What is a kitchen garden?
Known as a potager in France, a kitchen garden is simply part of a domestic garden that has been given over to the production of plants for food rather than for their ornamental properties. This is distinguished from a market garden, however, which produces crops for commercial consumption. A kitchen garden's produce will usually be consumed by the owner although some gardeners will swap their produce. During times of war, many people have used kitchen garden horticulture to boost their food intake. However, many people are now turning to it because they wish to avoid farmed foods and lower their carbon footprint since no transportation costs are involved.
What are good kitchen garden plants?
In short, any plant that can be eaten is a good one for a kitchen garden. Crops that are grown in the West typically include root vegetables, such as beetroot, potatoes, swedes and turnips. In addition, carrots and parsnips are popular choices. In terms of fruit, tomatoes are often cultivated, and some kitchen gardens are even large enough to accommodate small trees, such as apple trees, as well as bushes that produce berries, like gooseberries, for example. Also, herbs and squashes are relatively easy to grow in a kitchen garden.
How can you make a kitchen garden without a garden?
This is a problem that can seem insurmountable at first. However, it is possible to make a kitchen garden from even a modest plot on an allotment. If that is not possible, then using a raised planter or even some pots on a patio area will mean being able to grow plants as diverse as strawberries, onions and garlic. If you have even less room to form a kitchen garden, then a window sill can be put to use to grow small pots of herbs. Thyme, basil and oregano all grow well in pots.
What are the advantages of a kitchen garden?
As well as being able to consume food without paying supermarket prices for it, growing your own provides a great deal of satisfaction. Many people find that the quality and flavour of plants they have grown themselves are superior. What's more, you know exactly what you have done to achieve your results, such as avoiding insecticides, for example. Horticulture is known to have a good impact on the mental well-being of many people who engage in it, too.
Can you mix an ornamental garden with a kitchen garden?
It is not necessary to devote all of your garden to become a kitchen garden to benefit from self-grown food. As long as the area you choose as a reasonable amount of sunlight that drains well – boggy areas will not work well – then you can begin. In less conducive areas for food production, simply devote these to ornamental planting that you can enjoy when enjoying a self-grown meal outside.