A kitchen garden is a great way to have fresh produce on hand while also saving money. But with so many different types of vegetables, fruits, and herbs to choose from, it can be tough to decide what to grow.
Here are five popular kitchen gardens in Kenya, along with tips on when to plant them.
What is a home or kitchen garden?
A kitchen garden is a small, intensively planted plot of land near the house and is used to grow fruits, vegetables, and herbs for the home. Kitchen gardens in Kenya are usually found in rural areas, where the larger size of the land allows for more space to dedicate to gardening.
The word “kitchen” in kitchen garden refers to the fact that these gardens were historically used to grow herbs and spices for the kitchen. These days, however, kitchen gardens in Kenya can be used to grow a variety of fruits, vegetables, and herbs.
Many people choose to grow a kitchen garden because it allows them to have fresher, healthier food that is free from pesticides and other chemicals. Growing your own food also gives you more control over what you eat and how it is produced.
1. Hanging kitchen gardens in Kenya
Hanging kitchen gardens are perfect for small spaces or if you want to save on countertop space.
Herbs and leafy greens do well in hanging gardens, as they don’t need a lot of root room to grow. Just make sure to water your plants regularly so the soil doesn’t dry out.
- Offers a unique decoration for your kitchen
- Gives you the opportunity to grow your own herbs and spices
- Saves counter space
- Provides fresh air
- Can be a fun project for the whole family
- Requires regular watering
- May attract pests
- Must be positioned in a sunny spot
- Limited growing space
- Requires some initial set-up
2. Container kitchen gardens in Kenya
Container gardening is another great option for small spaces or those who want to move their garden around easily.
You can use just about any type of container – from pots and barrels to old wheelbarrows – as long as it has drainage holes. Be sure to choose plants that are well-suited for container gardening, such as tomatoes, strawberries, and peppers.
- They are less expensive than in-ground gardens.
- Are easier to set up and take care of.
- They can be placed almost anywhere, including on patios, decks, and balconies.
- Can help to save water since the soil is not exposed to the elements.
- They can produce a lot of food in a small space.
- The plants may not get enough sunlight if they are placed in a shaded area.
- The roots may become entangled if the containers are placed too close together.
- The plants may become stressed if they do not have enough room to grow.
- The soil may need to be replaced more often than in an in-ground garden.
- There is a greater risk of pests and diseases with container gardens than with in-ground gardens in Kenya.
3. Raised bed kitchen gardens in Kenya
Raised beds are a great way to grow a variety of vegetables, herbs, and fruits.
They’re perfect for small spaces or areas with poor soil quality. Just be sure the bed is at least 6 inches deep so roots have enough room to grow.
Also, make sure the sides of the bed are tall enough so you can reach in without stepping on your plants (this will help prevent compacting the soil).
- They take up less space than traditional gardens, so they’re perfect for small yards or patios.
- The soil in raised beds warms up faster in the spring, so you can plant earlier.
- You can control the quality of the soil more easily, so your plants will be healthy and thrive.
- Because they’re elevated, raised beds are easier on your back and knees when you’re gardening.
- They’re also more attractive than traditional gardens, so they can enhance the curb appeal of your home.
- They can be more expensive to set up than traditional gardens, since you’ll need to buy lumber and soil.
- They require more watering than traditional gardens, since the soil tends to dry out quicker.
- The soil in raised beds can also get too hot in the summer, which can damage plants or hinder their growth.
4. In-ground kitchen gardens in Kenya
In-ground gardens are the most traditional type of kitchen garden. If you have the space, an in-ground garden is a great way to grow a large variety of plants.
For example, if you live in an area with hot summers, opt for sandy soil that will drain well and won’t bake your plants in the heat.
- You can design them to fit your specific needs and the space you have available.
- They can include features such as built-in irrigation and drainage systems.
- You can choose from a wide variety of plants to grow.
- They can be beautiful and add curb appeal to your home.
- They can increase your property value.
- They require more initial investment than above-ground gardens.
- They require more maintenance than above-ground gardens.
- They are subject to soil erosion and compaction if not properly cared for.
- They can attract pests and diseases if not properly managed.
- They may require special permits or permission from your homeowner’s association or local government.
5. Indoor kitchen gardens:
If you don’t have any outdoor space or if you want to extend your growing season, consider starting an indoor kitchen garden in Kenya.
Many vegetables, herbs, and fruits can be grown indoors with the right setup.
Just make sure you choose a sunny spot in your home and use to grow lights if needed.
- No pests or bad weather to ruin your plants!
- You can grow a wide variety of plants indoors.
- Indoor gardens are low maintenance.
- They can add color and life to any room.
- You can control the environment, making it ideal for growing delicate plants.
- Not all plants will do well indoors.
- You need adequate lighting to grow indoor plants successfully.
- Some plants require a lot of space, so they may not be suitable for small homes or apartments.
- Indoor gardens can be expensive to set up, especially if you need to buy special equipment like grow lights.
- If you’re not careful, your indoor garden can become a breeding ground for mold and mildew.
6. Potager kitchen garden
A potager is a type of kitchen garden that’s designed for both beauty and function.
These gardens are typically laid out in a symmetrical or geometric pattern and often feature ornamental plants as well as edible ones.
If you have the space, consider adding a small pond or fountain to your potager – this will not only add to its visual appeal but also provide a home for beneficial insects like dragonflies and frogs.
- A potager kitchen garden is a great way to have fresh herbs and vegetables right at your fingertips.
- They are also visually appealing and can add a touch of beauty to your yard or patio.
- They are easy to care for and don’t require a lot of space.
- Potager kitchen gardens in Kenya are also great for entertaining since they can be used as a conversation piece.
- They are also a great way to get kids interested in gardening and eating healthy.
- The biggest con of having a potager kitchen garden is that it can be costly to set up.
- They also require regular maintenance in order to keep them looking their best.
- If you have pets, you’ll need to be careful that they don’t dig in the garden and disturb the plants.
- Bad weather can also damage your potager kitchen garden
7. Permaculture kitchen garden
Permaculture is all about working with nature instead of against it. In a permaculture kitchen garden in Kenya, plants are grown close together so they can support each other (for example, tall plants may provide shade for shorter ones).
Companion planting is often used in permaculture gardens, which means different types of plants are planted next to each other to deter pests or improve yields.
For example, garlic repels many common insect pests so it could be planted near tomatoes or cabbage (just make sure you don’t plant too much of any one thing as this can throw off the balance).
- A permaculture kitchen garden can provide a family with most of their fresh produce needs year-round.
- These types of gardens in Kenya are designed to be low-maintenance, meaning less work for the gardener.
- The use of companion planting and other natural methods means that permaculture gardens are typically more pest and disease resistant than conventional gardens.
- Water usage is often much lower in permaculture gardens due to the use of mulch and other water-conserving techniques.
- Permaculture gardens can be beautiful, incorporating edible plants into the design.
- Permaculture gardens can take some time to establish, especially if you are starting from scratch.
- You may need to learn some new gardening techniques if you want to start a permaculture kitchen garden.
- You may need to make some changes to your cooking habits if you want to make the most of your permaculture garden.
8. Vertical kitchen garden in Kenya
A vertical garden is a great way to save space and grow a variety of plants. There are many different ways to create a vertical garden, from trellises and lattices to hanging baskets and shelves.
Just make sure you choose plants that are appropriate for the type of support you’re using.
For example, vines will need something to climb on while smaller herbs or leafy greens can be grown in shallow containers without much root room.
- You can grow a lot of plants in a small space.
- The plants get more sun than they would if they were on the ground.
- You can control the environment around the plants more easily.
- It looks cool.
- You can use the water that drains from the plants to water other plants.
- You have to water the plants more often because they dry out faster.
- The plants are more susceptible to pests and diseases.
- If you don’t have a good support system, the plants can fall over and die.
- It can be difficult to harvest the plants.
- You have to be careful not to overwater the plants, or they will rot.
9. Hydroponic kitchen garden in Kenya
Hydroponics is a method of growing plants in water instead of soil. This can be done with just about any type of plant, but it’s especially well-suited for leafy greens like lettuce and spinach (which don’t need deep roots).
Hydroponic gardens in Kenya are often used indoors since they take up very little space and can be controlled more easily than outdoor gardens (for example, you can adjust the temperature and humidity levels).
- They are very space efficient since the plants are grown vertically in a small footprint.
- They can be set up indoors, so even if you live in an apartment you can still grow your own food.
- Hydroponically grown plants tend to be more nutrient-dense than soil-grown plants, so you get more bang for your buck, nutritionally speaking.
- Since hydroponic gardens use less water than traditional gardens, they are more environmentally friendly.
- They are also less likely to attract pests and diseases since the plants are not growing in dirt.
There are some drawbacks to hydroponic kitchen gardens as well:
- They can be expensive to set up, depending on the size and complexity of the system you choose.
- They require some basic knowledge of plant nutrition and physiology in order to be successful.
- If not properly maintained, hydroponic gardens can become breeding grounds for mold and other pathogens.
10. Staircase kitchen garden in Kenya
A staircase garden is a type of vertical garden that’s perfect for small spaces.
These gardens are typically built on staircases or other types of raised platforms.
Plants are grown in shallow containers, which can be placed close together to save space.
Be sure to choose plants that don’t need deep roots, such as herbs and leafy greens.
- A staircase kitchen garden is a great way to make use of vertical space.
- Staircase kitchen gardens in Kenya are perfect for small spaces.
- They are easy to build and maintain.
- Staircase kitchen gardens are aesthetically pleasing.
- They can be used to grow a variety of plants and vegetables.
- Staircase kitchen gardens can be expensive to build.
- They require a lot of maintenance.
- The stairs can be dangerous if they are not built properly.
- They can be difficult to access for people with disabilities.
- Pests and diseases can easily spread in a staircase kitchen garden.
How do I start a kitchen garden in Kenya?
To start a kitchen garden in Kenya, you will need to find a sunny spot in your yard and prepare the soil. You can then choose what vegetables or herbs you would like to grow. Once you have chosen your plants, you will need to plant them in the prepared soil and water them regularly.
Step 1: Find a sunny spot in your yard and prepare the soil.
You will need to find an area in your yard that gets a lot of sunlight. Then, you will need to till the soil and add some compost or manure.
Step 2: Choose what vegetables or herbs you would like to grow.
Decide which plants you want to grow in your garden. Some popular choices include tomatoes, peppers, carrots, and lettuce. You can also choose to grow herbs such as basil or oregano.
Step 3: Plant your seeds or seedlings.
Plant the seeds or seedlings in the prepared soil and water them regularly. You will need to keep an eye on your plants and make sure they have enough water and sunlight. Harvest your vegetables or herbs when they are ready!
What are the benefits of growing a kitchen garden in Kenya?
There are many benefits to growing a kitchen garden. Some of these include:
- Getting fresh fruits, vegetables, and herbs that are pesticide-free
- Saving money by not having to buy produce at the grocery store
- Having a relaxing hobby that gets you outside in the fresh air
- Improving your physical health by getting exercise while gardening
- Boosting your mental health by reducing stress
What are the best types of vegetables and fruits to grow in a kitchen garden?
Some of the best vegetables and fruits to grow in a kitchen garden are tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, potatoes, carrots, beans, peas, cucumbers, and squash.