A kitchen garden is a great place for anyone looking for a simple way to save money on food and to give their family the best food possible with limited space. Anyone with a little room in their kitchen can get started with growing their own food without the need to have an outdoor garden space!
As the cost of everything goes up more and more families are looking for ways to save money. Growing your own food is a great option for those who are looking to rely on the store less so they spend less money. But, not everyone lives in a house with a big backyards where they can grow a big vegetable garden.
I mean, I live in a 30-foot RV. I certainly don’t have a ton of space.
The good news though is that you do not need to grow all of your food to benefit from growing your own bounty. Every bite you grow saves you money.
Even growing just a few small things can help ease the burden when it comes to dealing with the rising costs of food. Plus, growing a kitchen garden allows anyone to grow fresh food and even allows for year-round growing to help reduce the cost of food in the winter.
What is the difference between a kitchen garden and vegetable garden?
While other people may have a different idea of what a kitchen garden is, I specifically mean a garden that is grown indoors; usually in a kitchen. This could be extended to a garden grown on a balcony or porch as well.
It’s basically a garden grown anywhere that does not have a large plot or raised bed to grow in.
Why you should grow a kitchen garden
Aside from the fact that a small garden grown in the kitchen can save you money, it also allows you to begin to feed your family healthy, unadulterated food.
It may not seem like much, but every healthier food you feed your family helps. Even if it is only a small amount to begin with. The more nutrients you can feed them, the better.
The kitchen is a great place to grow plants, especially in winter. While your furnace in your home tends to dry the air out, the humidity and moisture in your kitchen can counter that and keep your plants from drying out too much.
Because everyone spends time in the kitchen every day making sure your plants get cared for is much easier. All you need to do is build a healthy routine of checking and watering your plants if needed when you are washing the dishes or cooking.
Where is the best place to grow an indoor garden?
Growing indoors also has the added benefit of not having to worry too much about your plant hardiness zone or to wait for early spring to plant.
You also don’t have to worry about weeds or pests that may harm your harvests. By the same token, you also don’t get the beneficial insects that help your garden either.
Since you’re growing indoors, outside conditions and growing seasons don’t matter as much provided your home isn’t blazing hot or icy cold which makes them great for kids to help out with.
Teaching your kids how to grow their own food is a skill that will serve them their entire life.
The only outdoor condition that actually matters is how much natural light your little garden will receive. If they won’t receive enough natural light in your home, consider adding grow lights like THESE to help them.
How to Water Your Kitchen Herb Garden for Nutrition
A kitchen herb garden also makes it really easy to take advantage of grey water that can nourish your plants. You can use clean water that would normally run down run down the drain or the water you use to boil eggs, potatoes or pasta to water your plants. This will help to nourish them and help your indoor kitchen herb garden to flourish.
You can also collect rainwater from your backyard or patio if you have one. Just be sure never to use soapy water and to allow it to cool completely before giving it to your plants.
As your garden grows and your skills improve over time you can choose to expand your garden as you have room from a simple kitchen window garden to edible plants around your home. Many people find that when they get started this way that they fall in love with growing plants at home.
What Do I Need to Grow an Indoor Garden?
There are two ways you can grow a garden in your kitchen. How much and what you can grow depends on what method you choose and the amount of space you have in your kitchen or dining room near your kitchen.
The same and method will determine what you need to grow an indoor garden.
You can grow a small potted garden with fresh herbs near any south-facing window if you don’t have a large budget. Be sure that any pots or containers you use have good drainage so you don’t risk mold or other plant diseases that come with wet soggy organic matter.
Some plants are better suited to your indoor kitchen garden. When looking for what you would like to grow you will need to consider the growing method you picked. Smaller pots can not sustain larger plants but can grow small amounts of fresh herbs or some baby salad greens fairly well.
A quality organic potting soil is necessary too. If you’ve been composting, this can help enrich your soil, but if not, either buy dry compost or make compost tea.
If you have more of a budget you can opt to start a kitchen garden with an indoor hydroponics kit that will allow for vegetables and flourishing herbs right on your countertop, but this is not necessary. Most ready made hydroponic setups are designed for growing smaller vegetables which makes them perfect in the kitchen, but not for growing larger foods.
For kitchens that don’t receive a lot of natural light, consider buying grow lights. This will help to ensure your plants get the best light possible for their varieties.
What Can I Grow in My Kitchen Garden?
As the price of food continue to rise your kitchen garden is a great way to save money on everyday food for your family but deciding what to grow in your limited kitchen space can be a bit difficult; especially if you have never grown a garden before.
When growing your kitchen garden you will need seeds. I recommend using only heirloom seeds. Heirloom seeds are best because they are not genetically altered so their seedlings produce food that is better for you.
Unlike modern conventional plants, heirloom plants, will produce seeds that you can save to continue to grow more food. They are a also smart investment because they will continue to pay for themselves year after year.
Side Note: I only plant heirloom seeds in my own gardens. I buy all my heirloom seeds from Mary’s Heirloom Seeds. Each time I plant, I have a 98% germination rate and my plants turn out amazing. I wouldn’t buy my seeds from anywhere else at this point. You can check out Mary’s Heirloom Seeds HERE if you’re interested.
Edible Plants to Grow In a Kitchen Garden
and so many others!
For most people, the best place to start in your first kitchen garden is with simple easy-to-grow plants like culinary herbs or medicinal herbs. Basil, oregano, and mint all make wonderful first-time plants that do fairly well as long as you remember to water them and they get plenty of light.
Microgreens are another simple way to grow food in your kitchen. With some simple upcycled trays, a small bit of soil or growing medium, water, and seeds you can grow microgreens in just a few days. This is a great way to supplement your diet with fresh healthy vegetables quickly and easily right from your kitchen.
As you get more comfortable you can venture out into growing things that will help supplement your family’s nutrition like growing spinach that is high in iron and antioxidants. Growing salad greens allows you to make your meals more filling and provide your family with food for less.
What Vegetables Can Be Grown in a Kitchen Garden?
If you have more space in your kitchen, you can consider trying to grow root vegetables and vining plants. These types of plants require a larger planter and possibly even a 5-gallon food safe bucket. If you do not have a lot of experience growing, these are not the best to start with as they will require more care than normal to be grown indoors.
These types of plants include:
- Bell Peppers
- Jalapeno Peppers
- Beans; especially green beans
- Sweet Potatoes
- Sweet Peas
If you’re brave, you can even try growing foods such as small cabbages, eggplant or melons although I will say these usually require much more room than an indoor garden can provide.
What Edible Flowers and Fruit Can Be Grown in a Kitchen Garden?
Your indoor garden is not limited to herbs and some vegetables. You can also grow edible flowers and in some cases, fruit trees. These edibles can help round out the food you’re feeding your family.
They can include:
- Marigolds (Calendula) and many other edible flowers; both perennials and annuals
- Dwarf fruit trees like the Meyers Lemon tree
- Strawberries from a hanging strawberry planter
- Cucumbers grown from a hanging planter
- Sunflower – Preferably dwarf varieties
- Bee Balm
- Lemon Balm
If you’re growing dwarf fruits, you’ll want to add mulch to each pot. This helps to ensure your dwarf trees get proper drainage and avoids root rot.
Growing food indoors makes it possible for those who otherwise may not be able to grow food. If you’re one of those people, plan your kitchen garden making sure to place companion plants near each other and before you know it, you’ll be growing lots of yummy foods for your family.
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