November 22, 2017

Our Suburban Backyard Garden

It’s been almost three years since we had a (big for us) vegetable garden in our backyard.  The spring and summer that I was pregnant with Landen, we planted cucumbers, tomatoes, squash, and several other things and enjoyed the fruits of our labor for months!

Since we moved into our current house, whose backyard is approximately the same size as one U.S. postage stamp, I’d thought I had to give up on any real gardening efforts.

And for two summers, I regretted succumbing to the notion that I could not have a successful garden if I didn’t have enough space.

Not this summer!  No, we didn’t move, but yes, we are having a garden.  I’m still figuring out where to put everything, especially since most of our backyard is taken up by the ginormous Springfree trampoline we got last summer.

One way I am accomplishing our Suburban Backyard Garden is by using containers. The two green pots contain Rosemary and Basil. The big black barrel is potatoes.

The boys and I went to Walmart and bought a huge garbage can for a few bucks, drilled holes in the bottom for drainage, and planted our potatoes.   After over a week, we can see they’re taking off!

We started our seeds indoors to get them growing before the last freeze.  We planted marigolds (good for keeping pests away from vegetable plants), squash, zucchini, cucumbers, Swiss chard, and carrots.

They are just about ready to transfer to our raised beds that we’re building this weekend to put on our concrete back porch and one or two more areas in the backyard.

We’re planning to add pumpkins, watermelon, tomatoes, and peppers as soon as we can figure out where to put them all.  We learned in previous years that just two thriving tomato plants can produce enough tomatoes to keep well-stocked in lycopene for quite a while, especially if you do a bit of canning.  And cucumber plants will keep your pantry full of homemade pickles, too!

Do you have a backyard garden?  Please share your best tips here!


  1. Hi Brandy,
    I love your blog and one of my favorite weekly reads :-). Check this site. This might work for your garden and be able to grow more things. I don’t have big vegetable garden either. So I use containers and a stacked garden beds to increase my space.

    Happy gardening.

  2. Brandy I admire the garden. As someone who owns a couple of preschools ( I am very active in promoting a gardening program. We even send a gardening worksheet home for parents and pay the kid with pennies for cleaning and maintaining the garden so they get really involved. So for you to handle 8 kids is just remarkable.

    I also started a Ceylon Cinnamon business. Would love to send you a free bottle for your garden. Just email us your shipping address. It will keep away all the pests. We had a ground Squirrel that played havoc with our vegetables, but it was exciting catching the rascal with a cage. Didn’t have the Cinnamon oil those days. But It was a teachable moment. I know the kids just love gardening even though preschoolers can be bit of a handful which is why I admire what you are doing with your garden. I am going to copy the potato barrel idea from you for this year. 🙂

  3. We just started a Square Foot Garden. I’m so excited to try our hand at gardening with my two littles (3 and 1). We’ve got 2, 4 foot by 4 foot raised beds and are hoping we can have some pretty good yield here in Houston if they hot summer sun doesn’t burn everything up. Thanks for sharing how you did potatoes, I need to do that because my raised beds only have 6 inches of dirt in them so it isn’t deep enough for root veggies.

    • I’m trying some carrots in a bucket….We’ll see how it goes. I’m hoping the rabbits will leave everything alone, but am looking for ideas to keep them out because there are so many of them around here. 🙂

  4. We to have a urban garden and friends allow us to have some rows at their farm. We are so grateful for these good people! We grow lots and lots of food in our square foot garden, in the greenhouse, and at our friend’s farm.

  5. I am curious how you get 8 boys to burn off enough energy in a postage stamp yard?

    • Oh, Lucy. The backyard is not enough. The older ones explore much more than the younger ones, of course. 🙂


  1. […] Our Suburban Backyard Garden @ The Marathon Mom. I'm already missing my garden and spring has barely begun, but I do love reading about others' gardens and how they grow as much as they can, even in small spaces. […]

  2. […] So, here’s that healthy(ish) menu that I’m hoping nurses these boys back to health this week, and then? On to Spring!  I’m ready to work some more on our Suburban Backyard Garden! […]

  3. […] finish second raised garden bed in our Suburban Backyard Garden […]

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