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How to plant a kitchen garden in small spaces

Spring is a great time to plant a kitchen garden, quarantine or no quarantine. In most areas right now in the Northern hemisphere, community gardens, nurseries and plant centers are among some of the essential businesses that are able to remain open for shopping during quarantine. Many such garden supply hubs in my community are offering online ordering and curbside pick-up so that we can all stay well and keep growing plants such as vegetables, herbs, and flowers. Here are a few tips to inspire your stay-at-home kitchen garden no matter the size of space.

Have a window ledge?

Plant a tiny herb garden!

Choose the appropriate containers. Make sure your containers will sit well on a ledge, won't get knocked around by pets, and have good drainage. Any container will work! You can choose fancy pots, simple pots, or even make your own pot by drilling or poking holes in the bottom of something the right size for your space. The pot doesn't have to be the main attraction because it's all about those plants! Don't forget to consider a tray underneath your pots to catch water.

Choose a good potting soil mix. There are several varieties out there making great organic mixes. You want something with a good balance of materials. Organic Mechanics and Fox Farm are good brands.

Choose plant starts grown in a nursery if you want immediate plant gratification or go for packets of seeds if you are feeling patient and want to watch sprouts grow. Four herbs that do well inside near a sunny window are oregano, thyme, sage, and dill. Give each plant its own container and remember most herbs like 8 hours of sunlight a day!

Have an outdoor patch of concrete or a small backyard?

Make a milk crate garden.

If you don’t have milk crates lying around, ask a local orchard or co-op or wine store if you can purchase a wooden crate. Line the crate with burlap or gardener's felt. Most local coffee roasters have extra burlap sacks, so ask your roaster if you can get some burlap sacks for pickup curbside!

Line your crate so that the fabric covers the sides and bottom then fill it with garden soil (not potting soil) from your local nursery.

If you have 6 to 8 hours of full sun, you can try growing tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, and squash! Squash and tomatoes like to climb, so just keep that in mind when  you are planning

Plants that like 4 to 6 hours of sun include peas, beets, radishes and beans. Peas and beans are good climbers as well.

If you have a shady spot that only gets 2 to 4 hours of sun, try luscious, low-growing greens like arugula, lettuce, mustard greens, and kale.



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