What Is Survival Gardening?
Survival is based around the core principals of our existence. We seek shelter, food, water, fire, healing and social life. In todays modern times, much of these basic life needs are inexpensive and convenient. However, this is a major trade off because what happens when all of the "convenience" disappears. Whether you are moving off the grid, expanding your knowledge base of survival skills, or the normal supply chain is interrupted, being able to grow your own food should be a skill you know how to use! Gardening requires work, but if you learn the basic skills and techniques, then the process will be a rewarding one.
For starters, knowing where to put this new garden will make or break your experience. Vegetables need at least 6-8 hours of sunlight a day for best growth. Leafy vegetables like spinach and lettuce can grow with less daylight. Choose a spot as far away as possible from trees and shrubbery, because their root systems will rob your garden of nutrients. You will need good soil with good drainage and a water source nearby. If possible test your soil before planting to determine if you need to add certain nutrients, etc.
Write it Down
Keeping a good journal of your garden activities will greatly increase your success in future years. Record the varieties of plants and vegetables you grow, the seeding and planting dates, insect and disease problems, weather and harvest dates, as well as yields.
What to Grow
If you are new to the gardening world it’s best not to go overboard on planting your first round. Avoid exotic varieties that are hard to grow and focus on food that you and your family like to eat. Hybrid vegetables tend to be stronger and healthier than other vegetables, they have a built-in disease resistance and are more likely to recover from harsh weather. In addition, if possible choose vegetables that have earned the All American Selections Award meaning they performed well under all types of conditions.
It doesn’t have to be fancy, but planning out your garden will save headache in the long run. Remember if you are planting corn or other tall plants you want it on the north end of your garden as to not shade your other plants. Any permanent vegetables like asparagus should be at the side of the garden.
Hoe, Rake, Spade, Trowel, Labels, String, Ruler & Watering Can are all suggested basic tools to keep on hand for managing your gardens’ needs.
Soil Preparation and Fertilization
Before you can plant, soil preparation is a must. Till the soil at least to a depth of 6 inches, and add a two to four inch layer of organic matter and incorporate it into the soil.