6 Reasons why we should have our own Kitchen gardens


In the present day world, air, water and food are getting polluted at an alarming rate and are becoming harmful for human use.  In such circumstances it is in our hands to control the pollution of water and food. Even if pollution cannot be stopped, we can do our own bit to reduce it and above all save ourselves from the ill – effects of such a degradation. For water we can take care by drinking  purified and  boiled water and for food – the dry ingredients can be subjected to quality checks and then  used

  1. But for wet ingredients like fruits  and vegetables making quality checks becomes difficult and cumbersome.  Hence if we are able to grow our own safe vegetables and fruits in our backyards the problem will be solved.

2. This type of cultivation which is carried out in backyards by using natural fertilisers and pest repellents is Organic farming or green farming which is bound to change the fate of earth and its resources for the better.

3. People on this earth are all concerned about the health of the planet and its survival at the hands of its ever-growing population.  The remedy seems to be the use of sustainable measures and in growing  crops it is traditional method of cultivation. In the first step just as we say Charity begins at home, households can initiate traditional farming at their own backyards or any other available space which receives sunlight at some point during the day.

4. Growing our own fruits and vegetables will help us increase our daily intake of fruits  and vegetables as per recommended quantity for a healthy body. Hence this Kitchen can also be referred to as a Nutritional garden.  Fruits and vegetables provide us the majority of the minerals and vitamins that we require for our disease-free existence.

5. Based on the type of minerals  provided the combination of fruits and vegetables have to be grown which will be fresh,  non-toxic and nutrient –rich. Growing vegetables and fruits at home helps children understand the importance of the environment and appreciate the greatness of being a farmer.

6. It makes us independent, self sufficient and helps us make the best use of the organic wastes generated in the kitchen.

Depending on whether the kitchen garden is set in a rural or urban area land availability will be determined. In rural areas land will not be a limitation but in urban areas terraces and balconies have to be used. Plants can be grown in a variety   of containers like plastic cans, bottles, cups, empty car battery boxes, broken buckets or any other container that is waste and is able to hold soil and moisture.

In rural areas plants are grown on land but in urban areas roof tops may be used and in such cases  certain precautions have to be taken to check seepage and increasing the weight excessively. Hence it becomes necessary to think about different types of cost-effective substrata for growing plants.

Selection of a site and Garden layout                     

A kitchen garden is usually established in the backyard and an ideal garden should have a 200  square metre  area to suffice for a family of five members. The garden needs to be rectangular rather than a square one   or a thin long strip.

The garden layout and selection of crops is done on the season and the agro-climatic conditions of the area and can be modified according to the prevailing conditions.

The general considerations to be followed in the garden layout can be summarised as follows:

Perennial vegetables especially curry leaf (Murraya koenigii) and drumstick have to confined to one end of the garden to prevent shading of the other crops and especially drumstick (Moringa) that develops hairy caterpillars soon after the monsoon.

One or two pits for composting have to be provided at another end of the garden to help process the kitchen wastes.

A proper fencing either of barbed wire or a live fence is required.

The four sides of the garden can have star goose berry (Saurops androgynus), ivy gourd (Coccinia grandis), Dolichos bean (Broad bean) and Ridge gourd. A combination of any of these may be used as desired. The fence can be further fortified by planting Sesban (Agathi) at one metre distance. This produces leaves which are edible and rich in iron   

The entry to the garden can be made into an arch with red or white Basella vines that produce nutritious leaves rich in iron

Excluding the space provided for perennial crops and compost pits, the rest of the plot is divided into 6 or 10 parts for growing annual vegetable crops.

Crop rotation if followed in the right way will allow three crops to be raised in the same soil

Apart from this inter-cropping or companion cropping will allow for additional crops that help judicious use of space and prevent pest infestation

Walking paths to be allowed in the centre and on the four sides and can be lined with red or green Amaranths or Alternanthera

The ridges can be used to grow root crops like radish and tuber crops

Fertility of the soil to be maintained using organic amendments to the soil by the use of green manure or farmyard manure  or the generated compost at regular intervals

Clean cultivation methods to be followed as the crops are directly used

 Look at cultivating disease resistant varieties, biological control methods, manual removal of affected and diseased parts

Kitchen garden must look at propagation of traditional varieties rather than high yielding hybrid varieties

Provision for a bee-hive is a must in the garden for attracting pollinators and for honey

To start with,  all eggs and larvae on the growing plants to be removed and then  Neem oil at  a concentration of 2 mL/litre or Neem seed kernel at 3% to be sprayed as a  bio-pest-repellent

Recommended fruit crops

Mango, Amla, banana, sapota, acid lime , lemon, Guava, Pomegranate  and Papaya

Recommended Vegetable crops

 Beans, Broad bean, Cluster bean, Sword bean, Bitter gourd, Snake gourd, Ridge gourd,Water melon, Bottle gourd, Radish and Okra as direct sown vegetables

As transplanted vegetables –Tomato, Chillies and Brinjal can be grown

Fenugreek, Turmeric, Ginger and Coriander can be spices for the garden

Some medicinal plants are also needed to be grown that can be listed as – Sesban, Aloe vera, lemon grass, Cissus (Perandai), Phyllanthus (Keelanelli), Manathakkali (Solanum nigrum), Eclipta alba (Karisalanganni)


PlotsMay-June to September -OctoberSeptember –October to December -JanuaryDecember -January  to May-June
i)Bitter GourdYard Long beanSnake gourd
ii)Brinjal and ChilliBrinjal and ChilliOkra
iii)Ash GourdPumpkinAmaranthus
v)OkraAsh gourdChilli/brinjal
vi)PumpkinOkraYard Long bean
i)VegetablesDrumstick, Curryleaf, Bilimbi, Culinary banana
ii)FruitsBanana, lemon, Papaya, Guava, Gooseberry
ii)VegetablesTaro, elephant foot yam, Chinese potato
iii)SpicesChilli, Ginger, Turmeric, Mango ginger
Border of walking pathsAmaranth, Bush cowpea, Bush Dolichos bean
PerennialsChekkurmanis (Star goose berry), Ivy gourd, Agathi
Rainy SeasonSword bean, Clove bean
Winter SeasonRidge gourd, Yard long bean
Rainy to Summer (July- February)Dolichos bean, Winged bean

The table clearly gives the cropping pattern and the  type of crops that can be grown all over the year and based on the area this may be varied by referring to the corresponding season and crop.

Dr. Mujeera Fathima

Dr. Mujeera Fathima

Dedicated, Passionate teacher and Associate Professor of Botany specializing in Plant Physiology and Plant Anatomy with research interest in Ethnobotany and Traditional knowledge possessing a teaching experience of 28 years.

About Me

Dr. Mujeera Fathima

Dedicated, Passionate teacher and Associate Professor of Botany specializing in Plant Physiology and Plant Anatomy with research interest in Ethnobotany and Traditional knowledge possessing a teaching experience of 28 years. Officiated as one of the co-authors of the XI standard Botany and Bio-Botany textbook (2005) and XI standard Botany and Bio-Botany textbook (2015) as Domain expert for Tamilnadu State Higher Secondary Board of Education. A certified soft skills trainer and counselor holding a Doctorate in Botany and a M.Sc. in Psychology