How to Create Your Kitchen Garden, with ALS Landscaping, Lincoln

How to Create Your Kitchen Garden, with ALS Landscaping, Lincoln

June 4, 2024

Kitchen Garden Ideas

With the cost of food continually spiralling, have you thought about turning your outdoor space into a kitchen garden? At ALS Landscaping, Lincoln, we think it’s a great way to enjoy fresh, home-grown produce, and if you’ve got children at home, you can teach them where food comes from, and get them involved from plant to table, too!

It’s a rewarding project that can be both practical and beautiful. Here’s how you can get started:

With the unpredictable Lincolnshire weather, having a kitchen garden right outside your door can make gardening more convenient and enjoyable. Imagine stepping out and picking fresh herbs, vegetables, and fruits straight from your garden to your kitchen. Not only does this provide you with fresh ingredients and save you money, but it also adds something extra special to your meals and brings a sense of accomplishment.

Step 1: Assess Your Space

First, take a good look at your outdoor space. Whether you’ve got a large garden, a small patio, or even a balcony, there’s potential for a kitchen garden. Think about the amount of sunlight your space gets, as most edible plants need at least six hours of sunlight a day. Note any areas that might be shaded by trees or buildings, as these will affect what you can grow.

If you’ve got limited space, don’t worry. You can use pots, vertical planters, or even hanging baskets to maximise your growing area. Think creatively about how to use every bit of space you have. For example, a sunny windowsill can be perfect for growing herbs indoors.

If you’re not sure if you’ve got enough space, or where your kitchen garden would thrive best, we offer a 3D Landscape Design Service which is perfect to see where your garden gets the most sunlight (and if you want to see the finished result before you start work!).

Step 2: Plan Your Layout

Sketch out a simple plan of your space. Think about what you like to eat and aim to grow those plants. Herbs like basil, thyme, and parsley are great for beginners because they’re easy to grow and can be used in many dishes. For vegetables, consider tomatoes, lettuce, and carrots. If you’re short on space, vertical gardening techniques such as trellises for climbing plants like beans or cucumbers are great.

When planning your layout, group plants with similar water and sunlight needs together. This makes watering and maintenance much easier. Also, consider accessibility – you want to be able to reach all your plants easily for harvesting and care.

There are so many possibilities available. For ideas of Autumn planting, check out our Grow Your Own Financial Relief Guide.

Step 3: Prepare the Soil

Good soil is key to a successful kitchen garden. If you’re planting in the ground, mix in some compost to enrich the soil and improve its texture. For container gardens, use high-quality potting soil. Proper soil preparation will ensure your plants have the nutrients they need to thrive.

Test your soil’s pH to make sure it’s suitable for the plants you want to grow. Most vegetables prefer slightly acidic to neutral soil (pH 6.0-7.0). If your soil is too acidic or alkaline, you can amend it with lime or sulphur as needed.

Step 4: Choose the Right Plants

Start with easy-to-grow plants that suit the Lincolnshire climate. Hardy herbs and vegetables that can withstand the local weather fluctuations are ideal. Seedlings are a good choice for beginners, as they are less fragile than seeds. And now is the perfect time to start planting.

Consider planting:

Herbs: Basil, thyme, rosemary, and parsley are versatile and grow well in pots or garden beds.

Vegetables: Tomatoes, lettuce, radishes, and carrots are great starter crops that don’t require too much space.

Fruits: Strawberries and raspberries can be grown in containers or directly in the garden.

Step 5: Planting and Maintenance

When planting, follow the spacing guidelines for each plant. Overcrowding can lead to poor air circulation and disease. Plant taller plants on the north side of the garden so they don’t shade shorter plants. Water regularly, but avoid overwatering, which can lead to root rot. Mulching around plants can help retain moisture and keep weeds at bay.

Regularly check your plants for pests and diseases. Removing affected leaves or using natural pest deterrents can help keep your garden healthy. Companion planting, where certain plants are grown together to benefit each other, can also help deter pests. For example, planting marigolds near tomatoes can help repel harmful insects.

Step 6: Harvesting

One of the joys of a kitchen garden is harvesting your own produce. Pick herbs as needed to encourage growth. Harvest vegetables when they’re ripe, and don’t be afraid to try your hand at preserving any surplus through drying, freezing, or pickling.

Knowing when to harvest can be tricky, but here are some general guidelines:

Herbs: Harvest in the morning after the dew has dried but before the sun gets too hot. Cut stems just above a leaf pair to encourage bushier growth.

Vegetables: Check daily once they start to ripen. Use clean, sharp scissors or pruning shears to avoid damaging the plants.

Tips for Success

Companion Planting:

Some plants grow better together. For example, basil planted with tomatoes can improve growth and flavour. Other good combinations include carrots with onions (the onions repel carrot flies) and cucumbers with radishes.

Succession Planting:

To keep your garden productive, plant new crops as soon as you harvest old ones. This can keep you harvesting fresh produce all season long.

Seasonal Planning:

Rotate crops and plan for all seasons to keep your garden producing year-round. This helps prevent soil depletion and reduces the risk of pests and diseases.

Encouraging Resilience and Recovery

Don’t be discouraged by setbacks. Every gardener faces challenges, but with patience and persistence, your garden will flourish. If a particular plant isn’t doing well, consider trying a different variety or moving it to a different spot. Gardening is as much about learning and adapting as it is about growing.


Transforming your outdoor space into a kitchen garden can be a way of saving on the weekly shopping bill and a fulfilling project. It doesn’t matter how big or small your space is; with a bit of planning and care, you can enjoy fresh, home-grown produce right from your own garden. Not only does it provide you with fresh ingredients, but it also gives you a sense of accomplishment and a connection to the food you eat.


What are the best plants to start with in a kitchen garden?

For beginners in Lincolnshire, start with easy-to-grow plants like basil, thyme, parsley, tomatoes, lettuce, and carrots. These plants are hardy and can thrive in various conditions, making them ideal for novice gardeners.

How can I improve my garden’s soil quality?

Mix in organic compost to enrich the soil and improve its texture. For container gardens, use high-quality potting soil. Regularly adding compost and organic matter will keep the soil healthy and nutrient-rich.

How do I manage pests in my kitchen garden without using chemicals?

Use natural pest deterrents like neem oil, garlic spray, or beer traps for slugs. Companion planting, such as planting marigolds with tomatoes, can also help repel pests. Regularly check your plants and remove any affected leaves to keep pests at bay.

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