Tailoring your Vegetable Garden to your Kitchen Plans
The absolute best thing about vegetable gardening is the fact that you have a ready made supply of delicious and nutritious produce available to cook with. However, it can be a bit daunting when you’re first starting out to decide exactly what to plant and what to cook.
The key to making sure that you have a garden that fits in well with your plans in the kitchen is to spread out the plants that you are cultivating so that they can be used in a wide variety of dishes. For instance you don’t want to concentrate only on vegetables such as asparagus that are considered by many to be a side dish, and leave out more versatile plants such as tomatoes and carrots.
Here are some tips on planning a versatile and diverse garden that will enable you to make a huge variety of meals without having to worry about repeating the same thing over and over again.
Use Most Of Your Garden For Plants Such As Tomatoes
The versatility of plants like tomatoes and zucchini cannot be overstated. You can use them in sauces, on sandwiches, and even eat them alone as a healthy snack. What’s more, they are relatively easy to cultivate and do not require an inordinate amount of water or care, especially when compared to some other plants such as artichokes.
You will also find that by focusing mainly on hearty and easy to care for plants for the majority of your garden, you will have much more time to spend on the smaller proportion of more difficult plants that are still rewarding to grow and consume. Also, the time saved on the less labor intensive crops can be reinvested into the kitchen to make more elaborate dishes.
If Possible, Plan Some Meals While You’re Planning The Garden
This isn’t the easiest tip to follow for everyone, and it shouldn’t be taken as encouraging you to plan meals out months in advance right when you plant. But you should have in the back of your mind some idea of exactly what you want to do with the plants you are cultivating. This can be as simple as getting a couple of cookbooks that are geared towards a certain cuisine that heavily features the plants in your garden, or as complicated as picking out certain recipes that you want to try and then planting the ingredients well in advance and reaping the rewards months later.
Make Sure To Time Planting Properly
Although if you follow the earlier advice you aren’t likely to be planting too many vegetables that are overly susceptible to weather conditions, you still want to make sure that you aren’t setting yourself up to be unpleasantly surprised by unexpected weather such as freezes or hail. The best time to plant is right after the last hard freeze, which for most communities in the country has already occurred.
Think About Sides
While you’re planting a garden in the spring, you might want to consider planting some delicious side items like asparagus or artichokes. Although these will not take much of the garden, they are likely to take up more of your time since they generally require a bit more labor than staple foods. However, it will definitely be worth it in the long run when you have fresh produce for your meals and are able to provide a wide variety of new flavors for every dish you prepare.
By following these simple tips you’ll be able to align the needs of your kitchen with what your garden is producing, and you’ll be enjoying delicious and healthy food through the summer and fall and even beyond.