22 March 2022
How To Create A Kitchen Garden
Become part of the 'Grow Your Own' revolution, creating a bountiful Kitchen Garden at home using our useful How To Create A Kitchen Garden guide to planning & planting. Kitchen Gardens are becoming ever popular and it's not hard to see why growing your own food can cut food bills, provide healthier, fresher food for you and your family & increase your mental & physical wellbeing.
When & Where To Start a Kitchen Garden
Early Spring is an ideal time to start planting out a vegetable garden, although you can start planning the design anytime throughout the year.
Consider the best location for how to create a kitchen garden - think open, sunny spot that gets sun throughout the day. If your garden is particularly shaded, you may want to adapt the crops you grow accordingly.
Next: work out an ideal size for your needs taking into consideration what you want to grow and how much space each crop needs. Start small with a few containers on the patio, or get stuck in with polytunnels and raised beds.
Designing The Layout
Growing vegetables in allocated beds can make your garden much easier to manage and maintain, they may also provide natural protection from insects, prevent people from stepping on the soil and can be easily accessible in all weathers by creating pathways through them from your back door.
Soil level or raised beds?
Soil level beds can be marked out with minimal tools, using pegs and string to define the areas, edging the borders will help protect plants and keep the soil in place.
Raised beds are a more expensive option but they can provide better drainage, encourage warmer soil temperatures and you are able to produce higher yields in a smaller space.
Size & Orientation
Aim for a bed width where you can comfortably reach the middle (about 3-4ft)The length of your beds depend on how far you want to walk around it normally no more than around 10ft. Keep it formal using rows or more relaxed using different shapes and patterns.
Soil Prep & Plant Positioning
Prepare the soil by removing the sod. Then mix compost, organic matter and amendments into the exposed soil and till or turn it with a spade. As a general rule plant according to height with the largest at the back.
(tomatoes, peppers) – these will need the most sunlight so place into your plans first & plant the rest around them.
(raspberries, Blackberries)– plant toward the back of the bed on a trellis or an A frame.
(aubergine, cucumber) – plant toward the back of the bed on a trellis.
(Basil, Oregano, Corriander, Thyme) – keep these in pots or planters nearest the house so you can take full advantage with minimal effort. They need regular watering too.
Pollinators & Companion Plants
Encourage pollination & deter unwanted pests.
Mint – great for deterring pests from carrots & tomatoes.
Marigold – repels pests from tomatoes & beans, attracting beneficial insects too.
Basil - if left to flower attracts hoards of bees. It also improves the flavour of tomatoes and lettuce.
How To Create Pathways
Once you have marked out or placed your beds its time to think about paving. A great option for pathways between beds are Brick Pavers or Cobbles & Setts, offering a more traditional, rustic vibe to the kitchen garden.
For a more low-key alternative when learning how to create a kitchen garden, try a decorative gravel path. It can be used to create traditional rows or to fill in larger, more rounded areas.
Easy-Care Crops to Grow
Courgettes & Squashes
Plant out in late May – One or two plants are plenty, providing you keep picking they should produce a large crop.
Great for planting in pots and containers, potatoes are super easy to grow:
- Layer up compost at the bottom of the pot
- Add the potato seeds
- Add another layer of compost
- Once the leaves start to grow, add more compost up to the tips
- Keep in a warm sunny spot and give them plenty of water, especially throughout the growing season
Grow from smaller bulbs in spring or autumn & hand pick once they are cooking size- this is normally around 20-36 weeks. Crop when the leaves start turning brown and start drooping, signalling the end of growth.
Easy to grow and keeps on producing for many years, rhubarb harvests when many other crops don’t, providing a go-to food source during those times. Plant with plenty of space around it in free-draining soil.
Easy to grow and crop for many years. Strawberry plants can be potted up into containers or grow bags, find a warm sunny spot out of the wind and wait for those juicy red jewels to ripen.
The National Trust Kitchen Garden Range
Westminster Stone have pleasure in presenting the National Trust Landscape Collection. The Kitchen Garden Range is influenced by National Trust properties and gardens across the country. Offering flagstones, brick pavers, shingles and accessories to create whimsical yet practical spaces.