Organic produce is getting pricey everyday and everyone wants to eat healthy. You can easily save on expenses by cultivating plants indoors. It’s not as tedious as it sounds! Here is a step by step guide on how to make a kitchen garden, where you can grow herbs and vegetables you use in everyday cooking.
How to make a kitchen garden step #1: Sunlight
Find the right spot to place your pots. Lighting requirements may vary according to plants and seasons. However, most kitchen garden plants require at least 3-6 hours of sunlight on a daily basis. Warm temperature and good air circulation are also important.
Look for small spaces like windowsills, spaces atop the sink or corners that you don’t use which have access to direct sunlight. Also remember to turn different parts of your plant to the sun every few days so they grow evenly.
Pro tip: If your kitchen doesn’t get natural light, opt for grow lights instead. They help stimulate plant growth by aiding in photosynthesis.
How to make a kitchen garden step #2: Containers
While earthen pots are the cheapest and the most easily available kind of container for plants in the market, do not shy away from reusing plastic bottles or jars or even glass containers for your kitchen garden plants and herbs.
Also, the container must be at least 6 inches or taller to accommodate fast-growing roots and have drainage holes so that the roots do not develop mold due to water clogging.
Pro tip: For moisture retention, ensure that your plastic or glass containers are filled up with pebbles or rock for an inch at the bottom. This prevents excess water drainage.
How to make a kitchen garden step #3: Soil
Your plants should get the optimum amount of nutrients that are present in the soil.
You can get regular soil from a nearby store and add compost to it. Alternatively, you can make a mixture of regular soil and red soil which is good for growing healthy plants.
Pro tip: Whether you soil is sandy or hard clay, the quality can always be improved by adding organic matter or compost to it.
How to make a kitchen garden step #4: Seeds
Get seeds from your nearby nursery. Always cover your pot with a mesh after your seeds are sowed. This prevents excess air and sunlight from entering the pot. Remember to grow herbs and plants that you frequently use in the kitchen.
Pro tip: Coriander, basil, mint, curry leaves, lemon grass and spinach are easy to grow and make for the perfect kitchen herb garden. Eventually you can move on to lettuce, potato, capsicum, garlic and more.
How to make a kitchen garden step #5: Watering
While watering your little friends, make sure they get just the right amount of moisture. Watering plants really depends on where you place them and the humidity levels of that place. During summers you need to water them more often than the monsoons.
There should be enough space above the soil level in the container so that the water doesn’t overflow. Also, keep a tray underneath the containers to catch dripping water.
Pro tip: The easiest way to judge if a plant needs water is by sticking your finger one inch into the soil. If it feels dry, add water.
Care and maintenance tips for your kitchen garden plants:
- Fertilise every month using tiny pieces of dried banana peel, egg shells or ground coffee.
- Prune regularly for sturdy growth but do not cut more that ⅓ of the plant at a time.
- If you are a first timer, then go for a small pot initially and gradually increase the quantity.
Now that you have these nifty tips up your sleeve, go ahead and grow your little kitchen garden and enjoy the produce fresh from the pots! It’s cost-effective and so easy!