Organic Survival Garden
Climate change, economic uncertainty, and other global shocks make food security crucial. Our food supply chains have been tested, and commercial distribution networks are becoming unreliable. But gardening, humanity’s time-tested ally, saves us by educating us to be more self-sufficient and connecting us to Mother Nature. A survival garden is a thriving ecosystem you can create with pride and confidence.
This article guides you through survival gardening or organic vegetable gardening. Whether you’re a beginner or an expert gardener, we have something for you. From choosing a place to planting and caring for your supplies to warding off common garden pests and reaping the rewards of your efforts, we’ll help you establish your green oasis.
Whether you have a little balcony, a medium-sized garden, or a very large garden plot, start this amazing journey. Let’s plant, persevere, nurture our roots, and harvest an abundant organic survival garden. Ready to enter this ecological paradise? Let’s start growing our own food.
What Is a Survival Garden?
Survival gardens are purposely planted to offer food and medicine during disasters. This sort of garden goes beyond the hobby garden and maximizes productivity and resilience in uncertain circumstances, such as food shortages, natural catastrophes, economic instability, or other events that may disrupt traditional food supply systems.
A survival garden grows nutrient-rich, organic fruits, vegetables, and herbs for families to eat. Growing food gives people security and control over their food supply.
What Do I Need for a Survival Vegetable Garden?
Creating a survival garden requires thoughtful planning and preparation to ensure a productive garden and self-sustaining food source. Here’s a comprehensive list of what you’ll need to establish and maintain your survival garden:
Choosing a suitable location for your organic survival garden is a crucial first step. Most vegetable crops need full sunlight for optimal growth. This typically means at least six to eight hours of direct sunlight daily. If possible, the garden should be positioned to get southern exposure. Crops requiring less sunlight plan their location in the spots with less light.
Find a place protected from wind if you live in a windy area. Wind can dry out plants and damage their structure. Natural windbreaks can be created using fencing, hedges, or rows of trees.
Remember, there’s no such thing as a perfect gardening spot. You’ll likely need to compromise on a few points. The key is to find a first garden location that hits as many of these criteria as possible, and then work with what you’ve got to make the most of your organic survival garden.
Healthy Soil for Survival Garden:
Invest in good-quality, well-draining soil that is rich in organic matter. Focus on adding organic matter to the soil in your organic survival garden to improve its quality. You can create your own compost pile by collecting kitchen scraps and yard waste. Add nutrient-rich organic fertilizers, such as compost tea and seaweed extracts to maintain healthy soil.
Determine the soil’s pH and correct any nutritional deficits by performing a soil test. Mulch can be used to prevent water evaporation and weed growth. Soil health can be preserved by crop rotation and cover crops.
Instead of using synthetic chemicals, try using natural remedies. Your organic survival garden will thrive with the help of a drip irrigation system and provide you with healthy food even in the worst of times.
Seeds and Seedlings:
Creating an organic survival garden necessitates careful selection of seeds and seedlings to ensure they can grow without synthetic chemicals and pesticides. Always choose organic, non-GMO seeds when possible.
Purchase a diverse selection of vegetable seeds and seedlings from reliable sources. Opt for varieties that are well-adapted to your region and climate. Heirloom seeds are valuable for seed saving and preserving biodiversity.
Garden Tools for Survival Gardening:
Essential tools include a hand trowel, garden fork, pruning shears, hoe, rake, watering can or hose, gloves, wheelbarrow or garden cart, shovel, and mulching tools are all necessary tools in an organic survival garden.
A soil testing kit, compost bin, pruner saw, garden twine, garden sprayer, kneeler or knee pads, seed storing envelopes, and plant labels are also helpful. These tools will help you with planting, weeding, and general garden maintenance.
You can visit Hardy Garden and choose high quality yet affordable garden tools for your survival garden.
Depending on your garden’s size and location a watering bucket for little plants and a garden hose with an adjustable spray nozzle for multiple plants are necessary watering aids for an organic survival garden. Soaker hoses and drip irrigation systems save water.
Rainwater, which lacks salts, minerals, and pollutants, is beneficial for plants and can be collected and stored in a rain barrel. A moisture meter and drip irrigation can automate watering.
Watering bulbs or globes slowly release water in hot weather or when you’re away from your yard. Understanding each plant’s water needs and monitoring weather are essential for proper watering.
Plant supports help manage space, sunlight, airflow, and disease in an organic survival garden. Supports are useful for vining plants, vegetables, heavy fruits, and tall flowers.
Tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants needs stakes. Cages sustain tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, and eggplants. They support bushy, sprawling plants better than stakes. Peas, beans, cucumbers, squash, and melons climb and vine on trellises. Growing plants upwards on trellises saves garden space.
Arches and pergolas beautify your garden with grapes, gourds, and vining flowers. Netting helps peas and beans grow. The plants climb up the netting between pegs or poles, making harvesting easier.
Obelisks or towers are tall, slender structures support climbing beans, tomatoes, and cucumbers and give vertical interest to your garden.
Make sure your supports can hold mature plants and are well-anchored to endure wind and cold weather. Plant supports early to avoid root damage. Plant supports promote plant health and production, which boosts organic survival garden harvests.
Weed and Pest Control Measures:
Crop rotation, companion planting, and manual removal of larger pests are organic pest controland weed management methods for survival gardening. Neem oil, garlic, and hot pepper sprays are natural pesticides, as are beneficial insects and animals.
Mulches, ground covers, regular weeding, and, in extreme circumstances, vinegar, boiling water, or flame weeding can manage weeds. Organic farming creates a balanced ecology where pests and weeds are controlled properly and sustainably, with regular monitoring and rapid action to avoid tiny difficulties from becoming large problems.
Preserving food in a survival garden is important as it ensures a food supply when fresh crops are scarce or difficult to obtain. There are methods to preserve food to feed your family in the future.
One approach is canning, which involves sealing food jars and subjecting them to heat, effectively eliminating microorganisms and extending their shelf life. Another method involves drying fruits and vegetables to remove moisture, making them more lightweight and convenient for storage. Fermentation not only extends the lifespan of food, it also enhances its nutritional value. Freezing, salting, smoking, and pickling are all techniques for preserving food.
Additionally, root cellars are the most effective method for storing foods over extended periods without additional preservation techniques. Root cellars provide a natural and energy-efficient way to maintain various foods’ freshness and nutritional value.
By employing these preservation techniques, you can safeguard your garden produce for a period while also ensuring a source of sustenance in survival scenarios. It is vital to adhere to food safety guidelines to achieve results when preserving your food.
Arm yourself with gardening guides, books, or online resources to learn about the specific needs of each vegetable, best planting times, and gardening techniques. Learning about crop rotation and companion planting can also aid in optimizing yields and reducing pest issues.
Time and Dedication:
Finally, be prepared to invest time and effort in maintaining your survival vegetable garden. Regular care, watering, weeding, and pest management are essential for a flourishing garden.
Keep a garden journal to track planting dates, successes, challenges, and lessons learned. This will be invaluable in refining your gardening skills year after year.
Benefits of Survival Garden
Survival gardening offers a multitude of benefits that go beyond merely growing food. Here are some of the key advantages of establishing and growing a survival garden yourself:
Reliable Source of Food:
The most evident benefit of survival gardening is that it provides a reliable source of fresh, nutrient-rich food. By growing your own fruits, vegetables, and herbs, you reduce your dependency on external food supply chains and gain greater control over your nutrition during times of crisis or food shortages.
Self-Sufficiency and Sustainable :
Survival gardening fosters self-reliance and independence. When you cultivate your food, you become less reliant on grocery stores and have the skills to sustain yourself and feed your entire family as well, even in challenging circumstances.
Moreover, it involves eco-friendly practices, such as composting, rainwater harvesting, and natural pest control, promoting a more sustainable lifestyle.
Producing your own food can lead to significant cost savings in the long run. Once your garden is established, the ongoing expenses are often minimal compared to purchasing fresh produce regularly. It cuts down on your grocery expenses and empowers you to take control of your food supply, promote healthier eating habits, and develop valuable skills that contribute to long-term cost savings.
Mental and Health Benefits:
Homegrown fruits and vegetables are typically free from harmful chemicals, as organic gardening practices are commonly employed in survival gardens. This means you can enjoy pesticide-free, healthy produce that contributes to your well-being. Gardening is a physical activity that encourages movement and exercise. Tilling the soil, planting, weeding, and harvesting all contribute to staying active and fit.
Gardening is a therapeutic and stress-relieving activity. Working with soil, tending to plants, and being in nature have reduced anxiety, promote relaxation, and improved mental health.
Survival gardens often include a diverse range of crops, including heirloom varieties. It serves as a small-scale biodiversity conservation effort that contributes to the preservation of plant species, supports local ecosystems, and raises awareness about the importance of protecting our natural heritage. By cultivating a diverse range of plants and fostering a thriving garden ecosystem, survival gardeners play a vital role in sustaining the planet’s biodiversity.
Organic survival gardens typically have a lower environmental impact. They promote sustainable practices, such as composting, water conservation, and avoiding the use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, which contribute to a healthier ecosystem.
Survival gardening offers an opportunity to learn about the natural world, understand entire plant life cycles, and develop essential agricultural skills. It’s an educational and enriching experience for both adults and children.
Building Community Resilience:
In times of crisis, survival gardening can strengthen community bonds. Neighbors can share knowledge, seeds, and surplus produce, fostering a sense of camaraderie and support.
Cultivating a survival garden enhances your resilience to unexpected events. Having access to enough food during emergencies or natural disasters can make a crucial difference in the well-being of you and your loved ones.
What are the Best Survival Garden Crops to Grow?
When it comes to planning a survival garden, selecting the cool weather crop to grow depends on various factors, including your location, climate, available growing space, and personal dietary preferences. However, some crops are generally well-suited for survival gardening due to their nutritional value or calorie dense, ease of cultivation, and storage capabilities. Here are some of the best survival garden crops to consider:
1. Root Crops for Survival Garden:
Potatoes are a root crop with high caloric content and essential nutrients like vitamin C, potassium, and fiber. Growing potatoes is relatively easy and can be stored for an extended period of time under the right conditions.
Like regular potatoes, sweet potatoes are packed with nutrients and provide an excellent source of carbohydrates and vitamins. Sweet potatoes are also relatively low-maintenance and can be stored for several months.
Carrots are another root crop that is an excellent source of vitamin A and can be stored in the ground or sand for extended periods, making them ideal for long-term cold storage.
Onions and garlic are essential for adding flavor to meals, and they have natural preservative properties that contribute to their long shelf life.
2. Beans for Survival Garden:
Beans are a great survival crop to have in your garden. The options include cowpeas, kidney beans, black beans, runner beans, and even lentils. These staple crops can be grown in your garden for low-cost meals and dried yourself.
Green beans and pole beans are great for survival gardening because of their high nutrient content, large harvest, and low maintenance requirements. Plant beans to ensure a continuous supply of essential nutrients and contribute to a balanced and healthy vegetarian diet.
Saving seeds is a straightforward way to ensure long-term sustainability. Green beans are helpful for survival since they can withstand drought and can be transported easily. Additionally, dried beans can be stored for a long period for future consumption.
3. Corn for Survival Garden:
Because of its diversity, nutritional worth, and ease of cultivation, corn, also known as maize, is a good choice for survival gardening. It is a staple meal in many world regions and can be cultivated in various conditions, making it a desirable self-sufficiency crop.
Corn is a rewarding crop to cultivate in a survival garden since it can be milled into cornmeal or corn flour and used as animal feed. You can also enjoy fresh corn.
Summer squash and winter squash varieties offer a good source of vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber. They are prolific growers and can be stored in a cool, dry place for a few months. Squash is ideal for gardening due to its various benefits and ease of cultivation. Select climate-appropriate winter squash and types for survival gardening.
Zucchini, yellow, butternut, and acorn squash are common squashes. Rotating crops annually prevents soil depletion and disease. Squash is a nutritious, easy-to-grow, and essential to your survival garden.
Moreover, pumpkin seeds are a good source of nutrition. Pumpkin seeds are rich in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated lipids, an excellent source of healthy fats.
Tomatoes are a versatile crop with high nutritional value, offering vitamins A and C and antioxidants. They can be canned, dried, or made into sauces for long-term storage.
6. Cabbage for Survival Garden:
Cabbage is a nutrient-dense vegetable that stores well, making it an excellent choice for survival gardens. It is rich in vitamin C, vitamin K, and fiber.
7. Kale and Other Leafy Greens:
Leafy greens like kale, spinach, lettuce, and Swiss chard are rich in vitamins and minerals and can be eaten raw. Most leafy greens are cool weather crops, allowing you to plant them before the first frost date, and suitable for year-round production of fresh greens in some climates.
8. Herbs for Survival Garden:
Culinary herbs like basil, oregano, thyme, and rosemary enhance the taste of your meals and have medicinal properties. These medicinal plants and can be dried or preserved for future use.
9. Perennial Vegetables
Perennial vegetables are an addition to any garden because they offer benefits. They reduce the need for maintenance, promote sustainability and provide harvests. Unlike vegetables that require replanting every year perennial varieties come back season after season saving both time and effort.
When choosing vegetables, you have options such as asparagus, rhubarb, artichokes, walking onions, sorrel and Chinese artichokes. These resilient plants can thrive in growing conditions. Ensure a continuous supply of fresh and organic produce.
By incorporating a variety of perennial vegetables into your garden, you can enhance its long-term productivity while embracing a self-sustaining and friendly approach to gardening.
10. Perennial Plants:
Incorporate perennial crops like fruit trees, berry bushes, and perennial herbs to provide a continuous supply of food year after year.
Consider your local climate and growing season when selecting crops for your survival garden. Diversifying your crop selection will also improve overall resilience in case of pest or disease issues.
Additionally, consider growing some crops specifically for seed saving to ensure a continuous supply of seeds for future plantings. Your survival garden can become a vital food security and self-sufficiency resource with careful planning and cultivation.
Survival Garden Plan
Designing an effective survival garden layout involves optimizing space, maximizing productivity, and ensuring a diverse and sustainable food source. Here’s a layout plan that incorporates key principles for a successful survival garden:
Crop Diversity and Companion Planting:
Aim for a diverse selection of crops to ensure a balanced diet and reduce the risk of crop failure. Add staple crops (e.g., potatoes, corn, beans), leafy greens, root vegetables, and herbs.
Implement companion planting to enhance growth and deter pests naturally. For example, plant marigolds near tomatoes to repel nematodes and grow basil near beans to improve bean growth and flavor.
Vertical gardening can maximize space in a survival garden to grow plenty of food to feed your family. Vining crops like cucumbers, green beans, and tomatoes can be grown on trellises or fences, freeing up ground area for other crops.
This boosts garden yield and productivity. Vertical gardening makes crop care and harvesting easier and improves air circulation around plants, lowering disease risk. For self-sufficiency and resilience, adopt vertical growing in your survival garden to grow your own food.
Containers is ideal for small spaces and difficult growing conditions. It lets you grow crops in pots, containers, or raised beds in urban, small-balcony, or temporary locations.
Use plastic, ceramic, wood containers or 10 gallon grow bags. Container gardens have drainage holes at the bottom to avoid waterlogging, which can damage plant roots. Choose crop-appropriate containers. Deep-rooted plants need large containers, whereas herbs and lettuces need shallow ones.
Container gardening for your survival garden is great for urban people, renters, and those with limited gardening space due to its portability, adaptability, and accessibility.
Three Sisters Garden:
Consider a traditional “Three Sisters” garden, where corn, beans, and squash are interplanted. The corn supports the beans, while the squash acts as living mulch, suppressing weeds and retaining moisture.
For small spaces, a keyhole garden design offers a circular layout with a composting basket at the center, allowing for easy access to water and nutrients.
Herb Spiral Survival Garden:
Create an herb spiral to grow various herbs in a compact space. An herb spiral offers different microclimates, allowing you to grow herbs with varying water and sunlight requirements.
Square Foot Garden
SFG can help you to grow food in a survival garden. To grow various plants efficiently, divide a raised garden bed into one-square-foot pieces.
Square Foot Gardening lets you cultivate various crops in a tiny space, ensuring fresh produce in a survival situation. The approaches are flexible and can yield a lot with less effort than traditional gardening.
Here is a rough guide on how many plants to plant per square foot:
- Large plants like broccoli, cabbage, peppers, and tomatoes (indeterminate varieties should be grown vertically): 1 per square
- Medium plants like beans, cucumbers (which can be trained vertically), and corn: 4 per square
- Small plants like carrots, radishes, and onions: 16 per square
- Most miniature plants like spinach, and lettuce: 9 per square
Raised Garden Beds
Remember to consider your available space, local climate, and the specific crops you intend to grow when creating your survival garden layout. The goal is to create a productive, efficient, and sustainable garden that meets your food security needs and provides a sense of self-sufficiency in challenging times.
Organic survival garden is more than just food gardens. Self-reliance can give you confidence in unpredictable circumstances. It’s also a planet commitment. Organic practices preserve soil, water, and biodiversity, improving our ecosystem.
Greenhouse and Cold Frames
Greenhouses and cold frames are incredibly valuable for a survival garden, as they offer benefits. When built with glass or plastic, 6 x 6 greenhouses create a controlled environment that protects the growing season and plants from weather conditions, pests, and diseases.
Moreover, they promote water conservation. Allow for the cultivation of a range of plant species. On the other hand, cold frame, which are structures with transparent tops, act like mini greenhouses by prolonging the growing season for resilient crops while safeguarding delicate plants.
Both options ensure fresh produce supply throughout the year, making them indispensable components for a thriving survival garden.
Growing an organic survival garden is difficult, but the rewards are worth it. Each minute in the garden enriches your life, whether tasting fresh veggies, watching plants grow, or feeling self-sufficient. Plant some seeds and join the survival gardening community.
Always keep learning. Adjust your approach as you learn more about your local environment and plant demands. The cycle of growth applies to both you and your garden. Growing your own food secures your future and gives you free produce to feed your family.