Have you ever considered how you would feed yourself and your loved ones in a crisis? We take for granted that we can just go to the store and buy anything we want, but a crisis can happen for many reasons. In fact, think about the year 2020 and the products and services that were limited or out of reach to us. So think “Survival Garden Basics.”
During both WWI and WWII, people in many countries planted gardens known as “Victory Gardens” to help ease the strain of food rationing. A Survival Garden is the same idea: it is a vegetable, fruit, and herb garden carefully planned so that it can sustain you and your family in times of need. You can start your own survival garden, whether you live in the city or country.
How To Begin
First of all, you don’t want to start your garden when the emergency hits. Gardens take several months’ worth of planning and preparation so that the food is ready when you need it. Learn survival garden basics now. And if no emergency happens for a long time, you still have fresh, organic produce that you can freely pick from your own garden. It’s a win-win!
Knowing what to plant will take a bit of research. You can look up your area online or ask at local plant nurseries or gardening clubs. Most people will be happy to share their knowledge with you.
Also, think about how you are going to take care of your garden. You will need to feed, water, and tend to it. During hard times, you probably won’t be able to get ready-made soil and fertilizers, so consider learning how to compost. It’s very easy to do and will make use of a lot of your kitchen waste.
Types Of Gardening
Depending on the space you have, keep in mind that each adult needs roughly 4000 square feet of land to produce enough food to live on for a year. Multiply that by each member in your group or family and that could end up being a pretty large farm.
Start small to begin with, even if you have a large chunk of property. Once you have your smaller garden mastered, you can slowly add more to it until you reach your goals.
Digging a Garden:
The tried and true method of tilling the soil and planting seeds in the earth works every time. Keep in mind that the weather, nutrients in the soil, weeds, and insects are all going to affect your crops. This is like that farming game on your phone, only for real.
By using a greenhouse, you can extend the life of your plants and even have them produce crops all year round. These work well in urban areas.
Hydroponic gardens don’t use soil. Instead, plants are grown in special containers with their roots in a nutrient-rich solution. The benefits are that they grow faster, can be grown closer together, attract fewer pests, the system can be used indoors, and it’s all automated. The drawbacks are that it’s very expensive to get started with, bigger systems use electricity to pump water around, and the nutrient solution has to be kept just right at all times.
Living in the city shouldn’t stop you from supplementing your food source in an emergency with your survival garden basics. Although space is limited in urban areas, most people have at least a little room where they can grow some plants. Anything is better than not being prepared at all.
Whether you have a small backyard, live in an apartment with just a balcony, or can only grow a few things on window ledges and in indoor pots, products are out there to help you succeed.
Start planting early with the methods you pick so that you can practice. Sometimes it takes some trial and error to find the best spot in the house for growing or to learn exactly how much water to give your plants. It’s okay to mess up! That’s why you are practicing. Just remember that you’ll be thanking yourself eventually when you are eating your own home-grown produce.
The best seeds to use are heirloom seeds. Heirloom varieties will continue to produce seeds that you can store and use again for your next crop.
Since you are planning a survival garden, think about foods that are easy to grow. They should be a variety that you and your family enjoy eating and that will provide you with proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, and even some healthy fats.
Consider: radishes, onions, garlic, tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, lettuce, cabbage, broccoli, kale, spinach, corn, carrots, beets, dry bean varieties, snap peas, soy, sunflowers, winter squash varieties, pumpkins, and peanuts.
Also remember that some vegetables do better when planted with companions. For instance:
- Broccoli/Cabbage/Brussels sprouts (anything in the cabbage family) & Dill
- Corn & Beans
- Radishes & Spinach
- Tomatoes & Basil, Parsley, or Garlic
You can’t have a garden without seeds, and you can’t keep growing crops every year without storing your seeds. Storing your seeds correctly is crucial to the success of your garden and your garden survival basics.
You will want to store your seeds in a cool, dry place where moisture cannot get to them. Preferably, store them somewhere dark. Freezing your seeds is another option that will keep them for much longer, just be careful to thaw them slowly or you risk damaging them.
While a survival garden won’t fit in your bug-out bag, not every situation is one where you have to get out of town. In fact, many times we are stuck right in our homes while supplies dwindle for everyone and we are forced to ration what we have left.
Plan and begin your survival garden basics now. It could be the thing that keeps you and your loved ones from going hungry when times get tough. No matter where you live or what kind of space you have at present, choose to take action. Someday, your life might depend on it.
Wondering what to do with all that fresh produce? Check out this article on Food Preservation!