Organic Kitchen Garden, Part 2

Source of quality produce, a recycling center for organic kitchen & garden waste, and most of all, a great place to relax, and enjoy fruits of one's labor; -Kitchen Garden is simply a 'must have'.
Let's start one, today!
SELECT THE AREA
Select small area, next to the house; clear it. If you intend to grow directly in the ground, then prepare (ref: February, D.I.Y., Step3), test, condition, and level the soil.
CHOOSE LAYOUT
Row by Row Garden.
These gardens can be very prolific, provided, rows, and paths are wide enough to make growing, and maintenance, easy. Use row space wisely, and apply companion planting. Try the Three Sisters approach.
In this Native American method, Corn is planted with Peas (or Beans), and Squash. Corn supports Peas. Peas enrich soil with nitrogen, and Squash keeps the roots shaded, soil moist, and weeds at bay, a great example of efficient space utilization.
Plant Marigolds, and other annuals to attract bees, and better pollination.
Build raised rows, they will enable more air, and drainage. If location's hilly, direct rows across, not downhill; this will keep soil erosion under control, and good, top soil in your garden, where it belongs.
In late Summer, and early Fall, plant your Winter crops, such as Spinach, Broccoli, Kale, and Cabbages.
Designate Winter resting part of the garden, and sow Winter cover crops there. They add nutrients to the soil, and keep weeds away. See references, below, and please, read document published by Rodale Institute. It details why growing cover crops is vital, as well as provides listing of best cover crops for your area.
Raised Beds Garden
Great, small garden solution. Supported by timber or other type of frame, these beds are often situated directly on the ground.
For weed-free beds, concentrate on keeping their surroundings, clean.
Use layers of wet newspapers, or dark landscaping fabric to cover all areas between, and around beds. Top these up with mulch or pebbles, to further block the light, and possibility of new weeds emerging. Personally, I prefer paper and mulch combination. It stops weeds in the short term, and as it decomposes, it also improves quality of the soil; which is good for your plants, and easy weed control in the long run.
Areas with hard surfaces, such as tiles, paving stones, etc., make good location for Raised Beds, too.
Make them 2-3 feet deep. Choose landscaping fabric that is not waterproof, so it will not retain too much moisture. Use it to line inside, particularly, bottom of the bed, and stop soil from getting washed away by water, later on.
Since they are raised, these deeper, off the ground beds, are practically weed-free, and more accessible to gardeners with restricted movement. They are also handy for everybody else, I like sitting on these frames while "gardening".
Beds situated directly overground are good to grow just about anything.
Beds that are off the ground, are probably not best for growing root vegetables, such as carrots, since they usually require depth to develop, to a decent size. Plan to grow herbs, greens, chives, peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, leeks, and broccoli, instead.
Parterre Garden
These gems of horticulture, are quite spectacular.
They are defined by permanent structure, made of low, evergreen hedges (knotted, or not) grown in variety of shapes, and situated in symmetrical patterns.
As seasons change, so do contents of these minute, hedge embraced, garden areas.
Perfect gardens on any side of a house, Parterre Gardens bring old fashioned charm, while being neat and versatile.
Variety of different plant material could be suitable for hedging, including, Boxwood, Japanese Holly, Rosemary, etc. Select plants that will do well in your climatic area.
Within these evergreen boundaries, erect pyramid shaped obelisks to support beans, cucumbers and nasturtiums. Situate raised pots for Prostrate Rosemary, and accent flowers. Grow greens, and
herbs, as edible ground covers. Perfect for displaying plants, as well as objects of arts, and crafts; Parterre Gardens change, and captivate, season, after season.
Container Garden
Small size, big visibility. These miniature gardens often prove a great asset to any interior, and exterior space. Many different plants can be grown in containers.
Plant Strawberry in hanging baskets with Marjoram, and Lettuce, as companions, or if you prefer, grow them with Borage, and Beans, also good companions, in larger containers.
Citrus, and Olive Tree will grow in containers. They will produce fruit, and look spectacular. Garden centers, and nurseries offer great selection of containers, these days, and you may like
to spent a little, to get exactly what you want. Enjoy being creative. Look around your own yard, particularly, for the so called 'objects of curiosity'.Rustic looking wheelbarrows, and other containers, can (with a few
drainage holes) provide original, yet practical location, for your growing arrangements. Half barrel makes great home for a Blueberry bush, while an old wooden ice making bucket, looks stunning planted with Chives, Thyme or Basil.
Seek variety; mix old, new, sophisticated, and primitive, and make your garden uniquely, yours. Try grouping different shapes, and sizes of plants, and containers, for greater "lush garden" feel. Situate individual plants in a simple containers, and on their own, if you wish to to give
them more visibility, while creating feeling of calm, and space of the surroundings, at the same time. Fertilize, and water regularly. Since their growing space is strictly limited, Container Garden, especially in sunny location, outdoors, will be more dependant on regular watering, and fertilizing. Rich, quality soil, and a
good layer of mulch on top of the pot, will help stay moist, longer. Do not suffocate your plants; give them room to grow.
As they begin to outgrow existing, move them to slightly larger containers, and refreshed soil.
Back to MARCH CONTENTS page
Feedback - contact.tcg.now@gmail.com
References - Find out more about: Chatsworth House, Cover Crops, Chateau Villandry, Hampton Court, See our Gardening Events for Hampton Court Flower Show Details, Villa Borghese
Special Thanks
Special Thanks to Town & Country Gardens Contributors: Amanda Kovattana, blogger, carolinabena, d e b, dive-angel (Karin), flickr, Historic Royal Palaces, Jasmine&Roses, Mary VanderWall, Nina Pope - see her current "garden" projects she's working on, in London., Paul Kentish, Rita Crane Photography. Rita Crane,
daughter of LIFE magazine photographer Ralph Crane. Her work can be seen on flickr, and on her Rita Crane Photographywebsite.,
, Rodale Institute, sooze64, Theresa Elvin, tipsycat, TMR Davies, visionthing64, Wikipedia, W.D. Williams

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