Small Kitchen Gardening ~

A small kitchen garden can be a source of fresh salads, delicious vegetables and a pleasure to look at, as well as providing an opportunity for exercise. I usually always plant a small garden of tomatoes, squash, peppers, etc… I enjoy digging in the dirt and I also enjoy the reward of harvesting from my small kitchen garden. This year I am going to experiment with some herbs in my garden. My plants are all about 6 inches tall. They are ready for planting. This weekend I hope to get the soil turned over and do my planting.

I wish you the best in your gardening, even if it is just a few pots on the patio with tomato plants. Bless you for your efforts.

Happy Gardening ~
Mrs. Teresa A. Haley

Instructions

things you’ll need:

* Patch of ground with good sun at least four hours daily
* Stakes
* String
* Long-handled round-bladed spade
* Small sticks or pea gravel
* Boards or sections of log
* Rocks or bricks
* Graph paper
* Garden rake
* Long-handled hoe
* Vegetable seeds
* Plastic garden stakes or Popsicle sticks
* Permanent writing marker
* Trellis

Prepare the Bed

Select a space near the kitchen that receives at least four hours of good sun daily. Most vegetable plants are sun lovers.

Mark off garden-bed sections using stake and string. Beds should be no wider than the gardener can comfortably reach across. Three feet is usually considered optimum and can be as long as you wish. Think about how much time you have and how much room you may need for other things and plan accordingly. For a first-time gardener, smaller is better.

Use a round bladed spade with a long handle (to enable placing the dirt in a specific spot without extra walking) and dig a trench at least 1 foot deep along the long edge of the planned bed. Place the dirt on a piece of plastic or in a wheel barrow; reserve for later use.

In the bottom of the trench, place sticks, pea gravel or sand (especially if you have clay soil) that will facilitate drainage. If drainage is not an issue in your area you can skip this.

Back the outside edge of the trench with heavy planking, large sections of log, bricks, rocks or stones to a height of about 1 foot, if possible. Fill the trench to ground level with enriched humus.

Use spade to dig a new trench parallel to the first, placing the soil on top of the humus just used to fill the first trench. Repeat as many times as needed, except the border material will only be added at the top and bottom of the row.

Plant the Seeds

Plan where to plant the seeds by reading the recommended distance between mature plants. On a piece of graph paper, lay out the dimensions of your bed and plan the optimum-planting distance for each plant. Place tall plants on the north side of the bed so that they do not shade other plants as they mature.

Use the long-handled hoe to break up any clods or large lumps of dirt. Remove big rocks, clumps of grass or weeds that managed to remain in the soil. Rake smooth, rounding the bed to be slightly taller in the middle than at the sides.

Consulting your garden graph, place the seeds carefully at the correct distances from each other. Plant at the depth recommended on the seed packet and press the soil lightly over each planting. Mark with a labeled white-plastic garden stake or a Popsicle stick.

Provide a sturdy trellis for beans or other vine plants. These may be purchased from any garden store or can be made from poles or 1×3 planking.

Maintenance

Plan a watering schedule that is appropriate for your climate and soil type. Vegetable plants tend to love water. If you are in an area where you can count on daily showers, extra water may not be needed. Water plants in the very early morning before the sun is strong or late at night as the sun is setting. Watering in full sunlight tends to cook the leaves. Alternatively, a soaker hose that does not spray water over the plants may be used. This method is good in very dry areas where a continuous drip may be the preferred watering mode.

Weeding is usually less of a chore in this type of garden because the vegetable plants are sufficiently thick to crowd out intruders. However, until the vegetables are sufficiently grown that their leaves touch each other, it will be necessary to pull weeds and grass from the bed. This will be especially true in the first year or two of gardening in a particular spot.

A thick mulch of old newspapers or other organic material can help prevent weeds, conserve moisture and slowly add nutrients to the garden soil. It can harbor pests, however, so be on the look-out for slugs, snails and other creatures that will find your mulch to be a good home.

Pests

Plants are natural habitat for insects and they are as happy on your vegetables as on any other plant. Check your garden daily, looking under the leaves for egg casings and watching for the tell-tale holes that indicate someone other than yourself is feasting on your produce.

Companion planting may help keep some pests away. Garlic planted under rose bushes discourages aphids, for example.

Harvest

Harvesting vegetables from your garden will be much easier than from a conventional garden. The narrow beds allow you to reach from either side to pick the plants without walking on your careful work.

As each section of vegetables reaches maturity, trim back or remove the plants. Add some fresh humus and plant a different vegetable or a green manure plant. Alternate heavy feeder plants with those that feed lightly or replace nutrients.

Always wash all produce thoroughly before eating it.

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Published in: on May 4, 2011 at 2:53 pm  Comments (11)  

11 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Wonderful information! I have down sized a lot from the big garden we had last year. I will share this with my Urban dwelling family and friends!

  2. What a wonderfully informative post!

    • Thank you soooooo much for the word of encouragement.

      May the Lord Richly bless you ~
      Teresa Haley

  3. Praise Him!

    My name is Kathy Hernandez from Whittier ca and I introduced you to Sis. Yolanda Herrera who spoke to you regarding the Halleluya Diet. I thought of you today and I was wondering how you have been doing. I hope you and your family are healthy and well!

    • Praise God Sis. Kathy !!!!

      I am well and healed through the power of Jesus’ name !!! I praise God for healing my body. It has been 6 months since my cancer has been removed and I am cancer free, chemo free, radiation free, guilt free. God is soooooo faithful. I fasted 30 days and detoxed my body. I also am eating a vegan diet and juicing. I feel great. I have lost about 20-23 pounds and look and feel so much better. Lots of energy !!!!

      Thank you so much for asking. I love Sis. Yolanda she is a great source of inspiration for me. She picked me up just when I needed it the most. She encouraged me to live this lifestyle…..praise the Lord !!!

      Thank you Sis and God bless you and yours !!!
      Teresa ~

  4. Iam new to blogging and selling my homemade natural organic oil and additives soap. I do hope this is moderated as I mean no ill will or free advertising without your consent. I could not find an email button. I am hosting a 2 free bar giveaway that ends Sunday May 15. I read you blog and actually link it on my daily life blog and know how you like natural things and homemaking. Would you consider linking to my blog for 2 free bars for yourself?
    Thanks for the consideration!
    Angela
    http://mylifeinwhichhehasplacedme.blogspot.com/

    • Sure!!! that is not a problem at all. God bless your efforts.

      Teresa ~

  5. You know, I was looking for a good slug repellent as they’ve been destroying my lettuce crop! Do you know of anything that works? I’ve been looking for a good repellent and came across this hilarious video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cMssG-66oTE. Maybe you’d enjoy it! But, any advice on the slugs?

    Thanks,
    Debby

    • Debby

      I have heard two ideas. One is dish soap water in a spray bottle. The other thing I heard was sprinkle cayeene pepper on the base of plant. I haven’t tried either one. Let me know it you get the answer 🙂 Best wishes

      God Bless ~
      Teresa

      • Hello,

        A very good slug repelant is crushed egg shell, the slugs get cut when passing over the shells and die shortly. Very efficient and cheap.

        Have a nice day,

        Jos


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