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How To Grow an Organic Kitchen Garden

Updated on September 3, 2012

There is nothing better than stepping outside your kitchen door to pluck fresh ingredients for your favorite recipe. Creating a kitchen herb or vegetable garden can add a whole new level of ease and flavor to your cooking.

Plant your favorite flavors right outside your kitchen door. Need a little basil for your sauce or pesto? Step outside the door for a few fresh sprigs.

Need a few flowers to dress up the dinner table for guests? Step outside for a fresh cut bouquet.

Need a few tomatoes and some cilantro to make some fresh salsa? You got it plant a little outside your back door now, and you'll reap the rewards of fresh salsa ingredients all summer.

Materials you'll need

You don't need many materials for your kitchen garden, just a little elbow grease, and a way to dig your garden. Add a little fresh compost to the space and you're in business.

A pair of garden gloves, a spade, a few seeds or plants, and you're ready to plant your kitchen garden.

If you lack space you can even plant your kitchen garden in containers on windowsills. Pick a few of your favorite herbs, and a tomato plant or two and you'll still have some great ingredients for summer dishes.

Step 1:

Map out the space you'd like to use for your organic kitchen garden.

Grab some chalk, or some stakes and string to draw it out and get a good perspective of how it will look when it's finished.

While you're planning don't forget to take traffic patterns into consideration. Where does the dog head when you let him out the door?

Where do the kids walk on their way to the swingset?

If you place your garden in a high traffic area, it may be difficult to persuade other family members to walk around.

Don't forget to take a look at your future kitchen garden at different times of the day to see if it's getting direct sun, or if it's in the shade. The amount of sun could affect the growth of your garden.

A Kitchen Garden Provides Fresh Herbs All Summer Long

A Kitchen Garden Provides Fresh Herbs All Summer Long
A Kitchen Garden Provides Fresh Herbs All Summer Long

Step 2:

Create a diagram of the space so you know what you have to work with. Decide what your favorite herbs, vegetables, and flowers are.

Create a balance between the number of plants you'd like to include, and the amount of space you have to grow your kitchen garden.

Think about your favorite recipes, and what herbs and vegetables you use the most.

You may have to prioritize your list, you may not have enough room to grow everything you'd like to.

You may just need to scale back. A few herb or tomato plants can produce enough for several summer meals.

Step Outside Your Kitchen Door to Fresh Tomatoes and Herbs

Step Outside Your Kitchen Door to Fresh Tomatoes and Herbs
Step Outside Your Kitchen Door to Fresh Tomatoes and Herbs

Step 3:

Start digging and planting. Add the plants and seeds you decided on, then stand back and watch your kitchen garden come to life (well you may have to do a little weeding and tending in the process).

Don't forget to stir in a liberal amount of compost to help boost your soils quality. If you don't have fresh compost of your own, look for worm casting, or composted cow manure at a local garden center.

When you're planning and planting your kitchen garden make sure you leave enough room for the mature plants to thrive.

Your plants may be small when you put them in the garden, but by harvest time many will need at least a foot of space.

In a few weeks you'll be stepping outside your door to pick fresh fruits and vegetables.

Image via

Designing The New Kitchen Garden

Designing the New Kitchen Garden: An American Potager Handbook
Designing the New Kitchen Garden: An American Potager Handbook

Gives guidance for creating your kitchen garden, and a history of where kitchen gardens began.

This book contains a wonderful collection of ideas to help you plan out the perfect kitchen garden for you and your space.


What should you include in your organic kitchen garden?

The choice is up to you. Include your favorite herbs, vegetables, and cutting flowers. If you have limited space include the things you use the most when you're cooking. If you have a little extra space include a few flowers for cutting, so you can step outside the door and grab a vase full of flowers for the kitchen table.

Image via istockphoto

 Progressive 10-in. Herb Keeper Nothing is more delicious or aromatic than the taste of fresh herbs. Herb Keeper locks in the flavor of fresh herbs for up to three weeks. Stores up to three bunches of fresh herbs at a time. Perfect for fresh parsley, cilantro, oregano, and more. Also doubles as a great way to keep asparagus fresh and hydrated.

Culinary Note: One tablespoon of chopped fresh herbs equals one teaspoon of the same herb, dried.

Kitchen Herb Gardens Have Their Own Day

Additonal Organic Kitchen Garden Resources

Looking for more information? Check out some of the links on this list.

Organic Insecticides and Insect Repellents for Your Kitchen Garden

Do You Have An Organic Kitchen Garden?

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    • MopHolder profile image

      MopHolder 3 years ago

      A trendy kitchen will not only blend in with a beautiful designed house, but its design, more often than not, is what makes the house appealing to its occupants.

    • SecondSally profile image

      SecondSally 5 years ago

      I don't have one, but I want one now. :)

    • Grandma-Marilyn profile image

      Grandma-Marilyn 6 years ago

      Love your lens. I would love to step outside to get lovely fresh veggies.

    • PNWtravels profile image

      Vicki Green 7 years ago from Wandering the Pacific Northwest USA

      Nicely done lens on creating an organic kitchen garden. Blessed by a Squid Angel.

    • profile image

      envy666 7 years ago

      I bookmarked this on Mister Wong and Digg for you. Nice page!

      double bowl apron sink

    • Mickie Gee profile image

      Mickie Goad 8 years ago

      I am really interested in the "herb keeper". Cilantro is difficult to grow in the south USA. It is just too hot and the plant "bolts" very quickly. So we buy fresh cilantro in the grocery store. Would love to be able to keep it fresh longer.

      Wonderful lens you have here so am planting a blessing on you today!

    • profile image

      digitalnotes 8 years ago

      no i dont have an organic garden but i have seen them being grown in an ofcast farm house style sink. so maybe when people design their kitchens they could incorporate an extra sink and grow garden plants or herbs etc in the spare

      looking for kitchen sinks

    • KarenTBTEN profile image

      KarenTBTEN 8 years ago

      No, I don't have one. live in a studio apartment, but I have sometimes had a basil plant. I think quite a few herbs can be raised indoors in small confines -- dill, too, maybe?

    • eccles1 profile image

      eccles1 8 years ago

      I love having my own organic kitchen garden !

    • Kevin Wilson 2 profile image

      Kevin Wilson 2 8 years ago

      Yes indeed, my partner and I are in the process of converting our whole 1/5 acre lot into a food-producing garden. My favorite foods from the garden are peas and raspberries (though not both at the same time!). My organic vegetable gardening lens is at and I'm in the process of building a lot more gardening lenses!

    • WhitU4ever profile image

      WhitU4ever 8 years ago

      Nice lens. I love my kitchen garden!

    • justholidays profile image

      justholidays 8 years ago

      Very well done! I learned a lot here!

      Congratulations on your 2009 Giant Squid Awards!


    • mysticmama lm profile image

      Bambi Watson 8 years ago


    • Bellezza-Decor profile image

      Bellezza-Decor 8 years ago from Canada

      Congratulations, Kathy, on your Purple Star. I've been growing herbs, tomatoes and lettuce. We've really been enjoying the fresh herbs in our cooking! 5*

    • Swisstoons profile image

      Thomas F. Wuthrich 8 years ago from Michigan

      What an interesting and wll-put-together lens. Congratulations on your well-deserved awards. Lensrolling this one to two of my own lenses..

    • kateloving profile image

      Kate Loving Shenk 8 years ago from Lancaster PA

      Good job--Congrats on the purple star!!

    • Lee Hansen profile image

      Lee Hansen 8 years ago from Vermont

      Another purple star for a wonderful lens. My organic kitchen garden is all planted and growing splendidly. Hoping for a big basil harvest for making lots of pesto.

    • AlisonMeacham profile image

      AlisonMeacham 8 years ago

      Congratulations on your Purple Star!

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Congratulations on your Purple Star Award - Kathy

    • evelynsaenz1 profile image

      Evelyn Saenz 8 years ago from Royalton

      Congratulations on your well deserved Purple Star Award!

    • CoolFoto profile image

      CoolFoto 8 years ago

      Congrats on your Purple Star and lensroll to my Herb Gardens

    • RuthCoffee profile image

      Ruth Coffee 8 years ago from Zionsville, Indiana

      Love this lens. I grow tomatoes and occasionally green beans. I really would like to start growing some herbs.

    • dustytoes profile image

      dustytoes 8 years ago

      Very nice lens! I just planted my herbs, but they are mostly in pots.

    • religions7 profile image

      religions7 8 years ago

      Great lens - you've been blessed by a squidoo angel :)

    • profile image

      GumboWriters123 8 years ago

      Great lens

    • profile image

      AuthorsandExperts 8 years ago

      Great lens