Having your own vegetable garden means that you can eat fresh and healthy every day! You won’t have to worry about pesticides or artificial colours anymore. And gardening is undoubtedly one of the healthiest hobbies possible. It provides plenty of exercise and the scope to breathe in fresh air. The act of nurturing other lives offers immense satisfaction too.
So what is stopping you? Is it the lack of sufficient space for a large vegetable garden? Then let us assure you that you don’t need acres of land to grow beautiful and nutritious veggies. They can be easily grown in small or modestly-sized gardens, backyards, balconies, on terraces or even on windowsills. All you need is a little bit of willpower, interest and creativity to get you going.
Today, we will offer some tips and tricks which will help you in setting up a kitchen garden in no time. Remember, growing veggies is not just a great choice only because you can create delectable dishes with them. They lend a natural touch to urban homes and positively impact the psychological well-being of the inhabitants too. And if the whole family helps in growing the vegetables, then the process becomes much more fun!
First and foremost, you need to decide the amount of space or area you can spare for the kitchen garden. Or you may also reserve a certain portion of your flower garden, to grow the veggies. The area required usually depends on the type and number of vegetables you intend to grow. For instance, if you have two balconies or maybe a balcony and a terrace, then you can go for two kitchen gardens.
Sometimes, consulting a landscape designer or architect can be a wise idea in order to make the most out of your small garden space. A landscape designer or architect will be able to guarantee that the final result is precisely measured and has a clean finishing. To understand what we mean, observe the beautifully designed garden above. It has been created by DDWH Architects from London. They have brilliantly utilized the slope of the land to craft a split-level space, where each level comes with its own array of greenery. Neat, lighted steps and a utilitarian fence enhance the elegance of the garden.
Increasing the fertility of the soil will help you grow healthy and tasty vegetables. The right kind and amount of fertilizers and manure have to be added, since they are rich sources of nutrients. Please make sure that the soil is soft and sufficiently aerated, because this enables the roots to spread out and grow properly. Use high yielding varieties of seeds for the best results.
Don’t forget that different veggies may require different soil types. So, you can either use a single plot to grow plants which need the same type of soil, or you can use separate containers and pots for different vegetables.
It is always advisable to pick vegetables as per the amount of space available for your kitchen garden. If there is lack of enough room, then avoid growing large plants or those which spread out a lot while growing. Also consider the climate of the area where you stay in, and the type of soil which you can conveniently obtain from local markets.
When space is a premium, plants which are small and come with modestly-sized roots, are the best suited. It is also a smart idea to grow vines such as tomatoes, eggplants, beans, cucumbers, and squash, since they will simply crawl and take up less space. Place a stick so that they can use it as a support while growing.
Vertical gardening is increasingly garnering popularity owing to the scarcity of enough space in modern city apartments. With this technique you can save on your floor area, and still grow vegetables against a wall, even when they are not climbers. Take a hint from this vertical garden designed by Bambootec, landscape architects from Mexico. They have used sturdy bamboo planters to grow lush greenery.
While using vertical spaces for growing vegetables, you will just have to make sure that the weight of the soil and the plant are being efficiently supported. Another alternative is to grow plants which are tall but don’t spread out much. Vertical gardens can add immense aesthetic appeal to your home and can be pocket-friendlier than horizontal gardens.
The technique of interplanting or intercropping can help you grow more than one type of vegetable even when there’s hardly any space. For instance, you can choose to grow onions next to peppers. Or go for veggies which are not easily available at your local grocery. It might interest you to know that intercropping can enable plants to grow quicker, and can safeguard them from insects too. As long as the different kinds of plants receive adequate water, sunlight, and oxygen, they will flourish. Take a look at this small exterior garden of a farmhouse, for inspiration.
Growing vegetables in pots or planters not only takes up less time, they save space and money as well. You can use a number of decorative pots to grow different veggies instead of planning a garden. It will be easier for you to maintain, and you can also choose to hang the pots against walls if you don’t want to crowd the floor area. Just bear in mind that the size of the pots you pick, must accommodate the plants nicely. See how the stacked planters pictured above not only look gorgeous; they cleverly make use of the vertical space too.
You surely now realize that there are so many different ways of growing healthy greens, for a daily diet rich in minerals, vitamins and fibre. So get going with the idea that appeals to you the most. You can also consult a reputed nursery to guide you on gardening essentials. And an experienced landscape architect can do wonders if you want a chic small garden that provokes your neighbours’ envy. Here is another ideabook to quench your gardening thirst – Design ideasfor small city gardens.