survival garden in gorgeous rows

How to Start a Survival Garden

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Are you interested in learning how to start a survival garden but don’t know where to begin? There’s a little learning curve for beginning gardening, but it’s not that hard.

how to start a survival garden, row of lettuce and a basket of carrots

We all need to be prepared for things that come up. The pandemic has shown us that. But there is also flooding, fires, tornadoes, hurricanes, power outages and more reasons than ever to be prepared for emergencies. Times of crisis come when we least expect them. So being ready with back up plans is best. And that’s a great reason to start a survival garden.

Survival gardens

During World War 1 and 2, Americans planted “Victory Gardens” to help with the food supply. Food was scarce and what food was produced needed to be sent to troops first. So each family had to get self-reliant to save the country. They grew 8 million tons of food in 1943.

A family of four will need at least a quarter acre of land to grow all the food they need. You can start with whatever you have even if that’s a 5 gallon bucket. You can garden in a bucket! Once you get the basics down, if the need comes, you can grow more.

The key to getting started in gardening is to start small and work your way up to more. You have to consider sun, soil, and water along with whatever plants you are going to grow.

starting a victory garden with seedlings

Survival garden plants

So start by planning your garden. This garden planner is a great tool to get you going.

You need to think about nutrients, calories, and other uses. Corn can be distilled. Herbs can be medicinal. Some fruits and vegetables store really well. Consider all things before deciding what essential crops you will grow in your survival garden. And decide when you will plant each thing. This month by month garden guide can help.

Make sure to include many perennials on your list because they come back year after year which saves you time, money, and effort!

Once you have decided what you want to start with, decide on a location. Most crops need full sun at least 8 hours per day. Some greens and herbs will grow in part shade and a few things will grow in shade, but not many.

Survival garden layout

You also need to grow close to a good reliable source of water. If water is too hard to get, you won’t do it and everything will die anyway. How much you water your garden is very important.

You need a flat space, because a slope won’t hold water and might not allow adequate sun. Your soil needs to be good quality.

a man with a basket of survival vegetables from the garden

Secret survival garden

Do you want to have a secret survival garden? Then consider a less visible place for your crops. You can also interplant in a way that makes it hard for anyone to tell it’s a food garden.

Not only do you need to think about if you want to hide your garden from people, remember that you may have to protect it from animals. Deer, rabbits, squirrels, and more love to ravage the garden.

You could also explore options of how to grow indoors. And one more thing to remember is that many weeds are edible so you can forage for food crops as well.

Once you get growing, learn how long seeds last in storage. And learn how to save your own seeds from what you grow so you can keep growing.

Lastly, once you get growing well, you’ll have a lot of excess produce that comes on all at once. It’s a great survival skill to learn how to preserve excess produce you grow for later. We don’t can, because home-canned foods are not allowed in home daycare, so I haven’t learned. But we do freeze and dehydrate a lot of food to make the most of what we grow.

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