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Dreaming of a potager kitchen garden?
I know I am! As we’re still designing this new land, and it will take years to create a dream backyard design, one of the first things we’re planning on doing is designing a potager kitchen garden.
In this post we’ll talk about:
- What is a potager kitchen garden?
- How to design your potager garden
- What are the best crops for a potager kitchen garden
What is a Potager?
A potager kitchen garden is a garden close to your kitchen where you can access fresh veggies and herbs easily. There’s some wonderful history behind kitchen gardens and some great books on kitchen garden design.
One of the most common themes you see with potager design are plants growing on the outside edges as well as the middle
Garden design examples from the Complete Kitchen Garden book
How to design your kitchen garden
When you start brainstorming ideas for your garden you’ll need to make sure you’re planting it in the right place. You also want to doodle and out sketch out your kitchen garden to get ideas for design.
Things to keep in mind before designing your potager garden are
- Adequate sun exposure- you’ll need 6-8 hours of sunlight for most crops. Make sure there aren’t too many garden shadows preventing veggie growth or grow crops that prefer some shade in those areas.
- Keeping your garden design as close to your kitchen as you can. The goal is fresh food from your doorstep!
- Try and use the edges as much as you can.
- Create fun designs. Try sketching them out in different ways for eye appeal.
- Consider adding a bench or table in the center or close to your kitchen garden. An eating area in your garden is a great long term idea.
Some designs from Groundbreaking food gardens (which has many AMAZING garden designs, I highly recommend this book)
Best crops for a potager kitchen garden
Although you can grow anything you’d like in your kitchen garden, because it’s close to the house certain crops are better than others.
The best crops for a potager kitchen garden tend to be ones that are eaten fresh not preserved.
You want to choose crops that are ready to harvest sooner instead of waiting until the end of summer. You also want to choose space-saving crops instead of ones that take up lots of space like pumpkins, corn or potatoes.
Flowers and herbs are often added to a potager kitchen garden
What to Grow in your Potager Kitchen Garden
- Culinary herbs (which also have the benefit of companion planting)
- Salad crops like lettuce, radishes, arugula. Learn how to grow greens year-round.
- Fresh Greens like spinach, mustard greens, kale, collards etc
- Heirloom tomatoes (here are some top choices)
- Green snap beans/french filet beans. One of my fav varieties is ‘fortex’
- Summer squash & zucchini
- Flowers, especially edible ones like calendula or nasturtiums
- Gourmet peppers
- Green onions, scallions, shallots
- Baby root crops like beets, turnips
- Medicinal herbs are very eye catching and the bees love the flowers.
Some potager design tips from Fix
What are your fav plants to grow in a kitchen garden?
My name is Isis Loran, creator of the Family Food Garden. I’ve been gardening for over 10 years now and push the limits of our zone 5 climates. I love growing heirlooms & experimenting with hundreds of varieties, season extending, crunchy homesteading and permaculture.