I love eating over at my in-laws. They always seem to have the best-tasting herbs, vegetables, and simply the most wonderful food. In large part this is due to what they call their "cooking garden." In the simplest terms, a cooking garden is a garden in which everything is designed to be used in the kitchen. Over time, I have learned from them exactly what is needed for making a successful cooking garden. Use these guidelines when creating your own version of a cooking garden.
- Decide. One of the first things you will need to think about when considering a cooking garden is to decide what you will be growing in it. Is your garden going to be primarily a vegetable one? Perhaps you will be growing an herb garden? What about edible flowers? Will you have those in your garden as well? Perhaps you will have a garden that will have a combination of all of these. Whatever you decide, make sure that your plants will be able to grow next to each other without any problem.
- Number of people. How many people will you be planning on feeding from your garden. Each person that you add to your food service will help deplete the garden that much quicker. Be sure that you have a reasonable idea of how much each person will be eating, and plan accordingly. One of the ways that you can do this is by deciding if you will be using your garden for every meal, or simply for special ones.
- Space. You will need to know how much space you have for your garden. If you will be creating a garden out on your patio, for instance, you will not be able to grow the same kinds of crops that a person who has their entire backyard to use. This does not mean that you will not be able to have a decent garden, but that you will have to plan accordingly to your available space.
- Draw. Whenever you are planning any garden, take time to actually draw out a blue print of your desired layout. This will allow you to play around and decide what is the best possible layout without committing yourself to a course of action before you are ready.
- Irrigation. Keep in mind that one of the keys to any successful garden irrigation. If you don't have adequate irrigation for your garden, then the crop will surely fail. As much as possible, see if you can use natural sources. However, this is not always going to be possible. When it is not, be sure that you have a proper length of hose so that you can actually water your garden yourself regularly and often.
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