While cooking at home, we use vegetables such as kales and tomatoes in soups and salads. These can cost you a lot of money if you decide to buy them from your favorite store every fortnight. The good thing is that you can grow such vegetables and more at the back of your home. In this article, we offer detailed tips on how to start a home kitchen garden.
Check the Available Space
Starting a productive kitchen garden is not as hard as some people think. If you can plan and make wise gardening decisions, you will have a productive garden in your backyard without breaking the bank. To do a fairly decent job, the first thing that you should do is check the available gardening space at home. What is its size? This dictates the type of plants that you grow and have a good harvest for your recipes. It also dictates that gardening techniques that you might have to implement to maximize the available space. Tomatoes and cabbages, for instance, take up a lot of space. Check your available space and make sure you can achieve the recommended spacing before making the next step. Leafy vegetables such as kales do not need a lot of space to grow. They can also grow well in planters and/or containers in hydroponic settings.
Different types of vegetables require different environmental conditions to grow quickly and healthy. However, no matter the species that you are planning to propagate, make sure that you have good draining soil. The space should also receive an ample amount of sunlight. Most plants need this for photosynthesis – a biological process that plants use to make their food. If you have poorly draining soil, amend it with compost or a commercial additive such as perlite to improve texture and health.
Planting media is a broad term depicting all tools and materials that you will need to start a kitchen garden at home. You will need seed, cuttings, or seedlings to grow vegetables, fruits, or tubers at home. These should be disease-resistant and bred to grow well in your locality without a lot of effort from you or requiring a farmhand. You will also require a few tools to prepare your kitchen garden and to plant and manage your vegetable. Garden hoses, for instance, are suitable for watering plants. They come in many sizes, a majority of them being food-grade, and as such suitable for propagating plants for personal consumption. You will also need a garden trellis to support climbing plants and a garden cart for hauling pots or fertilizer to and from your garden. We have reviewed some of the best brands in another article. Finally, to improve soil texture and thereby the penetration of air, water, and nutrients to your plants, you will have to aerate the soil at least once every month. You can use a hoe to dig and turn it around, but this requires a lot of effort. Use a garden weasel or a pair of gardening shoes instead to do a better job quickly and easily.
Pest and Disease Management
Having a healthy garden in your backyard will not only provide you with food but also boost the aesthetic value of the home. However, it takes a lot of effort, so always be ready to put in the work. If you have prepared your beds, planted vegetables and fruits, and have seen vegetables and fruits sprouts, work on pest and disease l management to improve the harvest. Insects such as aphids, moths, and fruit flies can be devastating to plants if you do not take care of them as required. We have reviewed two broad techniques you can implement to do a better job even with little skill. If you are interested in organic farming, you can spray safe oils such as neem weekly or bi-weekly to keep off pests that might damage your plant. These are slow-acting, though, and lack the residual activity found in organic and synthetic insecticides and nematicides, et cetera. If you decide to use chemical sprays, make sure that they are 100% safe.
You can find other organic pest management tips in this video.
Starting a kitchen garden is a fun hobby that will also reward you with vegetables and fruits. You will also stay active, which has a positive bearing on your health and development. The four tips that we have shared below can help you to start a thriving home garden on a budget.