How big should a kitchen garden be? Two more questions: How much space do you have? How much ground can you care for? A small garden that provides the vegetables you will eat is better than a vegetable plot that produces more than you can use or give away. A small garden that you can easily care for is better than a large garden that wears you out and leaves you discouraged.
A kitchen garden can be any size and any shape: square, rectangle, circle, half circle, any shape. Kitchen garden crops can be grown in containers or mixed among the flowers in a flowerbed. A garden as small as 3 feet square will offer you 9 square feet of garden; more than enough room for a salad garden, a tomato and basil garden, or a root or vegetable soup garden.
If you have never grown vegetables before or if your time is limited, start small. Make a short list of the vegetables you like to eat first. As you gain experience, grow more crops and grow the size of your garden if you like. Keep a kitchen garden notebook where you can record what you like and dislike, what works and what doesn’t. Aim to make your garden a little bit better every year and your kitchen garden enjoyment will follow.
If your space is limited, here are a few ideas to get your first kichen garden growing:
• A window box can contain an herb garden with a half dozen different kinds of herbs.
• A half wine barrel is enough garden for a tomato plant or cucumber or zucchini or pepper plant.
• A narrow flowerbed border is an ideal location to grow a salad garden of radishes, leaf lettuce, carrots, and beets.
• Tuck staked tomatoes and snap beans into a rose garden. You can plant the beans between the tomato plants.
• A wall or fence that faces south with just a foot or two of soil in front is ideal for tomatoes and pole beans (especially limas), and cucumbers trained on a trellis.