Kitchen Garden VS Vegetable Garden

With all this talk about the kitchen garden, I get the question a lot, 

Nicole, what exactly is a kitchen garden? Is it a garden that’s inside your kitchen?

And while the kitchen garden isn't inside your kitchen, it is a garden that's grown to be brought into the kitchen on a regular basis.  To help explain, I thought I'd compare a kitchen garden to a vegetable garden to help  you discover which one fits you best.  

Kitchen Garden vs Vegetable Garden.png


A kitchen garden is relatively small, ranging from 20 to 200 square feet.  Generally, a kitchen garden is designed inside of raised garden beds for a clean and distinct feel. 

A vegetable garden could be huge.  It's often growing sprawling fields of pumpkins, gourds, or corn.  

Cor Ten Kitchen Garden


A kitchen garden should be located near your kitchen.  The gardens are designed to be a focal point of your landscape and a central gathering place for family and friends.  

A vegetable garden is usually located further from your home due to its demand for additional space and its sometimes unsightly appearance. 

Kitchen garden near an outdoor kitchen


A kitchen garden is tended regularly. In fact, you may head to your kitchen garden three to four times per week to grab herbs or greens for that day's meals. A kitchen garden is generally tended a little at a time and the harvests are often used fresh rather than preserved.

A vegetable garden is tended more intensively with big planting, harvesting, and storing days.  

watering a kitchen garden


A kitchen garden is grown more for the experience of watching seeds become food, of enjoying the change in seasons, and having a few things to harvest and enjoy inside the kitchen regularly.  
You have a choice in a kitchen garden. You can grow a large quantity of a small variety of plants.  Or, you can grow a small quantity of a large variety of plants.  

A vegetable garden is grown almost entirely for production.  The purpose is much less focused on experience and much more toward lots and lots of produce.  

kitchen garden harvest


A kitchen garden really is possible for anyone.  Because a kitchen garden can be quite small, doesn't require intensive tending, and can be used in so many simple ways, a kitchen garden is possible for nearly everyone. 

While a vegetable garden is great because of its production and impressive output, it's just not possible for everyone. Not every person has the space or time to have a vegetable garden.  

So, what do you think?  Are you meant to have a Vegetable Garden or a Kitchen Garden?  

Being a mom of four kids and a business owner, I'll have to stick with kitchen gardening for quite a while.  The kitchen garden is my favorite part of my home, it makes cooking so much more fun for me, and gives me a spot to 'get away' in my own backyard.  But, I don't have the energy or time to tend a vegetable garden at this stage in my life.  

If you're on the fence about starting a garden this year, I hope this distinction gives you insight and encouragement that you don't have to live like a farmer in order to have a garden.  The kitchen garden really is possible for all of us and I'm excited to grow with you in your own gardening journey this year.  

If you haven’t already, take the first step in starting your kitchen garden and join me in my new Herb Garden Guide course where I take you step by step through all things setting up, planting, and harvesting from your herb garden.

Stay tuned for more kitchen garden inspiration in the days to come.  

And thanks so much for growing with me,

P.S. Check out this free download I made for you all about the five easiest herbs to start from seed. Grab your free copy here.

Nicole Burke