Two people stand surrounded by many vegetable plants

Growing food isn’t just for farmers. With access to a yard, community garden, or containers, anyone can grow food. One of the most important home gardening skills is observation. Explore our Kitchen Garden in Bartholdi Gardens to see what we are growing throughout the year!

Here are some tips to make your kitchen garden grow:

Season: Think cool, hot, cool. In early spring and fall, plant spinach, peas, lettuce, onions and other plants that need cool nights. Peppers, squash, tomatoes, green beans, melons, okra and corn need warm nights, so plant these after the last spring frost. See our monthly calendar below.

Use space wisely. Consider height and breadth of the mature plants when thinning or planting seedlings. Crowding will reduce yield. Bush varieties are more compact, and pole or vine varieties use vertical space effectively.

Grow in small spaces. Gardens aren't just for yards or parks. They can also flourish on balconies, rooftops, and vertical spaces. By using containers filled with potting media, people can grow food almost anywhere.

Garden organically. Pesticides kill living organisms on your vegetables, in the soil and in the water. You don’t want your family ingesting pesticides in the food they eat. Lots of alternatives are available, including beneficial insects (like lacewings), mulching, removing pests by hand, spraying off pests with water or choosing non-toxic compounds.

Monitor your watering. Water in early morning or late evening to reduce water loss to evaporation.


What's In Season?

Our Kitchen Garden features crops that can be grown in Washington, D.C. Cold frames and row covers protect plants from cold and extend the growing season into winter. This calendar lists some tasks that D.C.-area gardeners tackle each month.

Calendar shows what to plant and harvest each month of the year.

Download the monthly calendar as a PDF