Who wouldn’t like the idea of growing their very own veggies and herbs to eat fresh? But no matter how enticing it may sound, not all of us are lucky enough to have a backyard or garden to grow our own fresh produce. And even if we do, we aren’t exactly blessed with green fingers. But guess what, you don’t need a sprawling garden or a degree in agriculture science to start your own little patch of flavourful fruits, aromatic herbs, and fresh vegetables! We’ve got 9 great expert tips to get you started on your journey towards growing a kitchen garden at home.
- Find the right space
The key to starting a kitchen garden is finding the right space. If you have a terrace or a balcony, then that’s a great place to start. Otherwise, even a windowsill will do. As long as the area receives plenty of sun, it is good enough to start planting.
- Decide what you want to grow
One big mistake newbies make is picking plants which are tough to raise. Some plants require more care than others and if you are new to gardening, you might get overwhelmed easily. Start small with easy options like mint, basil, parsley, lettuces, spinach, tomatoes, peppers, eggplants and beans. An added benefit is that they can be grown in a planter or a container. Steer clear of growing root vegetables as they need solid ground for their roots. Once you’ve shortlisted the plants, source the seeds or saplings. You can find these online easily!
- Invest in quality planters
You might be tempted to use empty containers lying around the house to grow your garden. But trust us, quality pots and planters go a long way to help you raise your own thriving kitchen garden. Choose planters which are light and easy to move around. If possible, opt for those that are made of porous material that will let the soil breathe. Finally, why not make your kitchen garden part of your home décor? Choose fun and quirky designs that look great and catch the eye!
- Take care of drainage
Drainage is key to your plants’ growth. Whichever pots or planters you select, they must have adequate drainage holes. Healthy plants not only need room to grow, but also adequate oxygen for the roots. Excess water must be able to move out or else your plants will drown. Worried what to do with the excess water? A drip tray is a great idea as it helps get rid of the extra water without making a mess.
- Buy the right soil
You’ve got the space, seeds and planters. What do you need next? Good soil to plan those seeds. Like any garden, success usually starts with the soil. Most vegetables do best in moist, well-drained soil that is rich in organic matter, such as compost. You also need to keep in mind that the soil you are choosing for an indoor kitchen garden should be devoid of any odour and shouldn’t attract pests.
- Invest in proper tools to tend to your plants
Gardening like any other hobby needs a bit of investment and it always pays to buy quality tools. You need durable tools that will last for many seasons and will be easy to use. What are the tools you must buy? You’d need a trowel, cultivator, transplanter, weeder, fork, and a khurpa to begin with. These will help you plant, prune and turn the soil from time to time.
- Get watering
How you water your kitchen garden is important. You need to ensure that water reaches as close to the roots as possible without wetting the foliage, which is wasteful and can even promote disease. It’s a good idea to get a watering can as it will help you to get in among the leaves and stems, and while you’re at it, you can inspect your plants too.
- Consider getting some fertilizers
Whether you are planning on going organic or not, fertilizers are your kitchen garden’s best friends. As garden vegetables grow, they undergo an intensive process that strips nutrients from the soil. Adding fertilizer keeps soil full of nutrients your growing plants need. Organic fertilizers are ideal as they offer a slow but steady diet of macronutrients and healthy microbes.
- Pay attention to your garden
Finally, keep a watchful eye on your kitchen garden every day. Your plants are like your babies and need tender loving care daily. Space them out as they grow. Move them around as the sun shifts. If it is getting too hot outside, consider putting them in shade to keep them from drying out. Watch out for any signs of disease. And last but not the least, harvest the fruits of your labour when your kitchen garden is in full bloom.
Gardening can truly be a therapeutic hobby and when you are growing a kitchen garden, you can literally taste your efforts! Start your kitchen garden today and grow farm fresh vegetables, fruits and herbs right in the comfort of your home.