My Backyard Garden

Alison Raffalovich Front Porch Flyer

By Dan McAtee from the September 2020 Front Porch Flyer print edition

You don’t need much space for vegetables. Laura Spoor and I have harvested lots of veggies from a few modest spots around our yard home. Two small areas next to the alley are dedicated to vegetables such as onions, garlic, and potatoes. These are also interspersed with other plantings in two more small garden areas in front of the house. 

This year, so far, we have harvested red potatoes, butternut squash, onions, cilantro, cantaloupe, garlic, and Swiss chard. Poblano and Anaheim peppers, as well as cantaloupe, are loving the sun.

Last year we had lots of tomatoes and onions. This year we were too late for tomatoes, which makes the mockingbirds unhappy.

Vegetables grow in good soil, so we have added that plus some sand and compost. We fertilize only the calamondin tree. We water regularly, as needed, with drip irrigation. We converted our sprinkler system to drip irrigation. We don’t do much about the sun and heat beyond adequate watering. Tomatoes die back in hot months. At that time, we cut them back to 18 inches and they return to life when the weather cools.

In addition to vegetables, Laura has been providing neighbors with various types of potted house plants for several years, hosting regular front porch give-aways. Laura starts cuttings in water, and then when roots appear, she moves them to soil in pots. Onions and garlic are started the same way.