What is a kitchen garden?
When I think of a "kitchen garden", I picture a small garden close to the house where I can just step outside and quickly snip a few herbs for cooking or pick greens for a salad without having to run all the way to my big vegetable garden. A window box is the perfect place to grow a small kitchen garden. The long narrow shape will give you lots of space to grow different herbs or salad greens. You can even plant more than one window box! Plant a “salad” in one and an “herb garden” in another.
Where should you put your kitchen garden?
It depends somewhat on what you are planning to grow in your kitchen garden. For most herbs and vegetables, it’s best to find a place that will get full sun or at least six hours of sun between 10am and 6pm. Place your "garden" close to the house – on a patio, deck, or even set it in an existing garden close by. You can even purchase a bracket to hang your window box right from the deck railing!
What can you plant?
It would be fun to plant two window boxes. One with a "lettuce garden" and one with some "salad additives" like radishes, baby carrots (these take a while to grow), chives, basil, and other herbs. It's easy to find seed packets containing a lettuce mix. This would be perfect for your "lettuce garden". These packets contain seeds of many different colors and types of greens that would make delicious colorful salads! Spinach is another great addition to the "lettuce garden". Yum! Radishes are easy to grow and mature quickly so they are a great choice for your window boxes. There are even different shapes and colors of radishes, too!
You can even consider planting a patio tomato plant in a larger decorative container to provide some little tomatoes for your salad!
All gardens start with proper soil.
Your little "kitchen garden" is no exception. Choose a good quality soil mix to fill your window box. You may also want to add a polymer such as Soil Moist to your soil mix. This will absorb water and reduce the amount of watering needed for your container. You can find these at any full service garden store. Depending on the potting soil you choose, you might also want to consider adding a slow release fertilizer like Osmocote to the mix. Read the label on your potting mix. Some already include a slow release fertilizer and it would not be necessary to add more.