5 Tips for Starting Your Survival Garden
Supermarket prices are skyrocketing, and the world is becoming a more and more uncertain place, so it’s no wonder why survival gardens have seen a boost in popularity over the last few years.
If you’re interested in starting your own survival garden, check out our top five tips for getting started:
Know your Hardiness Zone.Developed in 2012, the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map allows gardeners to determine which plants will grow in their area. The zones are broken up into 10-degree F zones, based on the average annual minimum winter temperature. You can click here to see an interactive GIS-based version of the map. Just type in your zip code to figure out the hardiness zone for your area!
Start smallIf you’re new to gardening, it’s best to start small and to choose plants that are easier to grow, such as these:
Vegetables: lettuce, green beans, peas, cucumbers, kale, carrots, and radishes.
Fruit: strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, figs, apples, bananas, and citrus fruits.
Once you’ve successfully harvested a crop or two, you can work on expanding your garden!
Use heirloom seedsHeirloom seeds, just like family heirlooms, have been passed from one generation to another. These seeds were saved and carefully grown because they are considered valuable due to their flavor, hardiness, productivity, resistance to disease, and/or adaptability. Some heirloom seeds have been passed down for hundreds of years! The general rule is that a seed has to be at least 50 years old to be considered an heirloom.
Some people use the term open-pollinated interchangeably with heirloom; however, these terms have different definitions. Open-pollinated is a type of seed that can be harvested from the plant, saved, and replanted so that the same variety of plant grows year after year. All heirloom seeds are open-pollinated. However, not all open-pollinated seeds are heirloom.
Another reason to use heirloom seeds is because they are non-GMO!
Be strategic about what you growBefore you start your garden, it is important to think strategically about the types of plants you should grow. Consider what will and will not grow in your area, the nutritional needs of your family, and what your family likes to eat (Don’t plant zucchini if everyone in your family hates zucchini!). Also consider planting perennials, which are generally hardier and more nutritious than annual food crops and will reduce the amount of planting you will need to do each season.
Start compostingComposting is the process of recycling organic materials, such as food, leaves, and lawn cuttings, and using it to fertilize soil. Benefits of composting include:
- Reduces waste and dependence on landfills
- Decreases greenhouse gas emissions
- Reduces plant pests and diseases
- Saves money on pesticides and synthetic fertilizers
- Retains more moisture in the soil
- Enriches soil—recycling valuable nutrients back into the soil
- Promotes healthy plant growth
- And more!
Are you ready to begin gardening? Head on over to the Fenix Prep shop to find everything you need to get started!