Choosing the best spot for your kitchen garden to grow a variety of vegetables, fruits, and herbs means balancing priorities. We need sun and access to water but it’s also about convenience and aesthetics. Use these tips from the book Kitchen Garden Revival by Nicole Johnsey Burke to get started.
When you are ready to sow, see our 1-2-3 Easy Vegetable Garden Plan to get started.
This excerpt from the book Kitchen Garden Revival by Nicole Johnsey Burke with images by Eric Kelley is used with permission from Quarto Publishing who also provided a review copy.
Finding the Perfect Kitchen Garden Spot
Kitchen Garden Revival by Nicole Johnsey Burke. Images by Eric Kelley.
A kitchen garden is a space dedicated to growing vegetables, fruits, and herbs. Located close to home, these gardens provide both beauty and culinary goodness for everyday use.
Picking the best spot for your kitchen garden isn’t just about opinion or the flip of a coin. It’s about balancing priorities and considerations. After designing hundreds of gardens, I’ve created a system that works to help you sort through the options.
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There are four key aspects to consider before choosing your kitchen garden site:
Sunlight exposureWater proximityConvenienceAesthetics
Kitchen Garden Revival by Nicole Johnsey Burke. Images by Eric Kelley.The Perfect Formula
NEARLY PERFECT KITCHEN GARDEN LOCATION
6 or more direct sunlight hours per day, all yearProximity to a water sourceNear the kitchen and common household trafficTies in aesthetically to the existing landscapeLarge enough space for your desired garden size and shape
My very scientific calculation has determined that exactly 60 percent of this decision should be based on sunlight; 20 percent on water accessibility; and the final 20 percent of the decision is split between convenience and aesthetics.
It’s true. I did say there’s no such thing as a perfect spot for the kitchen garden, but there is a perfect formula.
As you select your garden location, the goal is to find a location that matches this blueprint as closely as possible: receives six or more hours of sunlight per day, is near a water source, and is located as close to the kitchen and your everyday activities as possible.
Kitchen Garden Revival by Nicole Johnsey Burke. Images by Eric Kelley.Work With Your Landscape
You also want a spot that will tie in well to the rest of your landscape
and is able to accommodate the size necessary to hold the amount of vegetables and fruit you’d like to harvest.
Each of these aspects should be considered, as they all matter. But some matter more.
At least 60 percent of your decision should be based on the available sunlight. So, we’ll start there and then consider the other three aspects.
To look at each aspect of the formula, let’s create a map of your property.
You may just have a balcony and that’s fine. Still, make a map.
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To start, draw your home and yard to scale on a piece of graph paper (there’s a spot to do this inside the downloadable Gardenary Journal you’ll find at gardenary.com/book).
Once you’ve drawn your home and yard to scale, draw a compass to denote the cardinal directions as they relate to your home and yard.
Now that you’ve determined where North and South are located, it’s time to find the sunshine.
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Kitchen Garden Revival
A modern guide to creating a stylish, small-scale, low-maintenance, edible garden
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by Nicole Johnsey Burke
Elevate your backyard veggie patch into a work of sophisticated and stylish art. Kitchen Garden Revival guides you through every aspect of kitchen gardening, from design to harvesting—with expert advice from author Nicole Johnsey Burke, founder of Rooted Garden, one of the leading US culinary landscape companies, and Gardenary, an online kitchen gardening education and resource company.
~Melissa the Empress of Dirt ♛