A few years ago, we had yet another rough Connecticut winter. Our kitchen garden took a major hit. The wobbly chicken wire fencing that, in better days, served to keep the hoodlums (deer) at bay, had been mangled and rendered useless.
Decision time. Go with cheap and easy, keeping the same footprint and replacing the surround with the same wire fencing? I just couldn’t do it. I’ve always dreamed of a large, picket fence enclosed garden. I had to go for it. Big time.
By investing our money, time, and elbow grease in new whitewashed pickets, 4 double gates, and 1 Costco sized bottle of Advil, we expanded the garden to twice its original area.
Our dream kitchen garden has double swinging gates centered into each side of the fence. This important design detail allows us to easily maneuver the wheelbarrow and assorted tools in and out of the garden, as well as, it gives it a wide-open, welcoming vibe.
We kick start the garden every spring by tilling in our ‘black gold’ compost. We consider what we’re going to plant and where, being mindful to rotate the location of our plantings. Light requirements also play into our planning and planting, as our garden is sunnier on the right, and is a bit shadier on the left.
Once everything is planted, it’s pretty easy to maintain if I do a little bit every other day. My Dad, in his glorious kitchen garden, and my aunt in her vineyard, both taught me the importance of working the soil with a hoe, to aerate, and to dig up the weeds. Watering is on an as-needed basis, and staking takes place when a plant, like a tomato, is growing a little too much like a weed!
When I look out the window across the lawn, or when I open the gates and step inside to explore what’s new today, I have no doubt that we made the right decision. My fantasy kitchen garden has come true.
I hope yours does too.