. You can even make use of an old pallet for holding small potted herbs and smaller vegetables.

Know your limits.
Is planting a garden just not realistic for you? That’s okay; you can still get locally grown produce from farmers markets all around the Frederick area. To find one near you, visit http://www.frederickfarmfresh.com/markets/.

Want to learn more?
Attend out free event on March 7th for a gardening and cooking demonstration at FMH Crestwood. Click here for more information.

Remember, a kitchen garden should be a fun and happy space. Have you grown a kitchen garden or themed garden before? If so, let us know what’s worked well for you!

Categories: Healthy Eating, Events