Design And Layout For A Kitchen Garden

By International Water Management Institute on 25 Mar 2016 | read

A kitchen garden is an essential part of city farming and would need great care in planning and designing so that the garden can supply essential vegetables on a daily basis. The type of vegetables that will grow in the kitchen garden will depend on the orientation of your plot and the availability of sunlight in the garden. Leafy vegetables, pumpkins and gourds can also grow under partial shade while others require full sunlight.

Vegetables which the family likes to consume raw and fresh, like carrot, cucumber, peas, radish and tomato may be given preference over other vegetables which are taken in cooked form. Vegetables which are not readily available in the market but which you are fond of like celery, parsley, red cabbage, etc., could be another consideration for selection.

Another consideration in planning would be to try to ensure supply of vegetables at a time when these are scare and expensive in the market. If a kitchen garden is fairly large, say larger than approximately 300 m2 , then more emphasis should be given to vegetables that can be stored for a long time like onion, garlic, potato, sweet potato, beans and peas. It is better to have separate areas for growing fruits in the kitchen garden. The fruit trees to be planted in a small kitchen garden should be dwarf in height and placed in the corner or border areas to prevent other vegetables not getting sunlight. The best location to place fruit trees in a kitchen garden is at the north and northeast directions.

One of the most important features of planning a vegetable garden is rotation of vegetables. The nutritional requirement of each vegetable or group of vegetable is different and if you grow the same vegetable or same group of vegetables again and again in the same plot then the nutrients in the soil in the plot may likely be exhausted. The basic principle of vegetable rotation is to follow shallow rooted vegetables with deep rooted vegetables. Similarly root and tuber crops should be followed by nitrogen fixing leguminous vegetables. Rotation of vegetable crops is useful for the management not only of soil fertility but also of pests and diseases in a kitchen garden. If any disease appears in the plot it indicates that this vegetable should not be grown in the same plot the following year.

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The best sowing season for vegetables: According to their temperature requirement, vegetables can be grouped into three seasons like the rainy season, winter season and summer season vegetables. However, some vegetables with wider adaptability can be grown year-round. The following table shows the month of vegetable sowing or plantation.

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