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The Healthy Vegetable Garden

A natural, chemical-free approach to soil, biodiversity and managing pests and diseases

By Sally MorganSally Morgan


A must-read for anyone who wants to know how to grow their own zero-food miles, pesticide-free veg, while treading gently upon our planet. Dave Goulson, author of The Garden Jungle and Gardening for Bumblebees

Whether you’re an experienced gardener or have ambitious plans for your allotment, this A–Z, soil-to-table guide shows you how to reduce chemical inputs; naturally enrich your growing ecology; and create a hardy, nutrient-dense and delicious crop.

In The Healthy Vegetable Garden, expert organic gardener Sally Morgan explains how to use natural approaches to cope with the challenges of a changing climate through principles from regenerative gardening, agroecology and permaculture – all to help your green space thrive.

The Healthy Vegetable Garden shows you how to:

  • Combat disease and keep pests at bay with natural predators, companion planting and trap and barrier crops
  • Choose the right plants to attract pollinators and pest predators
  • Build a healthy soil full of organic matter, earthworms and mycorrhizal fungi
  • Regenerate soil through no-dig practices, composting, cover crops and mulching
  • Boost biodiversity through the use of crop rotations and polyculture
  • Rewild your garden by creating a range of habitats, making use of walls and fences, log piles, water features and wild corners
  • Understand plant defences and use biocontrols
  • Make natural barriers, traps and lures

A healthy, productive garden should work in harmony with nature to produce and protect delicious fruits and vegetables as well as build a rich soil that is full of life. With The Healthy Vegetable Garden, growers of all levels will start reducing incidents of pests and diseases while creating a verdant habitat – all without the need for fertilizers, pesticides or weedkillers.

Reviews and Praise

"A must read for anyone who wants to know how to grow their own zero–food miles, pesticide-free veg, while treading gently upon our planet."—Dave Goulson, author of The Garden Jungle and Gardening for Bumblebees

"COVID has led to a renewed appreciation of nature for many people, and an interest in joining CSAs or growing their own produce. So this book could not be better timed, and given Sally’s lifetime experience of organic gardening, it’s bound to inspire all those who want to ‘grow back better’."—Helen Browning, chief executive, Soil Association

"If you want to grow your own food while helping nature to thrive, this fascinating book is for you. I learnt a lot."—Alex Mitchell, author of Crops in Tight Spots

"An invaluable addition to the gardening literature, Sally Morgan’s new book does a superb job of presenting a holistic, ecological approach to soil health as well as pest and disease management. Whereas many books may simply say, ‘Use X product to fight X issue’, Morgan describes in thorough detail what the gardener can do – from building habitats to improving soil conditions – to ensure that issue never has a chance to take hold. You will turn to this book time and again as a smart, non-dogmatic guide to producing consistently healthy crops and, in effect, a healthier environment."—Jesse Frost, author of The Living Soil Handbook

"There are so many reasons to grow a healthy food garden, and expert gardener Sally Morgan shows you how. In this comprehensive guide, you will dig deep into the world of soil, natural pest control and companion plants, along with a range of options for your natural landscape. This clearly written book sets up a strong foundation for new gardeners while also offering advice for those with more experience, who seek tools for building and maintaining a healthy food garden from start to finish."—Ellen Ecker Ogden, author of The New Heirloom Garden

"In The Healthy Vegetable Garden, Sally Morgan shares a wealth of information about growing healthy soil as the foundation for exceptional gardens which produce nutritional food with minimal pests. Her simple informative style empowers the reader to put these concepts into grounded action. She has created a fantastic resource for the success of the next generation gardeners."—Katrina Blair, author of The Wild Wisdom of Weeds

"One thing I found refreshing about Sally Morgan’s book is that she doesn’t trade in the myth of the ‘perfectly balanced organic soil’ which, of course, is not to be found in this imperfect, constantly evolving world. She doesn’t aspire to a weed-free or pest-free garden, but rather one where problems are kept manageable without resorting to extreme or disruptive remedies. She cites a slew of strategies one might use to correct course: biocontrols, barriers repellents, and so on. However, she keeps returning to the basic premise that by fostering a diverse and resilient habitat, the soil and garden ecosystem can do a great deal to regenerate and maintain itself, making external fixes unnecessary."—Will Bonsall, author of Will Bonsall’s Essential Guide to Radical, Self-Reliant Gardening

"There are few gardeners (or farmers) I know who wouldn’t benefit from reading Sally Morgan’s new book, The Healthy Vegetable Garden. For the novice grower, the book is a great introduction to the principles and methods of ecological gardening. And for the veteran grower, there is sure to be plenty of new information, including incredibly detailed sections on pest and disease control. . . .[This is] a detailed and indispensable resource."—Hobby Farms