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The Potager Kitchen Vegetable Garden

A potager.... pronounced "potajay" kitchen garden is a garden close to your kitchen where you can access fresh veggies and herbs easily. There are plants around the outside edge and in the middle. It's name is french for a "kitchen garden". And it literally means 'for the soup pot' The crops are rotated, planted or replanted throughout the growing season, and you gather what you'll need to cook to cook daily meals.

The best crops for a potager kitchen garden should  be foods that are eaten fresh, and not preserved. Flowers and herbs are often added to a potager kitchen garden for fresh cut flowers regularly. The French viewed potager gardens as works of art, and not relegated to the far reaches of a yard, hidden from view. The shape and layout, along with colorful flowers arranged around the vegetables, was meant to be seen as part of a landscape.

Choose crops that are ready to harvest throughout the season, not just at the end of summer. You also want to choose space-saving crops instead of crops that take up lots of space,  A basic design could include geometric shapes, such as rectangles and squares for sections of the garden, and plants edging that would be an enclosure. Fruit shrubs around the perimeter could serve as a functional enclosure.

Flowers planted in the kitchen garden flowers will attract bees and other pollinators to the vegetable plants. Add other plants and shrubs that attract the pollinators as part of the design of the garden itself.  Raised beds add dimension and they create natural pathways. 

Pathways are necessary between the sections. Make sure your pathways are wide enough to push a wheelbarrow along them - approximately 3 ft. wide sounds ideal. I don't use a wheelbarrow directly in the vegetable garden, so mine would be a more narrow pathway.

Mulch or lay down cedar pathways that you just roll out every season, or just leave over winter. It serves to keep you from getting muddy shoes while working, or compacting the soil. They look pretty, too. I would also add trellises, weatherproof statuary or decor items, in the beds so that it looks pretty over the winter when the plants are removed.

These are some of my cedar pathways and rubber stepping stones....

What to Grow in your Potager Kitchen Garden

Herbs for coooking, along with medicinal herbs.

Any crops for salads. Plant using the staggered method of planting for salads until winter.

Heirloom and sauce tomatoes

Any specialty culinary herbs you enjoy cooking with

Bush Beans and  pole beans, peas on a trellis

Summer squash, eggplant and zucchini

frying and bell peppers

Scallions, shallots, garlic

Small root crops, like beets, baby carrots, and turnips

cucumbers on a trellis

small and mid-sized flowers


I have an elevated raised garden bed near my kitchen door, for culinary herbs i use often. I'd like to expand that idea. Add ground-level raised beds for vegetables and salad ingredients i use the most. Rectangular cedar beds look great. Use of rectangles and squares is the shape i'd want, and i'd plant pollinator attracting plants, like bee balm.

I love using raised garden beds for just about any of my garden designs - It adds another level and you can grow more without using up ground-level space.


   These are the elevated and raised garden beds that i use in my gardens. 
My favorites are created by Greene's Fence. They are heavy and sturdy and the pieces  
just dovetail into slots in minutes. One tool assembly.... the rubber mallet i use 
to help guide the pieces into the grooves. I also have ground-level white vinyl garden 
beds for zero maintenance and a more cottage-y look in the front garden to hold 
my strawberry patches. Those also snap together.

Back to the subject at hand.....

Pick a garden design plan listed below if you're planning a 
vegetable garden, and download beautiful designs in .pdf format.

Download the design plan below for a traditional French style Potager Vegetable Garden
It comes complete with plans and a planting guide. 
Click the pic to download in .pdf format.

Click the pic  below to open and download a large color design for a vegetable garden. 
Right click  -->Save Image As---> name it and Save the larger image to your computer.

wpe63.jpg (203303 bytes)


Here are various vegetable garden designs put together for you in downloadable .pdf format
Just click the pics to download fully complete garden design plans to your computer. 
Design drawings and plant placement listings included.





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