Need a cool kitchen garden? Tasty and chic-looking? Here are some clever tips.
- Grow as much of what you like as possible. Clear as big a space as you can and think about maximum productivity per square inch.
- Skip the fancy frills. Try edible edging: rows of hardy alpine strawberries and nasturtiums will do the trick.
- Combine ornamentals and edibles. In an unexpected partnership Mustard ‘Red Giant’ mixes with Tulipa ‘Compassion’.
- Layer, for example, perennial artichokes mix with bulbs and tubers in three layers.
- Grow edible flowers all year. Vegetables such as kale are not just for eating. Green and purple kale look great in flower arrangements and are a good foil for flowers in an ornamental border.
- Plant the unusual. Planting heirloom or heritage varieties in unusual colors is proof to the world that you’ve grown them yourself.
- Sow heavy croppers. Tomatoes, zucchini, and beans all produce abundantly. Salad leaves also crop more heavily if you cut and come again.
- Avoid gluts. Successional sowing of salad leaves every few weeks, for instance, will ease this pattern of feast or famine. Succession planting can also be applied to beans and peas.
- Build good bones. Raise your vegetable patch to another level in the middle as well as around the edges.
- Don’t grow everything. Tricky plants such as celery are best bought, as are mainstream vegetables including cabbage, parsnips, and main crop potatoes.