Built-in planter boxes made of redwood give a young family easy access to vegetable and herbs in their backyard, surrounded by two- and three-story apartment buildings in San Francisco. The project by St John Landscapes won a 2015 award from the Association of Professional Landscape Designers.
This home's property is large enough to include a chicken coop, raised garden beds for growing vegetables and a garden shed. Pea gravel walkways stand out handsomely against the wood trim, fence and shed.
Your kitchen garden can be as elaborate as a large plot of land sporting many raised beds and trellises or as simple as a few pots on a sunny balcony. As long as you have a spot that gets five to six hours of sun (hopefully near the kitchen, thus the name), well-amended soil or a good potting medium and are committed to the process, your garden will thrive.
Raised garden beds can add vegetables, flowers and even a design element to your garden. Configure the Suncast tiered raised garden bed, sold through retailers such as Wayfair and made of plastic resin, in a variety of shapes.
When selecting a raised garden bed, consider the style, such as metal sides or a wood frame (or both), and what you plan to grow. This metal and wood planter, sold by Gardeners' Supply, is 45 inches long and more than 15 inches wide, plus it is more than 15 inches deep to hold flowers, herbs and vegetables.
Straw is a more utilitarian mulch typically used in vegetable gardens or strawberry patches. Straw is simply the stalks of grain plants. Ask your local straw supplier if their product is clean (doesn’t contain grain heads) and weed-free. Prevent weed seed issues by spreading three sheets of damp newspaper under straw. Some gardeners let straw bales sit a few weeks so weed or grain seeds germinate. This leads to moldy straw—plan to wear a dust mask if you have allergies. Expect to get one to two growing seasons out of straw, depending on how thickly you spread it.