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.