9 Things to Consider Before You Ever Grow a Survival Garden

 In a long term emergency, people will not have the time to leisurely work in the garden.  Instead, they will be gardening for survival, along with a long list of other daily survival chores.  Survival gardening will be labor intensive, and large amounts of energy (sweat) will be needed to have the garden produce enough food for the present and enough to  put away for the future.  In exchange for your energy and time, you will want a survival garden that will provide your family abundantly with food.  Keeping certain factors into consideration before starting a large scale garden will help you get the most out your time and energy, provide you and your family with the healthiest vegetable varieties, and help you find the easiest types of vegetables to grow.

Variables to Consider When Growing a Survival Garden

  • A survival garden should incorporate dependable and easy to grow vegetables that produce more than one harvest or bears more than one fruit per plant.
  • The vegetable varieties should be types that the family will eat.  It’s not worth the trouble of growing this food if your family will not eat it.
  •  Grow vegetables that have high amounts of nutrition and vitamins, as well as finding varieties that possess medicinal properties.  According to medical experts, green vegetables such as broccoli, Brussel sprouts, Lima beans, peas, asparagus, artichokes, cauliflower, sweet potatoes and carrots are some of themost nutritious vegetables in the world.
  • Find varieties that grow naturally in your area.  Environments where plants grow naturally mean that less time and effort will be needed in raising them.
  • Need for excessive fertilizing to produce decent sized produce is a waste of precious resources.  There are exceptions to this rule of course.  Such as, if the fertilizer used will help the plant produce many fruits or vegetables.
  • If space is limited, plants that take up as little space as possible, but produce abundantly will make for a good investment.  Furthermore, finding gardening techniques such as the Three Sisters also makes good use of space.
  • If fuel is needed to harvest vegetables, the noise could be an indicator of a thriving homestead, and an OPSEC nightmare.  As a result, the home could be frequented by unwelcome guests.  Additionally, this type of farming method would consume large amounts of fuel.
  • Find vegetables that can do well for storage.  Vegetables such as potatoes, onions, and root crops like beets and carrots that store well can be used when the weather is too cold to grow.
  • Varieties that serve more than one purpose is also an efficient use of space and resources.  Varieties such as root crops or broccoli leaves are varieties where the greens can be fed to livestock.  In addition, some survivalists agree that yellow dent corn has a multi purpose use of making grain and feeding livestock.  But this crop requires a large amount of land, resources such as fertilizer, and energy to grow this plant to fruition.

Preppers that are stocking up on non-GMO or heirloom variety seeds to grow, should also have adequate knowledge in gardening skills to get these varieties to produce vegetables and fruits.  However, before a survival garden is started, sitting down and planning the garden and considering different factors will save headaches later on.  Likewise, researching how much food a family will need and how much of the time/energy yield will be needed to produce these vegetables is a valuable use of time.  Also, keep in mind that you know your family best.  You know what they eat, you know what they will not eat.  Come to your own conclusions as to what type of survival seed varieties are best suited for your family and the environment you live in.

The Prepper's Blueprint

Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint, a comprehensive guide that uses real-life scenarios to help you prepare for any disaster. Because a crisis rarely stops with a triggering event the aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. The well-rounded, multi-layered approach outlined in the Blueprint helps you make sense of a wide array of preparedness concepts through easily digestible action items and supply lists.

Tess is also the author of the highly rated Prepper’s Cookbook, which helps you to create a plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply and includes over 300 recipes for nutritious, delicious, life-saving meals. 

Visit her web site at ReadyNutrition.com for an extensive compilation of free information on preparedness, homesteading, and healthy living.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published November 12th, 2010
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  • When it comes to emergency preparedness, most people I talk to think that nothing will ever happen to them- so  “why should I bother.  It drives me NUTS- but I know I am not nuts.
    As a father of 3 small children, I have always tried to protect and provide for all their immediate and future necessities.
    We have grown up in the age of consumerism and take for granted that there will always be food on the shelves. But in this economy, it will only take a small natural disaster, declaration of hyper-inflation, a truckers strike or possibly a shortage of water or gas to empty the stores shelves within hours. Just look what happened in Boston!
    Now, I can sleep in peace! I love having the peace of mind, the feeling of being empowered– that my family and I are covered with the necessary emergency food, and survival supplies for the next 20 years at TODAYS prices for what ever comes our way. 

  • Since gardening can be a weak link for some, have some long term storage food on hand.
    As for making gardening easier, consider square foot gardening. Mel Bartholomew’s book, All New Square Foot Gardening, makes this simpler and more efficient than ever.
    Also, don’t overlook wild edibles as a food source. If there’s anything you can plant in an out of the way place, sich as Jerusalem artichoke or walking onions, you’ll have another available food source that requires little or no maintenance.

  • REB

    Some excellent points! It take time to get this lifestyle to work…no one year wonders here!
    Personally I have lived this way all my life so I really didnt “prep” and I can tell you even with all these years behind me it is a job every time I plant anything…always something or someone seems to think they are more entitled to the harvest than you are.
    By all means try,you cant harvest if you never plant and if you never plant you get no experience,go for it!

  • bear

    It’s good to know where you local farms are.  Many are organic, and usually cheaper than in the stores.  Some will also barter.


    Some will also deliver to your door or have a pickup site for around $20 a week, for a variety of veggies.


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