how to start growing your own kitchen garden

IMG_2476.jpeg
IMG_2477.jpeg

If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen that I recently added several new herbs to my kitchen garden. I’ve been wanting to add new plants for awhile and the start of summer seemed like the perfect time to do it.

As of right now, my herb garden has lavender, thyme, basil, rosemary, and apple mint. I’m hopeful that I’ll start adding vegetables like cherry tomatoes, kale, and zucchini soon and then eventually fruit trees when I have a lot more space. My herbs are in a container garden on the front porch that we put together in less than an hour on a Saturday. We picked up the plants from my favorite farmer’s market in Winter Park which, unsurprisingly, had much healthier plants than any of the garden center stores.

If you’re looking for a new hobby this summer that’s low maintenance, gets you out in nature, is good for the environment, and will inspire you to cook more, planting a kitchen garden is the way to go! Here are some of my tips for getting started:

buy local plants //
There are so many good reasons to buy your plants locally. It’s better for the environment, as it cuts down on shipping emissions and it means your plants aren’t carrying invasive species into your area. It supports your local community and they are more likely to thrive in your area’s specific climate conditions. Plus, have you ever noticed that the plants from big box stores seem to already be dead while they’re still in the store? To find local plants, try a nursery or even your farmer’s market.

get creative with containers //
You can use your containers to give your kitchen garden an aesthetic that’s distinctly you, from rustic to modern. My favorite thing to do is find vintage pieces to use from local antique salvage stores. Vintage crates are a really beautiful touch.

start with herbs //
Just because they’re easier to manage, I recommend starting with herbs before moving on to fruits and vegetables. Many herbs like mint, thyme, rosemary, sage, and tarragon are perennials which will live for several years without very much maintenance.

choose the right soil //
When it comes to a container garden like most of us will have, be sure to use the right soil. In this case, choose potting soil over garden soil. It drains better, which is important for healthy plants.

keeping up the maintenance //
The maintenance will really depend on what you’re growing but a basic herb garden should be watered about every other day. Just check the soil to see if it’s damp or needs water. Be sure that all of your plants are in containers that drain well, as it’s critical for allowing air to reach the roots and prevents the plant from sitting in stagnate, bacteria-laden water.