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Starting a Kitchen Garden

First Steps to an Edible Garden. 
Check what is already growing!

Edible fruit, vegetables, nuts and flowers can sometimes be found already growing in a garden and knowing what is available to take back to the kitchen, before lifting the garden fork or spade, is a good place to start.

Rather than reinvent the wheel and dig unnecessarily - my manageable edible garden is going to have to grow and manage itself, to a certain extent.

Edible Nut Trees. 
Large hazel trees (locally known as cobnut trees) have been growing in the garden for several years but, more recently, new trees have appeared, some of which now bear fruit - or rather nuts.
 
Although this garden is semi-rural, with native Kentish cobnuts growing naturally in the local woods nearby, hazelnut trees (including Kent cobs and filberts) can be grown without much effort in almost any garden. They can reach quite a size (20ft x 15ft) but can be pruned to keep them small and manageable.

Small nut tree and a dog in the garden.
Young hazel nut tree in a natural kitchen garden, 6ft x 5ft.
Kitchen Garden Blog 2018.

This small nut tree is one of three hazelnuts in a row (the other trees are hiding behind the one at the front of the image). They will be pruned to keep them fairly low in height. They are about 3 years old.

They were originally grown from nuts planted by squirrels, which were then transplanted to this position when about 3ft tall, to create a small hedge within the garden.

Easy to Grow.
Hazels are so easy to grow, in fact, that a small kitchen garden could be grown (almost) from one nut!

These provided a handful of tiny hazelnuts this year but will provide many more next year. As these trees will be pruned to retain a manageable shrub size, the nuts will be easily accessible for harvesting in late summer/early autumn.

They will be harvested as green cobnuts because no one can wait any longer for them to ripen to the more familiar brown hazelnuts - including the squirrels.

They taste great green though and can be bought green from some supermarkets - but it's so easy to grow your own - a squirrel could do it. 

Work on creating a fruit, vegetable and nut garden has started!

(Easy gardening ;)

Kitchen Garden Blog,Kent.

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