My Backyard Vegetable Garden
By: Dr. Peggy Malone
In the past couple of years I have become more aware of the problems that face our food supply and as a result the food that ends up on my family’s table and fueling our bodies.
Here are some concerning bits of information:
-Air and water, both of which are vital to grow healthy vegetables have more and more pollutants in them.
-Genetically modified foods are making their way into our food supply.
All of these pieces of information have motivated me to take action, in a seemingly small way….but I believe in a very important way.
I planted myself a backyard vegetable garden.
Not only is this backyard vegetable garden project a great way for me to keep my body moving, the vegetables that I grow organically in my back yard will end up canned in sauces or frozen so I can have them through the fall and winter months.
I see it as a way to really invest in my health by not only eating better, but taking part in the process of growing the food that will be fueling my body.
I find it to be an empowering way to take control of an aspect of my health that is super important and I encourage anyone that has a few extra square feet on their deck or in their yard to plant their own backyard vegetable garden! (or even balcony vegetable garden in a few small pots to start)
Here’s how I got started on my vegetable garden project:
First I had to pick a spot for the garden in the backyard. This presented a bit of a challenge as I had to remove another bush and cut back some branches on a tree to make it work.
I had my handy significant other help me build a raised bed and then filled it with good organic soil.
I then purchased organic seeds or in some cases, small organic plants and planted them in the vegetable garden.
I sprinkled a handful of compost that is essentially worm droppings in the hole as I planted each plant to give it extra nutrition.
Sunlight from the south for at least 6 hours per day is what your plants and vegetables will be happiest to grow in, so I made sure to have an area that was flooded with this light for the appropriate amount of time.
I planted marigolds in the corners of my vegetable garden which is a trick that organic gardeners use to discourage certain pests from coming near your plants. I also planted the annual Alyssym around the edges of the garden. It’s flowers will attract beneficial insects to help pollinate my plants.
I also used the tip of putting hair around plants to keep bunnys from nibbling on them. I have 2 cats and they have an abundance of hair that I used in the garden. I’ve been told you can also use cayenne pepper.
I also planted some herbs and lettuces and a few other plants in smaller pots to leave on the patio
Since I’ve planted my backyard vegetable garden, it is growing like mad and I have been caring for it by keeping weeds out of it and making sure it has ample water.
I’m really looking forward to harvest time and having good, organically grown backyard vegetables to enjoy through the fall and winter.
I’ll keep you posted on my progress.
In the meantime, since this isn’t my area of expertise, I would love you to share any tricks or tips that you have used while growing veggies in your backyard gardens.
Now I think I’ll head out back and pick a few weeds and talk to my plants….I’ve heard it helps them to grow 🙂
Dr. Peggy Malone is a Chiropractor and an Athlete who helps other athletes to overcome injury and get back to their sport. She also inspires patients from all walks of life to take control of their health to be as happy and as healthy as they can be.
A former varsity Basketball and Rugby player, she has since entered the world of endurance athletics where she has completed 2 Ironman Triathlons, 3 Marathons, several Half Marathons and many other Triathlons, Road Races and Off-Road Adventure races of varying distances.
Her own athletic endeavors and injuries have given her valuable insight into working with athletes in her practice for both the care of injuries as well as for the improvement of athletic performance.
Great to see, Peggy. Jean and I use very similar gardening techniques for our winter crop each year, planting mainly broccoli, silverbeet, broad beans, snow peas and garlic, with lettuce and tomatoes later in the season. Much of our winter harvest can be frozen, giving us a continuing supply. The extremes of our summer heat mean that we're restricted to crops such as pumpkins, sweet potatoes and some root vegetables, during that season. Living in the midst of the Australian wheatbelt means that we have had to become adaptive in all aspects of our gardening, with soil preparation being important for plant nutrition and water retention.
Apart from complementary planting of flowering plants for drawing or combating insects, we've found that a sprinkling of plain flour on tender seedlings tends to keep nibbling insects at bay, as does broken egg shells scattered among the plants.
Thanks so much for your comment Les and for the great info and tips!
AWESOME! I want one now 😉 We always had a garden growing up and unfortunately, living in the suburbs, I haven't had a garden in years! May need to figure out how to do this 🙂 Great info, Peggy!
Thanks Kim! You just need a small space and I have herbs and lettuces and tomatoes and even cucumbers growing in pots….all of which could be done even on a balcony!!
Aww i love ur garden…i wanna come n check it out :). Uve just inspired me to do the same.
Thanks for your comment Suha! I’m glad you’ve found some inspiration 🙂
I Love your garden. I really miss gardening. I signed up for a guerilla gardening program and my daughter and I are going to do that soon. I would like to see gardens in all the schoolyard, have you heard of the edible schoolyard. If we had more gardens I am sure we would have less mental health issues.
Thanks so much for stopping by. I haven’t heard of the edible schoolyard but it sounds intriguing.
Anything that will inspire people of all ages to have more awareness about health issues is a great thing!
What an awesome backyard garden. We planted a couple of tomato plants out in our backyard, too. Hoping they will produce vitamin packed juicy pleasure for us soon. Enjoy those scrumptious fruits of your labor, Dr. Peggy.
Thanks Carla! Enjoy your tomatoes too!
I love your garden… and you gave me an idea! I can plant my lettue and plants that our rabbits and deers love in small pots on the deck… new pool decoration. Keeping that in mind for new spring. Our garden this year is looking fab! Enjoy your fresh garden is it the best! Can't wait to see more pictures.
Thanks Angela! I’ll post some more pictures as the garden grows!