Kitchen Garden

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Initially I had the silly notion that I would not be doing a garden this year (hee! hee! ha! ha! ho! ho!). Luckily, my best friend suggested a kitchen garden. MIND BLOWN. Of course I needed a kitchen garden! Duh. After a little investigation, we found the perfect location right outside the kitchen window. Life is grand, isn’t it?

I got to work that weekend! I pulled out the ridiculous pine bushes and daffodils and decided on raised stone beds to match the existing walkway. I drove my happy self down to Lowes (do I own stock in that company yet? Cause…) and bought an entire pallet of my chosen brick (okay they were the cheapest ones there) and headed home. The kids tucked into bed and I started working. At 10:00. Ten at night. That’s when the work gets done around here folks. By midnight I had figured out the pattern for my raised beds and built about half the walls. Then the baby woke up and life halted until morning. If you have children, this should sound familiar. yep.

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I finished off the beds the next day and my hubby was nice enough to fill them with dirt for me. He’s a keeper.

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Because we have allthebunnies and allthedeer and this is going to be the location of many green, delicious, herbivore faves….I felt better knowing there was some kind of fencing around the area. I didn’t do anything too crazy, just a small basic deterrent, because the location is so close to the house, we figured the majority of the animals wouldn’t be inclined to come into the garden anyways, the fence is really just an extra precaution.

I simply used 1×1 placed into the ground about 8-12 inches deep, no cement (I wasn’t that serious). Once the posts and cross beams were assembled, I attached rabbit wire and called it good! See that fancy fence work there…where the posts meet? Yea, that was also done by huba huba.

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I originally planted herbs, lettuce greens, kales, mustard greens, micro greens, pansies, and chards in here….and have had a summer to see what did well and what did not. This area ended up being pretty much completely shaded all day, which was great for some things, not so great for others. Here’s the short list for you:

Sorrel – AWESOME! I reseeded the entire back back with sorrel for Fall and next Spring. This will be our main salad green for quick salads when I don’t want to go all the way out to the pasture garden.

Bee Balm – Doing great! Will be planting more for homemade tea’s!

Cilantro – surprising well though growing slow. Debating about putting this in the pasture garden due to so. much. sun. I’m thinking that it will bolt much more quickly there than in the kitchen garden with some shade. I will just start the seeds earlier in my greenhouse next year and see if more greenhouse growth helps growth once planted out in the garden.

Kale – Did well enough. I never got huge over grown kale, like I do when they are in full sun, but I did get enough to take weekly cuttings to sautee or blend in smoothies

Mint – Getting established this year but I think it will thrive in this area. I have it growing all the way around the kitchen garden because bunnies do not like it and we do not like bun buns in the garden!

Claytonia (Miners lettuce) – should do well in this area because it prefers shade. It never took this Summer and I’m not sure why. It may have already been too hot when I sowed the seeds. This is another great staple to add in with the sorrel because it reseeds well and does well in shade. Will re-try next Spring.

Mache – Did well here! Will reseed next Spring.

Lettuce Greens – These did not do well here, though it may have been because I over thinned. I am going to try them again next Spring here and also out in the pasture garden

Mustard Greens – Did amazing. Will be planting those here every year! We love these to spice up our Summer salads! “We” as in the hubs and I…too spicy for the littles. Same with arugula…more for us!

Micro Greens – Loved this area! Will be replanting in Spring.

Pansies – I loved having these in my kitchen garden! Did you know that pansies can be “candied” and put into salads? What a beautiful Summer treat!

Tarragon – not so much, needs more sun. Out to the pasture garden next Spring.

Thyme – It’s hanging in there but needs more sun. Will go out to the pasture garden next Spring.

So that’s the list I have for my kitchen garden next Spring. I think it will be just the right mix for quick salads and Summer Iced tea 🙂

Do you have a kitchen garden? What are you growing close to home that’s easy to snag for a quick healthy meal? If you have lots of sun, your list will look quite different from mine!

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