Thursday, May 30, 2013

Survival Gardening - Growing things to save your life

You've probably seen the ads for "Survival Seed Supply" and like named products online. You've probably also heard survival pundits online proclaiming the wonders of "Square Foot Gardening" and other silver bullet plans to grow adequate food for yourself and others in a catastrophic situation.

My own opinion, is after reading these ads and posts is that most advocates have never grown anything and are planning on opening that can of heirloom seeds, tearing up their yard and watching the bounty spill out of the ground. And they will starve (if that's their survival food plan).

Growing any amount of fruit or vegetables from the ground up is difficult. Take this from experience. I have been planting and growing things for over fifteen years. I put in more than I get out. Most seeds never sprout. The majority of what does sprout dies before reaching maturity. Most of what is produced takes months to grow before reaching harvest. And what is planted is much less than what is sown.

Then there's drought. Cold snaps. Poor soil. Weeds, weeds and more weeds. Pests. Rabbits. Cats. Squirrels. It's an up hill battle. Don't fall for this "bet you wished you had planted a garden when the poop hit the fan!" nonsense. Growing food is hard.

Now, if you have a seed safe or something you bought online, open it up and plant something from the contents. No, it doesn't matter if that seed vault cost 37.00 and you are worried about losing your investment. You can buy another, but you can't learn to garden, under pressure, when the family is starving, and when you have never grown a single thing before. Get some experience.

Did you know..?

Some seeds are not supposed to be place directly in the ground but sprouted indoors then transplanted. Things like tomatoes and peppers. You can use old yogurt cups, tupperware or any other small container to start seeds indoors.

Other seeds can only be planted during certain times of year. Don't toss those onion, peas and lettuce seeds in the ground in July and expect a happy meal to pop up. Some vegetables and fruits can only be grown during the "shoulder seasons" of early spring and late fall.

How about the soil? Tilling up a yard of grass will result in weeds permanently infesting your vegetable garden. Rather, the sod and grass have to be removed, then the soil amended (they didn't tell you that on the seed vault can), raised up (above ground level at least a few inches) and then fed regularly not only with sun and water, but with fertilizer treatments (compost, sea weed or fish emulsion, etc.). That's why so many gardeners tell beginners to use a raised bed rather than sewing seeds directly into the soil, because it works!

For row crops like corn, have a large patch selected and amended before planting. Have a water source nearby because corn drinks and drinks and drinks. Then fence the whole thing off (along with the raised beds) before the rabbit and deer population find out about the buffet in the neighborhood.

Do you compost? When the stores are closed, where is your fertilizer going to come from? Make a compost heap (I prefer mine closed on four sides) and start tossing equal parts of grass clippings, old potting soil, leaves, fruit, vegetable leavings and old coffee grounds. I can process old fruit scraps into usable fertilizer in less than a week with my compost pile.

Not all of this is doom and gloom. Some things are incredibly easy to grow.

Melons - Cantelope, watermelon, honeydew. I have never had a problem growing these from old seeds or volunteer plants. Be warned, they take lots of room so separate from your other crops.

Potatoes - I grow these in an old trashcan half filled with leaves, good soil and compost. I bury the eye spuds a few inches down and as the leaves sprout, cover them with a few more inches of leaves, soil and compost. When the sprouts are taller than the trashcan opening, I let them grow, die back and then harvest the potatoes.

Tomatoes - Anyone can grow tomatoes from starter sets. Put in a container, water regularly and give lots of sun. Same with popular herbs like mint, oregano, thyme, tarragon and marjoram.

That's another thing. Get some containers now. You can use old five gallon buckets if they have holes cut in the bottom to drain water.

And dirt... Don't use that cheap dollar a bag top soil from the garden store unless it has been properly amended with compost, and other healthy stuff. Dead soil makes dead plants.

In closing, don't fall for this square foot survival seed garden in a box garbage. Start planting something edible now and know what you're doing before it's too late.

No comments:

Tag and Bookmark

Disclaimer - This blog from time to time reviews products on this blog. Some, but not all, of the products reviewed are affiliate market products and do provide compensation to the blog operator. This blog does receive revenue from advertising on this blog and from the sale of products highlighted on the outside columns and frame of this blog.
This blog is for informational and entertainment purposes only. For legal, medical, financial or any other professional advice, consult with a licensed professional.
We use third-party advertising companies to serve ads when you visit our website. These companies may use information (not including your name, address, email address, or telephone number) about your visits to this and other websites in order to provide advertisements about goods and services of interest to you. If you would like more information about this practice and to know your choices about not having this information used by these companies, click here.

Copyright - all content property of 2005 -2011 all rights reserved. Content scrapers and copyright violators will be prosecuted.
storable food, dehydrated food, fod, dry food, food storage, food insurance, freeze dried food, survival food, food sale prices, food sale, bulk food, collapse food, food shortage, survival seeds, non hybrid, non-hybrid, emergency food, dehydrated vegetables, dehydrated mixes, dried produce, spices, whole food, mountain house food, mountain house freeze dried food, alpine aire, alpine aire freeze dried food, alpine air, mountainhouse, richmoor, survival food storage, bird flu, emergency survival, emergency preparation, dehydrated storable food, emergency preparedness, long term food storage, long term water storage, long term storable food, camping food, emergency food storage, food reserves, long term food reserves, storage, long term, long-term, dehydrated, gourmet reserves, long shelf life, no cooking required, food storage systems, non perishable food, non-perishable, no cooking food, non cook food, non-cook food, no cook food, basic needs, basic food storage, dry, dry storable, storage, preparedness, personal preparedness, food supply, supplies, seeds, sprouts, food supplier, survival review, collapse food storage, world food shortage, american food shortage


Tripbase Travel Reviews