Plant Your Own Kitchen Garden

planting herbs and vegetables
Plant Your Own Garden

Ever planted your own garden? Be a better vegetarian by planting your own garden and experimenting with different herbs and vegetables. Watching veggies grow that you personally planted will encourage you to create delicious recipes used with fresh food straight from the garden. Start a small kitchen garden this spring.

Gardening is Rewarding

I have learned that gardening is rewarding in several ways. For instance, I like simply walking in the garden and snipping off a few aromatic basil herb leaves, placing them on a small plate, or using them in a meal I’m cooking on the stove.

herb gardens
Fresh Basil from the Garden

Of course, the main gardening benefit is eating fresh herbs and vegetables that you’ve planted yourself. When you’re a vegetarian, you eat vegetables and no meat unless you’re on a semi-vegetarian diet like I’ve been blogging about this month. What better way to be a vegetarian than to grow your own veggies?

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Growing your own backyard garden has its benefits. It’s easy to make recipes without needing to run to the store for an herb or a vegetable when you have your own garden just outside your kitchen. Learning to garden isn’t difficult. My parents and grandparents gardened when I was growing up. In spite of being around vegetable gardening all of my life, I had much to learn with my first garden. Asking people you know who have grown successful gardens will give you insight. Gardening books like the one below can help.

Besides having a convenient kitchen garden, there are additional rewarding benefits to gardening:

  1. Creativity
  2. Gifts
  3. Exercise
  4. Inspiration
  5. Sunshine


How is gardening beneficial with creativity? Let me give you an example. My husband built me a raised bed for a salsa garden that included herbs, onions, peppers, and tomatoes. The tomatoes grew like crazy and tasted amazing. There were tons of tomatoes that made it necessary for me to come up with more recipes or give them away. I did both.

We eat salsa a lot, so I made salsa recipes. In fact, I included a Kitchen Garden Salsa section (with a sweet and spicy salsa recipe) in my summer cookbook, Simple Summer Recipes. Click the image below to order.

Not only did I make more recipes. I created a cookbook and included my new recipes. Gardening promotes creativity in that you are designing a garden the way you want and planting seeds and little plants that will grow and produce flowers, herbs, and vegetables. In addition, you can give them as gifts to family, friends, and neighbors.

My mom was one of ten children that were raised by their widow mother. She taught them all about gardening. Her garden was huge. I imagine every family member helped at some time to gather vegetables from her garden.

Recently, my oldest brother hauled dirt from my parents’ old garden area to my property for my garden. I’m anxious to see how well the past fertile garden dirt produces flowers, herbs, and vegetables in my garden. Since I started planting my gardens this month, I’ve been working on the second book of my seasons’ cookbook series – Simple Spring Recipes. The new cookbook, expected publication May 2018, will include favorite spring recipes from my mother and aunts.


Make your own cards, and tie herbs from your garden to the front of the cards for gifts. I’ve enjoyed making recipes with my garden-grown herb-infused oils for recipes. Pour the oil into beautiful glass sealable containers, and decorate with a ribbon. Your friends who love to cook will enjoy these. It’s easy to dry herbs, and you can place dried herbs into small sealable plastic sleeves found at Hobby Lobby and give to loved ones and friends for a birthday, Mother’s Day, or Christmas gift. Making gifts from your garden can be fun and rewarding.


Exercise is a constant challenge for me. Workouts, as much as I feel better doing them, are not always at the top of my to-do list. Gardening is different. I love to garden (not the uninvited insect bites I got last week), so the exercise from planting my flowers, herbs, and vegetables doesn’t seem like working out to me. Nevertheless, the cardio, stretching, and other workouts I do, along with my nutrition shakes, help me and are included in my planner for the next thirty days.


Planting a vegetable garden inspires me to eat more vegetables. If you’re familiar with gardening already, then you know it’s good to also plant certain flowers and herbs near your veggies for various reasons. Interplanting flowers and herbs with vegetables will certainly inspire the avid gardener as it provides beneficial features. Look into this further if you’re serious about growing your own garden.

Nature, whether it be gardens, birds, butterflies, or sunrise and sunsets, always gives me inspiration for my fiction and nonfiction writing. I even include a nature exercise in my blogging and writing workshops. It helps unlock writer’s block and promotes out-of-the-box writing creativity.

Reading is inspirational, and I’m either writing on a book project or reading a book. I’ve added another title to my books-to-read list, The Writer’s Garden: How Gardens Inspired our Best-loved Authors.


Last on my Gardening is Rewarding list, and definitely not least, is sunshine. When was the last time you spent fifteen to thirty minutes in the sunshine? Sunshine provides Vitamin D, helps you feel better, and is believed to be beneficial in other ways such as lowering blood pressure. When I experienced severe vertigo three years ago, I discovered that sitting on a bench in the sunshine for only fifteen minutes made me feel better. Incidentally, the only thing that seemed to help my dizziness stop was sleep for at least an hour. I’m no medical professional, but there is something about sleep and sunlight that make a difference in our bodies.

What to Plant in a Kitchen Garden

Your garden will take on its own identity, depending on your tastes. Like spicy salsa? Plant a salsa garden. That’s what I love to plant. See my Fresh Salsa with a Kick recipe. It’s ingredients like the ones in this recipe that you’ll want to plant in a garden for making hot sauce. Plant as many vegetables and herbs as you want for your salsa. Have fun with it.

Look at your vegetarian recipes to see which vegetables you eat the most of. Grow them in the garden. Got favorite soups, salads, and sandwiches? The best sandwich is stuffed with veggies like cucumbers, lettuce, onions, and tomatoes – all garden friendly.

Want to find more vegan sandwich ideas? See the Hummus Sandwich recipe at Patty Cake has been coming up with exciting new vegan recipes this month, so check out what she’s been creating in the kitchen.

Select from this herb and vegetable garden list for ideas on what to plant. Then add more of your own to the selection.

  • tomatoes
  • onions
  • peppers
  • cucumbers
  • lettuce
  • carrots
  • green beans
  • peas
  • zucchini
  • yellow summer squash
  • cilantro
  • basil
  • dill
  • lemon balm
  • sage

Let me know if you decide to plant a salsa garden. I’ve planted another one this spring and am adding to it weekly. I’m trying out a new strategy with raised beds and am excited to see the results by the summer.

Vegetarian, Flexitarian, or Vegan Diets

Speaking of vegetarian, I am not a strict one. However, I took on a challenge to blog about vegetarian eating, food, and recipes this month. I’ve learned that I prefer to be a semi-vegetarian, or flexitarian, because I enjoy eating meat. And I like dairy products.

Now one thing I’ve noticed is that I don’t mind going two or three days without meat. Not a problem. But all the time without meat – and dairy? No way. But I do respect you who are strict vegetarians or vegans who want to be healthy and stick to your diet.

Vegetable gardening has become a source of enjoyment for me, and it comes with multiple benefits as I’ve mentioned already. Kitchen gardening induces the creativity in me to discover more recipes from my homegrown garden and the inspiration to continue eating plenty of nutritious veggies. Using gardening books has helped me in learning how to plant flowers, herbs, and vegetables and how to plant in raised bed gardens. Order a vegetable gardening book to help you get started today.

Thank you so much for visiting Kitchen Southern Hospitality! Go plant a garden, and stay in touch.

grow a garden
Grow Your Own Garden

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