Steps To Plan Your 2015 Kitchen Garden

It’s time to start planning your kitchen garden.  Yes, there’s snow on the ground and it’s cold outside, but January is the time to start planning your spring and summer kitchen garden.  A well planned garden will lead to a successful garden. 

If you’re striving to get healthier, there’s nothing better than fresh vegetables. I have been gardening for years, and my focus has been on tomatoes, peppers, garlic, green beans, watermelons, and herbs. I do add in sunflowers and marigolds. Planting a kitchen garden helps save on the grocery bill, and you will be able to to freeze and preserve your harvest.   


Here’s a few steps you should be taking now to ensure your kitchen garden success:


  • Plan your garden layout – Will you be using raised beds, row gardening, or containers? Will you plant a small, medium or large garden? The size of your garden will determine how many plants you will need to purchase or need to start from seed.  You also need to start thinking about the containers you will be using or pricing material for your raised beds if this is the route you will be taking.       
  • Decide what you want to plant – Do you want to do herbs only or a variety of vegetables? Will you be planting Hybrid or Heirloom seeds/vegetables?  What and how many will you plant.  My suggestion is that you plant what you like and will use during the summer and winter months.   
  • Order seeds – Browse catalogs and on-line websites to determine what you need to purchase or join seed swaps. The Dollar Store has a great selection of seeds for bargain prices. Check your local store now for the best selection.  I also purchase from Gurney, Johnny’s Parks , Territorial and Baker Creek seed companies.  
  • Prepare for indoor sowing – If you indoor sow, set up a schedule for sowing your seeds. 
  • Start winter sowing  – You can start summer flowers in containers and place outdoors to get a head start on the growing season. I start my sunflowers using the winter sowing method. I have also been successful winter sowing vegetables.     
  • Check your inventory – Do you have seeds that need to be used this growing season?  Do you have enough seed starting mix and peat pots for indoor sowing? Are your grow lights in working order? What about your outdoor fencing?  Get a head start, make sure you have everything in working order and you have sufficient supplies for your garden.  

I’ve decided to increase my basil plants from 2 to 6 so I can dry and share them with my sister and daughter. I will be placing herbs in my Christmas gift baskets this year.  I normally put in 9-12 tomato plants, 3 – 4 belle and hot peppers, 2 squash, 2 zucchini,  6 cucumbers, 24-30 cloves of garlic and a few rows of green beans.  I will be cutting back on these vegetables as I have an adequate supply stored.  I will be replacing some of the plants with cauliflower, cantaloupe, water melons, leaf lettuce, collard greens, and a variety of herbs.  


I use the direct sowing method for my green beans, cucumbers and lettuce, winter sowing for my sunflowers, and indoor sowing for my tomatoes, herbs, squash, zucchini, peppers, cauliflower and fruits. 

I will be doing a series of posts on sowing seeds, gardening in containers, row garden preparation, preserving the harvest and everything in between on Saturdays from now through October. Stay tuned and check back for the 2015 Kitchen Garden series.  


If you have a question while planning, starting your seed, implementing your garden or just feel overwhelmed, send an email to The Mail Box using rhonda@mother2motherblog.com, and I will respond to your questions.  Lets get healthy together!      

 If you like this post you may also like:  How To Dry Kitchen Garden Herbs

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Comments

  1. Sounds like you will be busy this year!

    • Yes, my garden keeps me busy.  I love every second of it, nothing like growing fresh vegetables and being able to share with family. Thanks for stopping by.

  2. Nice to read and learn about gardening. This is something that I always wanted to do. Have no idea about sowing. I only have a little balcony, so I may use containers to do tomatoes, zucchinis and some herbs. Eager to hear from your next Saturday post/lesson on gardening. So for the moment I guess that I should start by buying the seeds and doing indoor sowing?. I love it. Thanks

    • Hi Fabulosa.  I would suggest that you look for seeds that state "Ideal for containers". You will need grow lights if you want to start you seeds inside or you can direct sow them when the weather is warm enough.  I would suggest starting you tomatoes and zucchini inside.  If you have a sunny window in your kitchen, you can start your herbs there. You can also winter sow your herbs on your balcony.  Any questions? 

  3. I just don't have the room to garden like you do but I sure enjoy reading about it!

  4. I look forward to your garden posts throughout this year.

    • Hi Julie. Gardening is one of my passions. I've been digging in the dirt for several years, and enjoy my kitchen garden.  I hope you find a few tips that you can use during the series.  Nice meeting you, and thanks for stopping by. 

  5. unfortunately we can have snow anytime from October to May and then a couple of months of frost – think I would need a greenhouse

    • Hi Vesper.  We have a short growing season in my area too, May-September.  Because our growing season is short, I winter and indoor sow, so my plants can be ready to go in the garden and containers in May. Have you tried winter or indoor sowing?  You don't need a greenhouse. 

  6. Great ideas Rhonda for all of your readers who look outside and see snow or the temperatures are too cold to even think about planting right now.

    I live in South Florida.  This time of the year we are harvesting.  Tomatoes, beans, peppers etc come fresh from the fields not far from my house.  I too keep a kitchen garden with a few tomatoes plants and herbs.  When the rest of the US thinks about planting it is way to hot and wet to plant vegetables here.

    When you enjoy fresh vegetables during the wintertime, stop and say a quick prayer for the many migrant people and their families who work tirelessly each day in the fields to bring these to you. 

    • Hi Sharon.  Thanks for stopping by. I love Florida from December to about June. I can't take the heat thereafter. I pray for everyone, and I'm thankful for those who plant our food, harvest and deliver it. We take so many things for granted, so thanks for the reminder. 

  7. Great information, Rhonda!  I think I'll look at what's new for 2015 in the seed catalogs and sites online.  My flowers do much better when I sow them from seeds than from bought plants.  It just takes a little longer but if I plan now and start the seed indoors six weeks before the last frost I might be ahead of the game this year.

    • Hello fellow gardener. I try to start as many plants as I can inside around mid-March and plant out around Mother's Day. I love browsing the websites and catalogs too. You can find unique seeds on-line and ideas for the garden.