How do I plant a kitchen garden?

A kitchen garden is simply a small garden where vegetables, herbs and fruit are grown near the house for easy access. The purpose is to produce the fresh, flavorful food that you intend to prepare and eat.

If this is your first garden, start small and plant just a few, easy-to-grow vegetables so you don't become overwhelmed. As you start to plan out your garden, think about the foods you eat most frequently.

Does your family prefer spicy foods? Then focus on peppers, onions and garlic. Do you like a salad with every meal? Then designate plenty of room for a variety of lettuces, cucumbers, radishes and other salad fixings. Consider the herbs you frequently use in cooking and include those in your kitchen garden. Imagine how much better your dishes will taste with fresh herbs!

Before the seeds go into the ground, have your soil tested to determine whether it's rich in nutrients or if it could use some help.

Next, prepare your garden spot by clearing it of weeds and adding any amendments suggested by your soil test. Enrich it even further by covering the spot with about 3 inches of organic material, such as compost or decaying leaves and tilling it into the soil.

Once you've planted, supply the germinating seeds with plenty of water and keep a close eye on the seedlings one they've sprouted to make sure they're well hydrated.

Keep the garden weeded so weeds don't steal moisture and nutrients from your crops and fertilize according to each plant's requirements.

If you don't have much backyard space for a garden, create a functional kitchen garden by using a raised bed, whiskey barrel halves, or containers.

Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and safety of this information. Neither Westlake nor any contributor can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and safety of this information. Neither Westlake nor any contributor can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

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