Raised Garden

Fresh greens and herbs - right outside your door

A raised garden filled with herbs, greens and other things to use for a quick salad is ideal placed near the kitchen door.

Raised Garden

You’ll find that having access to fresh ingredients close by makes all the difference in the taste and frequency of salads with your meal, a cup of tea made with fresh mint or other flavoring, and egg salad sandwiches with fresh chives.

Raised gardens have many advantages; fast drainage, protection from animals and foot traffic, customized soil, and last but not least, up off the ground and closer for maintenance, weeding and harvesting of the produce. 

Placement of the raised garden is ideally in full sun or at least sun for several hours a day.

Trying to grow anything but ferns and moss in the shade of a building will be an exercise in futility, as most herbs and greens require a bright and sunny spot to grow well.

Decide what you would use the most – don’t bother planting things that you don’t like, or will never use (unless of course, you just like the way they look – that’s perfectly acceptable).

Other ways of designing your easy care garden are to use hay bales if you have access to them.

Some recommendations for a raised garden near the kitchen follow:

  • Plant some perennial herbs such as chives, sage, thyme, oregano and lovage.

If you use these on a regular basis, they’ll require very little other care, as you’ll prune them back every time you make soup or bake some chicken.

Annual herbs such as basil, which are available in many different flavors and types, add that special something to any kind of dish with tomatoes.

  • Greens such as mesclun, which contains a mixture of various types of baby greens like lettuce, beet greens, Chinese greens such as various mustards, and other plants best cut when small for salads will be a staple in your household.

Few things are as valuable for their nutrient content and that first taste of spring.

Replant seeds several times to maintain the supply – you’ll need all you can get once you have a taste.  Find out more about saving seeds from the plants you like.

  • Of course, what would a raised garden be without some flowers?

Plant some pansies, which are also edible, and some other brightly colored flowers to attract bees and butterflies or add to your salads.

Many flowers such as Nasturtium and Viola are edible.

I’ll bet you’ll be putting a chair close by to get a good view of the action, while you drink tea made with the flowers of borage or mint grown in your very own raised garden.

Use whatever you have for raising your garden up off the ground - even a wheelbarrow can hold a surprising amount of soil.  Recycle old washing machine drums, plywood into beds, or build them out of willows.

Grow vegetables in pots, in peat moss or soil bags or even in recycled cooking pots - they don't care what kind of container you put them in, as long as they have soil, sunshine and water.

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