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Tasty Kitchen Garden

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Friday, February 15, 2019 - 7:00am

A kitchen garden can be easy to manage and provide many fresh veggies and herbs today on Southern Gardening. 

Having a kitchen garden doesn’t mean you need an extensive vegetable garden.  It does mean growing what you like to eat.  If you like Italian include at least tomatoes, basil and oregano.  Or Asian include leafy greens, eggplant and onions.  If you are just trying to eat healthy grow classic vegetables and herbs.

The main goal of the kitchen garden is to have a continuous supply of fresh harvest.  Use these tips to ensure an ongoing harvest.

Don’t let herbs go to seed by constantly trimming. 

Stagger planting dates.  Harvest and replant throughout the season to keep plants producing. 

Size matters since the kitchen garden generally will be more compact than traditional gardens.  Choose dwarf or patio varieties, use cages and trellises to keep larger plants under control. 

If you have never had a garden before, start small.  It is amazing how fast a garden can overwhelm a beginner.  Try these suggestions.

Choose a sunny site, good growth and ripening needs about 6 hours of sun daily.

Set boundaries.  Starting small will help from getting overwhelmed and be successful.

Grow in raised beds in improved soil.  Raised beds help improve drainage and since you are not walking in the raised beds the soil stays loose. 

Provide protection.  Fencing and cages will keep unwanted visitors from helping themselves to your harvest. 

It’s not too early to begin planning your kitchen garden for next year. If you start now you can use these tips for fresh garden tastes through the winter. I’m horticulturist Gary Bachman for Southern Gardening.

Department: Coastal Research & Extension Center

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