While we have mentioned that a prepper’s pantry must always be full in case SHTF, one should understand that your pantry may empty soon and that grocery stores may not be accessible when that happens. How to replenish your food? Grow your own!
Read on as we discuss the basics about growing a prepper garden, so you can survive when
The store shelves are emptied by desperate shoppers and looters.
What is a Prepper Garden?
A prepper garden in your house means you can grow food and have the ability to feed yourself in the present growing season and in the months following the harvest. The goal is to reach a time where most of our food is already provided by this prepper or survival garden.
It does not matter if you have very little space. With the right kinds of seeds, tools, and ideas, you can get as much as five times the food per square inch of a traditional garden. And that’s a great benefit considering that humans are hardcore foodies who enjoy a wide variety of culinary tastes and delights.
The prepper garden is also necessary when possible scenarios start to require you a survival garden. Some of them include:
- Economic downturn
- Crop failure
- Long-term grid down
- Transportation crisis
- Food shortage
How Big is the Prepper Garden?
Your prepper garden shouldn’t be too big. In fact, others prefer a small one to keep it as a secret survival garden. A fair-sized beginner garden is about 16’ x 10’ with crops that are easy to grow. This size can already feed a family of four for one summer.
Make your garden 11 rows wide with each row 10 feet long and running north and south to take full advantage of the sun.
What Should You Plant?
Contact your local cooperative extension to know which plants grow best in your local area. You can also answer this question by thinking about what you and your family enjoy eating, as well as what’s difficult to buy in the grocery stores.
Meanwhile, here are the most common plants you can consider:
- Zucchini squash
- Bush beans
Challenges to Consider when Growing a Prepper Garden
A prepper garden is harder to maintain than a hobby garden since it is not just about growing vegetables for fun. It’s about survival and producing everything that you need to keep your family healthy and well-fed in a time of scarcity.
Here are some obstacles you might encounter.
- Limited time. Your prepper garden needs to provide maximum crops for the least amount of input. A good design will help your secret garden produce well without much human input.
- Limited resources. While you have enough resources, start establishing your prepper garden right away. Stock additional gardening supplies such as shovels, rakes, pruners, hand trowels, gloves, seeds, and compost so that you have everything that you need when you need it.
- Limited water. Carefully plan to raise your crops with a limited water supply. Investigate possible options such as; clay ollas (Growoya Vessels), terracotta plant watering stakes, self-watering raised beds, or reusing household gray water. Catch rainwater in large containers or create swales that will water your trees, bushes and perhaps your garden beds with runoff and keep the precious water on your property.
- Growing season. The eating season lasts all year long, unfortunately, the growing season most often does not. Plant crops intentionally with the goal of being able to harvest throughout the entire growing season. For instance, asparagus, parsley, and last fall’s kale, spinach, and Swiss chard are ready to eat within a few weeks of the snow melting.
- Trespassers. Fence out your property and have strategically planted thorny bushes on the perimeter to deter trespassers. But remember that it’s not wrong to share with those in need!
- Extreme heat. You may need to purchase sheet covers to protect the plants in your garden from the sun.
Here are other basic tips you’ll want to explore further as you become a gardener slash prepper!
- Veggies need at least 6 hours of full sun every day.
- Perennial plants are at the heart of every survival garden. Perennials are plants that grow back every year and do not need to be replanted. They just emerge every spring full of life and ready to produce food without any input from you.
- Have a calorie-intensive garden. These are vital for energy and bodily functions. This garden is designed to meet basic nutritional requirements including protein, fat, vitamins, minerals, and calories with little or no supplementation.
- Know your soil. Most soil can be enriched with compost and be fine for planting, but some soil needs more help. Vegetables must have good, loamy, well-drained soil.
- Prepare for bugs and garden pests. Each area has different types of plant bugs and pests it has to deal with, such as rabbits and squirrels. Learn what types of bugs and pests are native to your area, and then learn how to control them.
- You can grow food in pots too. Some of these plants include chives, lettuce and other salad greens, radishes, rosemary, basil, parsley, and even pole beans. To help your plant retain the soil, pot your plant with a coffee filter at the bottom. Depending on the plant you can even use an old coffee filter filled with coffee grounds when you pot. The coffee grounds will be a rich addition to your soil.
- Check your frost dates. Find the first and last frost dates in your area and be alert of your local conditions.
- Vegetables need lots of water, at least 1 inch of water a week. See more about when to water vegetables.
The goal of the prepper garden is to feed your family long-term, whether it’s growing season or not. These are just some of the basics you need to know about growing your own veggies. You’ll acquire more skills as you go on with this project.
We hope the above tips have been helpful so you can maximize your long-term food storage and minimize your trips to the grocery store