The kitchen garden one year on: A note on path width

When we set up the kitchen garden a year ago, one of the key questions was how wide the paths between the raised beds should be. What struck me at the time was that a lot of reference books stated 45cm as the ‘ideal’ width, sufficient for wheelbarrow access. Beautiful images showed newly set up kitchen gardens with freshly planted, young vegetables. Almost none however, included a picture of the same garden at the height of the growing season, with fully mature plants.

And the same appears to be the case on YouTube. There is plenty of advice on setting up raised beds and the ‘perfect’ path width –but hardly anybody posts a follow up video, sharing how their approach has worked out for them.

I find this rather annoying. So, let me do better and show you what the kitchen garden looks like one year on and how it has transformed over the last couple of months.

The following pictures were taken at the end of May:

The garden still looks pretty bare…

…and there is ample space between the beds.

Two months later, this is how the garden looks like now:

Everything has exploded…

… and is bursting at the seams. What used to be a 90cm wide path has shrunk considerably. Have a look at this:

The width has more than halved. That is quite something, isn’t it?

We’re fortunate in that we didn’t face any space constraints when we set up the kitchen garden. So, influenced by Jenni Blackmore’s book ‘Permaculture for the rest of us’, we made our paths a lot wider than the standard recommendation. And a year on, at the peak of the growing season, that extra allowance is certainly coming in handy!

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