• Landscape

    Plan an Indianapolis Backyard Garden for Cooking

    Indiana has a great summer for growing lots of different plants in a backyard garden. With a little planning, you can have a vibrant garden spring through fall. Whether you are looking to enhance your space, eat more locally, or indulge a hobby, here are a few great hints for planning a backyard garden.

    Choose a Garden Type

    When choosing the type of backyard garden that best suits you, you will want to consider your space and the plants you hope to cultivate. When considering plants, a good guide to follow is to calculate how many of each plant type and their recommended spacing.

    There are three types of gardens we will address here:

    • Raised bed
    • In-ground
    • Container

    Raised bed gardens are where the soil is raised off the ground in framed structures either made of wood or stone. Benefits include:

    • Containing and grouping specific plants
    • Better drainage
    • Barrier to small animals and bugs
    • Prevent soil compaction

    In-ground beds are the traditional beds planted in the soil of your yard. These are the easiest to begin because you do not need anything more than a shovel and seeds. You can make them as large or as small as you like and easily expand them as your needs change.

    Container gardens are often for smaller spaces or patios and balconies. They can range from simple to complex, but allow you to grow (and move) your small garden wherever you like. Another idea lots of home chefs like about container gardens is to plan a variety of herbs in them and keep them close to the kitchen for easy access while cooking.    

    Choose the plants

    You will want to choose plants that you eat and like to cook with to include in your backyard garden. You’ll also want to consider your skills and the time you plan to devote to your garden. Some plants that are easy to grow in Indiana include:

    • Tomatoes
    • Corn
    • Lettuce
    • Carrots
    • Radish
    • Potatoes

    You can experiment with what works for your taste, budget, and skill. Some gardeners grow an excess of certain plants to can or freeze; tomatoes and corn are popular choices.

    Timing is also an important consideration with your gardens. Cool weather plants such as lettuce are planted much earlier in the year than corn, for example. Additionally, you will want to decide whether you are starting your plants from seed or purchasing them as starts.

    Fun ideas

    There are lots of fun ways to get your family involved and interested in backyard gardening. For example, you could plant a pizza garden! Choose vegetables and herbs that you like as pizza toppings such as tomatoes, peppers, onions, basil, oregano, and rosemary. Let each family member choose a topping and see what kind of pizza garden you make!

    You can also design a garden around a beautiful backyard feature such as a fountain or arbor. You can enjoy your feature and the beauty of a healthy outdoor garden.

    Backyard Garden Help

    If you are looking for help with anything from a backyard garden design to installation of a backyard feature, Hittle can help! With over 45 years of experience in central Indiana, we know what works for Hoosiers and can help you create the garden of your dreams. Contact us today to plan your garden for this spring!

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