By Jannie Vaught
Marion-Webster definition, a garden in which plants (such as vegetables or herbs) for use in the kitchen are cultivated. Location is an important subject. It is close to the kitchen door. Some who like to figure measurements say 25 steps away. Or you walk past if from the car to the door. Or off the patio where you can gather and enjoy the fragrance of the herbs. Which even works for your home kitchen. Historically most homes had a kitchen garden close at hand. For easy access and the larger production growing area was farther away. These larger areas are often fenced to keep animals and pets out and often are irrigated with more elaborate watering systems. First, it needs at least 4 hours of sunlight, good well-drained soil and access to water, as herbs are a little more delicate and need daily water and will wilt down in the hot sun. What to plant?
There are some staples like radish, green bunching onions, garlic, lettuce some leafy greens and herbs, lots of herbs. The larger crops like potatoes, okra, tomatoes, beans, vining plants, and root vegetables need more growing space. And let’s not forget the flowers. Your kitchen garden may be The Garden. The only garden you want or have space to grow in. Either way, we add to the flavor and freshness of our daily meals with the addition of the kitchen garden. This is a term that isn’t’ often used now as it was when we didn’t have access to a grocery store where we easily drive to and purchase the items that we need to cook. The kitchen garden was our easy trip out the back door with our kitchen knife and a basket. That’s how the shopping was done. Being as my parents use to say “Born in the wrong century” I always wanted that garden and even as a child was out digging up a little patch of soil to plant a tomato. Let’s make an attempt to bring back the Kitchen Garden as a necessary place in our Mint, Lavender, and
Dill. All of these can be purchased in the spring as starts in small pots and transplanted into the garden. Be careful Rosemary can get Big and will often need a location for its self. And as for mint it will take over and push other plants out, plant this herb in its own separate area near a dripping faucet or large pot. it needs lots of water. But it is refreshing to have especially in the heat of the summer for cooling drinks and dried for winters mint tea. Let’s look at Basil, also called Great Basil or Saint Johns Wort is in the family Lamiaceae, used as a culinary herb and used medicinally also for inflammation. There is a lemon, and even lime basil. It will flower a spike, you can remove the spike and keep the leaves growing or let it flower and make seeds for next year I do both. When the seeds are making I place a thin cloth bag over the seeds spike to keep the seeds from falling to the ground. Which even variety of this plant you choose Basil is a winner for the Kitchen Garden.
Keep that Kitchen Garden.
Growing green with Jannie