Kitchen gardens provide basic fresh produce and herbs used daily in cooking. Organic kitchen gardens provide chemical-free produce. Location is a key element in planning a kitchen garden as most produce requires at least eight hours of sun per day. If space is limited, consider using containers such as large pots, window boxes and hanging planters. When planning what to grow, keep in mind the produce your family most frequently eats. Design and build your garden in the fall so that it is ready for planting after the danger of frost has passed in the spring.
Basic Organic Kitchen Garden Bed
Choose a sunny location convenient to your kitchen. Layer the following organic components: cardboard, aged manure, damp newspaper, peat moss, leaves, damp newspaper, grass clippings, compost and damp newspaper. Cardboard should be a single layer of plain brown cardboard. Manure, peat moss, leaves, grass, clippings and compost should be 2-inch thick layers. Newspaper should be four sheets thick.
Use the utility knife to cut into the damp layer of newspaper. Create rows for seeds or cut an X shape to place seedlings.
Sow seeds according to the instructions on the packet; the depth will vary depending on the species. Pull newspaper closed over the rows and cover with a thin layer of straw.
Pull the newspaper back from the X-shaped hole. Using two fingers, create a hole in the compost and grass clippings beneath the newspaper. Insert the seedling and gently tamp the compost in place. Push the newspaper down and mulch around the base of the plant with straw.
Water the garden at the initial planting. Keep seeds in a damp environment to promote germination. Seedlings require daily, early-morning waterings.
Organic Kitchen Garden in Containers
Fill containers with organic potting mix. Potting mix may be purchased at your local garden center or create your own by mixing two parts compost with one part sand.
Sow seeds directly and place seedlings into the organic potting mix. Place containers in sunny locations. Water thoroughly and keep seeds moist until they germinate.
Fertilize container gardens once per month. Purchase organic fertilizer from your local garden center.