Kitchen Garden – our top tips on starting your own

Kitchen Gardens - Blue Strawberry Group's Top Tips on Starting Your Own

Creating your own kitchen garden has never been so appealing. With many people at home day-to-day and relying more heavily on food deliveries, the freedom of creating your own kitchen garden has become ever more desirable.

Kitchen Gardens - Blue Strawberry Group's Top Tips on Starting Your Own

Development Chef Euan’s garden

Many of us (the Blue Strawberry Group team included) are new to the world of gardening and so we wanted to share some top tips for making a start. Plus we have added in a few sneak peeks at our own efforts so far (the impressive indoor ‘greenhouse’ header image was from Marketing Assistant, Bella)!

Plan first
Effective planning is not only vital in the events world, it is also key for successful gardening, particularly if you are working within a small space. Most vegetables will grow happily in containers, or hanging felt pockets which are ideal options for a compact kitchen garden.

Kitchen Garden Blue Strawberry Group

Felt hanging pocket with broad beans, green beans, spring onions & salad leaves from Marketing & PR Manager, Sam

Get organised early on with what you want to grow – how much space or light will the plants need?

This sounds obvious, but make sure you label everything clearly right from the beginning using waterproof/permanent pens! It is very difficult to cultivate plants when you have no idea what they are.

Kitchen Gardens - Blue Strawberry Group's Top Tips on Starting Your Own

Runner Beans label from Table Talk Founder, Jojo

Choose wisely
It makes sense to grow vegetables you like to eat and those where freshness is important – such as early potatoes, baby carrots and spring onions – as they deteriorate quickly after being harvested.

Kitchen Gardens - Blue Strawberry Group's Top Tips on Starting Your Own

Spring onions from Event Coordinator, Annie

Cost can also be a consideration – for example, onions are cheap to buy, whereas leeks are often more expensive in the shops and so it would be more sensible to grow leeks rather than onions.

Start small
Herbs are easy to buy and anyone can grow them – whether you have a little pot on your windowsill, patio tubs or a wild patch in your garden.

Kitchen Gardens - Blue Strawberry Group's Top Tips on Starting Your Own

Dill from Event Coordinator, Annie

As our chefs will attest, herbs can bring an abundance of flavour to many dishes, not to mention a wide range of health benefits.

Mint and rosemary basically grow themselves – and are great deterrents for pesky snails and slugs (although you may want to keep your mint separate from other plants as it can take over). Basil, fennel and chillies are packed full of exciting flavour compounds and are lots of fun to grow with children.

Kitchen Gardens - Blue Strawberry Group's Top Tips on Starting Your Own

Salad leaves and radishes from Head of Events, Georgina

Peas, radishes and salad leaves are also incredibly easy to get started, with shoots often appearing within a week of planting. We would also recommend little Alpine strawberries too – which are delicious to eat during the Summer months.

Weighing it all up
It’s important to think about how much time and effort you would like devote to your kitchen garden.

Kitchen Gardens - Blue Strawberry Group

Greenhouse of gardening joy from Jess, Business Development Manager

Like peas, runner beans are easy to grow and provide abundant crops over an extended period, whereas tomato plants require more attention with staking, training, lots of watering and protecting from blight. They do however keep growing well into late Summer, early Autumn, giving you your own produce before Winter comes.

Kitchen Gardens - Blue Strawberry Group's Top Tips on Starting Your Own

Tomato plants from Blue Strawberry Founder, Molly

Asparagus is another easy win – once established the plant only requires minimal maintenance each year and will produce plentiful crops for around a decade.

Don’t overdo it
Overcrowding your plants will limit the amount and size of produce you end up with, so make sure you have allowed enough space/containers to allow your plants to thrive.

Kitchen Gardens - Blue Strawberry Group's Top Tips on Starting Your Own

Colourful chard from Annie, Event Coordinator

Over-watering can kill plants more than anything else, so go easy on the watering can – particularly if the weather isn’t too hot.

Eco friendly
When buying seeds/ bulbs at nurseries/ garden centres, ask if you can take any of the plastic trays that the small plant pots are delivered upon. They work brilliantly as seed trays and can be reused year after year, saving them from landfill.

Kitchen Gardens - Blue Strawberry Group's Top Tips on Starting Your Own

Blue Strawberry seeds in biodegradable pots from Table Talk Founder, Jojo

You can also purchase (or even make your own) biodegradable plant pots for your seedlings, that then dissolve into the soil once planted. Another great way to be kind to the environment is to recycle washed yoghurt pots and other plastic food containers (making holes in the base for excess water to drain).

Kitchen Gardens - Blue Strawberry Group's Top Tips on Starting Your Own

Flowering strawberry plant from Development Chef, Euan

Sharing progress
Stay tuned on social media to follow the progress of some of our team members who are growing their own garden kitchens….