Planning A Kitchen Garden

The first thing any gardener has to do when planning a garden is to measure the space that is available. This is particularly important when planning a kitchen container garden as when space is limited greater care has to be taken to make sure every bit is used to the best advantage.

Whether the space is large or small, two fundamental rules apply:

1. All the elements of the garden must be easily reachable

2. There must be a clear plan for the area before you start planting

Kitchen Garden Planning

Planning a kitchen garden involves a thoughtful and strategic approach so that you can best cultivate a productive space for growing vegetables, fruits and herbs.

These may seem too elementary, even unnecessary, but planning involves simple things, such as allowing space to walk out of the back door, making sure you can reach all the containers to water them, allowing access to an outside tap, and checking the position of any windows so that growing plants will not obstruct the light. It is surprising how often such practicalities are forgotten.

Steps to Planning a Kitchen Garden

  1. Selecting an appropriate location that receives ample sunlight, has good drainage, and is easily accessible for regular maintenance.
  2. Decide on the layout and design of the garden. Consider factors such as the size of the space, types of plants to be grown, and any companion planting techniques that can enhance growth and deter pests. It’s crucial to select a variety of vegetables, herbs, and possibly even fruits that are well-suited to your local climate and growing season. Proper spacing and arrangement are essential to ensure each plant has sufficient room to thrive. Ensure you plan to avoid a glut. Take care not to grow too many of one type of vegetable that will be ready all at the same time. See our article for harvesting and storing here.
  3. Implementing sustainable practices like composting, mulching, and water conservation should also be integrated into your plan.
  4. Regular maintenance, pest management, and a well-defined watering schedule round out the planning process, resulting in a harmonious kitchen garden that will provide you with a constant supply of fresh, homegrown produce.
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Kitchen Garden

If your container garden is a window box or on a small balcony then there is usually little choice about how the space can be organized and used.

If the container garden is on a patio or roof garden then you have to think about all the likely uses for the space. Is it used for eating out in the summer or sunbathing? Is it an extra room? Do the family sit there? How much competition for the space is there between the gardening and non-gardening members of the family?

Kitchen container Garden

Raised Beds and Potagers

Once these questions have been answered you can decide, for instance, whether there is room for a raised bed around a patio area or whether the patio is large enough to create a miniature potager kitchen garden with small formal beds of herbs and vegetables. Raised beds have a number of advantages:

– they are more easily reached by the elderly and disabled,

– they provide a garden with the large containers that are necessary if permanent trees and shrubs are to be grown,

– they give a container garden more substance.

kitchen planting

If you plan to build one remember to allow space between the container and the walls of the house otherwise the damp course would be damaged. Similarly, if you want to construct a potager take care not to interfere with the drains or mains supplies to the house.

outdoor vertical garden planter kitchen garden vegetables

Outdoor Vertical Garden

Height and different levels are another important consideration. Are you surrounded by a wall or trellis? Can you position containers so that you can grow climbing plants that will screen you from view? Is there sufficient wall space to grow trees and shrubs? Have you got walls that will support wall pots? Might it be possible to plan arches or pergolas to cover a seating area with vines or other climbing plants?

SEE ALSO:   Ginger - The Multipurpose Herb

outdoor vertical garden terrace tomatoes

An outdoor vertical garden is a creative and space-efficient way to bring lush greenery and natural beauty to limited outdoor areas. This innovative gardening technique involves cultivating plants vertically on walls, fences, or specially designed structures, utilizing both aesthetics and functionality. By using planters, pockets, or trellises, plants are arranged in tiers, creating a visually stunning tapestry of foliage that not only adds a touch of nature to urban settings but also maximizes the use of available space.

Outdoor vertical gardens can consist of a variety of plants, from vibrant flowers and aromatic herbs to trailing vines and even small vegetables, offering a versatile canvas for gardening enthusiasts to explore. These gardens not only serve as eye-catching design elements but also contribute to air purification, insulation, and a sense of serenity in outdoor living spaces.

outdoor vertical garden wall


Two essential points in all garden design are access and surprise. No garden should give up its secrets at once, try and achieve a dynamic practical flow, that carries you around the area however small.

Planning a kitchen garden involves careful consideration of various factors to create a thriving and productive space for growing edible plants. Selecting an appropriate location with adequate sunlight, proper drainage, and easy accessibility is crucial. The layout and design should account for the garden’s size, plant selection, and potential companion planting strategies. Climate-appropriate choices are essential, and sustainable practices like composting and water conservation should be integrated. Regular maintenance, pest management, and a well-structured watering schedule are essential components of the plan. The goal is to cultivate a harmonious kitchen garden that not only provides a continuous supply of fresh produce but also offers a rewarding and enjoyable gardening experience.

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