Prep Blog Review: Food Lessons For Survival

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It’s survival food time again! From how to grow your own vegetables, to how to stockpile correctly, this topic never gets old, and it’s one of my favorites, too.

Starting with a few food lessons from the Great Depressions, and continuing with some emergency food preparedness basic, for this week’s prep blog review I’ve gathered five useful articles on this topic.

  1. 10 Food Lessons From the Great Depression

“A time wracked with suicide and fear the great depression was a holly terror on the nation.

Many people exclaim that the crash of 2008 cost them everything. The truth is that the “everything” of 2008 was very different than the everything of 1930. Mothers left alone by their husbands to feed children while living in doorways. Losing children to disease or hunger and not having a dime to help them, nor a way to procure one.

All that terror aside the emulsification of cultures and despair in America during the depression created everlasting practices in the management and creation of food. The type of meals that remind you of your grandmother and her dinner table. Many of these meals are still popular today. Many of the methods are used widely as well.”

Read more on Ask A Prepper.

  1. Emergency Food Preparedness Basics Every Prepper Should Know

“Emergency Food Preparedness is essential for every prepper to have. In this video we will be talking about the 3 different types of emergency food preps that essential for survival.”

Video first seen on Smart Prepper Gear.

  1. 13 Direct Vegetables to Direct Sow

“To direct sow your seeds just means to plant your seed outdoors in the garden where it will grow instead of starting the seeds indoors in containers under lights.

If you live in a warm climate, you can direct sow almost any crop. Those of you who garden in colder areas either begin sowing seeds indoors under lights or purchase seedlings form a green house that can be transplanted into the garden after all danger of frost is past. If we don’t start some crops ahead og time, there isn’t enough time to produce a harvest before our first fall frost.”

Read more on Grow A Good Life.

  1. How to get Your Chicken to Lay More Eggs

“Does it seem that your egg collection is decreased or that your hens aren’t laying as they once did? Or the yolks are pale and lackluster, lacking the nutrients they should provide? When the chickens are part of a plan for independent living or as a structured food supply, this can put a damper on things and thwart being able to rely on them as a nutritional resource.

It can be a catastrophic event in a survival situation to have your chickens stop producing a crucial food source.”

Read more on Survival Sullivan.

  1. Perennial Plants that Produce Food Year After Year

“A perennial plant or simply perennial is a plant that lives for more than two years. Perennials, especially small flowering plants, grow and bloom over the spring and summer, then die back every autumn and winter, and then return in the spring from their rootstock, are known as herbaceous perennials”.

Below are a few of the more common food plants that are known to live and produce for over two years, and some like asparagus, for example, can produce for literally decades if the asparagus bed is well taken care of.”

Read more on Prep for SHTF.

 

This article has been written by Drew Stratton for Survivopedia.

10 Most Resilient Ground Covers For Your Garden

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10 Most Resilient Ground Covers For Your Garden Ground covers are perfect if you want a cheap, colorful beautiful garden. Ground covers are actually overlooked by most people because they have a bad reputation for spreading like wildfire and taking over other parts of gardens! This just isn’t true. In fact, this is a good thing because once established you can propagate and remove sections of a particular ground cover plant and place it somewhere else in your garden. This eliminates the need to buy more flowers which would add more expense to your garden budget. Ground covers actually help

The post 10 Most Resilient Ground Covers For Your Garden appeared first on Mental Scoop.

Easy DIY Pallet Greenhouse Or Chicken Coop

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Easy DIY Pallet Greenhouse Or Chicken Coop This multi-purpose DIY project can serve as a great greenhouse or chicken coop. Easy to build for a very frugal price! There are loads of garden DIY projects on the web, the difference between this and others is that this is a multi-purpose garden addition, You can add …

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The post Easy DIY Pallet Greenhouse Or Chicken Coop appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

7 Steps for Growing Your Best Crop of Onions

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7 Steps for Growing Your Best Crop of Onions Onions are on of the crops every self sufficient Gardener should be growing each year.  Even if you only have a small garden it is possible to grow and store enough onions each year so that you never have to buy another onion again.  Onions are …

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7 Simple Ways To Help Honey Bees

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7 Simple Ways To Help Honey Bees Did you know that you cold help save the bees in your own back garden? I found 7 Simple Ways To Help Honey Bees. I have been thinking about our poor bees for a while and I went hunting the internet to see if I could do anything to …

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70+ Preparedness Gardening Projects

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70+ Preparedness Gardening Projects Gardening has and always will be an important preparedness tool in aiding us towards self sufficiency and survival. With out it we wouldn’t last log in a SHTF situation. Having food stockpiled is great and will keep you fed but what would you do if the emergency you were in didn’t …

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Breakfast

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This is just a quick little post about what I had for breakfast yesterday. My cousin had posted a video of these baked eggs on toast and I just had to try it. It is nothing but a piece of bread you mash down in the center to make an indent large enough to hold an egg. Crack the egg into the indent. Then butter around the edge of the bread (I am not sure why it needs this but I did it anyway) and sprinkle with cheese around the edge. Then bake it for approximately 10 minutes. I used my little convection oven to bake it.

I added some green onion from an onion I have growing in my onion bin. These were pretty good and a nice change from regular poached eggs on toast which I usually have.

And speaking of green onions. I have added some onion bulbs to a large tub that hold my small rosemary plant and they are growing good already. I have never had any luck getting onions to grow large bulbs but I do like the green onions anyway. 

 And here is just a pretty pot on my porch. I am loving the little blue irises. 

February Seed Starting Schedule

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February Seed Starting Schedule February is the month when indoor seed starting begins for most gardeners.  Even those of you that live in some of the coldest parts of the country will be able to start a few seedlings in February.  A few basic supplies and a simple shop light are all you need to …

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The post February Seed Starting Schedule appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

A True Homesteader!

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A True Homesteader! Host: Bobby “MHP Gardner There is a lot of interest in being self-sufficient these days. People are looking for information on how to grow and store their own food, provide their own meats, go off-grid with solar setups… get out of the system so to speak. We see a lot of these … Continue reading A True Homesteader!

The post A True Homesteader! appeared first on Prepper Broadcasting |Network.

Heritage vs. Hybrid Chicken Breeds: Which Is Sustainable?

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Heritage vs. Hybrid Chicken Breeds: Which Is Sustainable? Before you even decide to get a chicken coop and buy chicken supplies, it is important to have a reason to raise chickens. Do you want them as pets? Are you capable of providing their basic needs? Which breeds suit your requirements best? Do you think egg …

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The post Heritage vs. Hybrid Chicken Breeds: Which Is Sustainable? appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

How To Build a Gravity-Based PVC Aquaponic Garden

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How To Build a Gravity-Based PVC Aquaponic Garden Aquaponics, is a food production system that combines conventional aquaculture (raising aquatic animals such as snails, fish, crayfish or prawns in tanks) with hydroponics (cultivating plants in water) in a symbiotic environment. In normal aquaculture, excretions from the animals being raised can accumulate in the water, increasing …

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The post How To Build a Gravity-Based PVC Aquaponic Garden appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

Raised Row Gardening Grows – The Simple Growing Method Takes Center Stage!

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Raised Row Gardening has certainly come a long way! What started as a simple method for us to try to garden smarter, and not harder – raised row gardening has taken on a life of its own.  The advantages of

The post Raised Row Gardening Grows – The Simple Growing Method Takes Center Stage! appeared first on Old World Garden Farms.

How To Make A Rash Treatment Salve

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How To Make A Rash Treatment Salve If SHTF or you are trying to be more natural and you suffer with skin ailments this is a great treatment for you. When making salve, it’s always best to first consider what you are attempting to treat. Always get the ingredients from a trusted shop or even …

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Storing Vegetables Without A Root Cellar

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Storing Vegetables Without A Root Cellar Most people think that if you don’t have a root cellar, you can’t store vegetables long term. That simply isn’t true! Each vegetable can be stored for longer than normal with just a few tweaks here and there, depending on which vegetables you want to store. You really don’t …

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The post Storing Vegetables Without A Root Cellar appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

25 Reasons To Go and Pick Dandelions Right Now

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25 Reasons To Go & Pick Dandelions Right Now Dandelion, officially classed as a weed, is also a fantastically useful herbal remedy that contains a wide number of pharmacologically active compounds. Dandelion can treat infections, bile and liver problems and acts as a diuretic – which is probably where the popular myth that dandelion causes …

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Most Common Seedlings Problems and How To Fix Them

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Most Common Seedlings Problems and How To Fix Them To become self-sufficient, gardening becomes a necessary task. Seed starting is one of the most exciting activities of every gardener. However, it can also be the most critical one and failing to care for your seeds and seedlings can spell disaster. If your sustenance is directly …

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Survival Garden & Greenhouse

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survival garden tips

I am often asked, how much work is it to grow your own food?  The answer is, it is not that much work if survival_garden_survival_greenhouse you are worried about eating.  With a little planning and a little bit of elbow grease, you can grow food almost anywhere in the lower 48.  I live at 9,000 ft in the Rocky Mountains and I have found a way to supplement my family’s food supply in the spring, summer, and fall.  Of course, I have to do with with a greenhouse.  The weather is just to extreme where I live.

By Murphy

With a little bit of planning, this spring could be the year you finally plant your survival garden.  I found some free guides online that do not require you to enter you email address (click here) and here are some links to resources that are publicly available to you (click here).  My advice is to start small and start with a conversation with some of your neighbors who grow gardens.  Find out what grows well in your climate.

If you live in an apartment in the city, you can either find a meet up online, check out some youtube videos for apartment gardens or just search the web.  Of course, everyone is trying to sell something on most of the videos so buyer beware as you search the net.  Check out my video below (I do not sell anything!!!), like our channel when you have a chance and maybe stay tuned to The Survivalist Podcast as I am going to be a guest very soon with more survival gardening tips.

Video – Survival Garden & Greenhouse

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How To Grow Pineberries: Strawberries That Taste Like Pineapple

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How To Grow Pineberries: White Strawberries That Taste Like Pineapple I bought my first pineberry plants in May 2015. They seemed to take ok and then die off in the summer heat. To my surprise they popped up the next year. No fruit but lots of runners. We gave them some space and crossed our fingers. Then 2nd day of June 2016. I have berries, lots and lots of berries. I’m thrilled to see little tiny white pineberries developing. We’ve picked two little bowls worth and they are delicious. So now having proof of the final product I am happy to

The post How To Grow Pineberries: Strawberries That Taste Like Pineapple appeared first on Mental Scoop.

Cold Frames: The Easiest Way To Get A Jump On The Growing Season

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Cold Frames: The Easiest Way To Get A Jump On The Growing Season

Are you as impatient as I am, waiting for the frost-free planting dates to arrive? As the days get longer and spring inches closer, it’s hard not to get itchy fingers for gardening. Still, at this time of year, many of us need to wait for several more weeks, or even months, before we can start planting outdoors. But what if you didn’t have to wait that long? What if you could start gardening about five weeks prior to your traditional frost-free date? You can do it with a cold frame.

A cold frame is basically just a low bottomless box with a translucent top. It protects plants from the elements and provides solar heat to keep them warm.

Creating a Cold Frame

Cold frames are easy to build with found or repurposed items, and unless you want to, there is no need to use tools. It’s true that they’re often built from lumber, with distinctive sloping tops that are covered with clear poly sheeting, polycarbonate sheets or glass. It’s easy to find plans for these kinds of cold frames, like   or  . If you are recycling windows or other material to use as the lid, you can certainly modify the plans to fit the dimensions of the cover.

If you’re not handy with tools, don’t despair. Start by finding something that will work as the translucent cover, so that you know how large the frame should be. To create the frame itself, you can use things like straw or hay bales, cinder blocks, or bricks.

Need Non-GMO Herb Seeds? The Best Deals Are Right Here …

Although having a sloping lid is ideal, as it captures more sunlight and facilitates rain runoff, it’s not necessary. The cover can just rest flat on top of the frame. Make sure the lid fits well, though. To best protect the plants, there shouldn’t be any gaps between the cover and the frame. A well-fitted lid will also increase the humidity levels, which will keep your plants happy.

Choosing a Location

The weeks prior to your last frost date can be nippy. To keep your plants toasty and flourishing, position the frame so that it faces due south and gets full sun.

Traditionally, seeds are planted right in the ground inside the frame. However, the frame can also be used as a mini-greenhouse, if you prefer, where you can start seeds in trays or pots for later transplanting. In this case, the frame even could be placed on a deck or patio if necessary, but take care to protect the area underneath.

Best Plants for Cold Frames

Cold Frames: The Easiest Way To Get A Jump On The Growing Season

Image source: Green City Growers

Cold frames are widely used to grow lettuce, which are cool-weather crops that flourish in temperatures of 45 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Other greens work well, too, such as beet greens, chard, kale and spinach. If you want to branch out from leafy greens, give carrots, leeks, radishes, kohlrabi or turnips a try.

Managing the Temperature

Cold frames are easy to build with found or repurposed items, and unless you want to, there is no need to use tools. It’s true that they’re often built from lumber, with distinctive sloping tops that are covered with clear poly sheeting, polycarbonate sheets or glass. It’s easy to find plans for these kinds of cold frames, like this one at Better Homes and Gardens or this one at Popular Mechanics. If you are recycling windows or other material to use as the lid, you can certainly modify the plans to fit the dimensions of the cover.

If the outdoor temperature is consistently lower than 40 degrees, insulate your frame by heaping soil or mulching materials like leaves or wood chips around its perimeter.

Using Your Cold Frame Beyond Spring

Although most commonly used to start vegetables early in the spring, a cold frame can be used year-round. It provides a good home to heat-loving vegetables like peppers and eggplants until the extreme heat of summer hits. During the hottest days of summer, simply remove the lid to keep using the space. The fall growing season can be extended by replacing the cover at that time. Frames also can be used to overwinter plants.

For the minimal cost and effort needed to build them, cold frames provide a big payoff.

Do you use a cold frame in your garden? Let us know your tips in the comment section below.

Are You Making These Common, Avoidable Gardening Mistakes? Read More Here.

Container Gardening Secrets – 6 Tips For Gorgeous Pots, Containers & Baskets!

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Whether you live on a farm, in the suburbs, or the middle of the city, nearly everyone can experience the joy of container gardening.  Container gardening is a great way to grow your favorite flowers, vegetables, herbs and more. All you need

The post Container Gardening Secrets – 6 Tips For Gorgeous Pots, Containers & Baskets! appeared first on Old World Garden Farms.

Growing Potatoes in Straw for Easy Gardening

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A few years ago, a close friend told me that I should try growing potatoes in straw. He pointed out that growing potatoes in straw or hay is much easier that planting them in dirt. Since I’m always trying to work smart, easier sounded just about right for me. Growing potatoes in straw is a … Read more…

The post Growing Potatoes in Straw for Easy Gardening was written by Rhonda Owen and appeared first on Prepper’s Will.

Grow Your Own: Winter Lettuce and Microgreens

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Grow Your Own: Winter Lettuce and Microgreens Winter is a tough time to grow food, we all know that. This article shows us how to grow winter lettuce and micro greens inside over the winter months. If SHTF this may be all we can gather, especially if you get a lot of snow and freezing …

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The post Grow Your Own: Winter Lettuce and Microgreens appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

Comfrey The Knit Bone Herb

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Comfrey The Knit Bone Herb If you have no access to a doctor or in a SHTF situation, Comfrey has been known to heal bones and double cell regeneration. I have been asked a few times over the past year to find a great article about Comfrey, Comfrey is a common name for plants in …

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Perennial Plants That Produce Food Year After Year

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“A perennial plant or simply perennial is a plant that lives for more than two years. Perennials, especially small flowering plants, grow and bloom over the spring and summer, then die back every autumn and winter, and then return in the spring from their rootstock, are known as herbaceous perennials”.

Below are a few of the more common food plants that are known to live and produce for over two years, and some like asparagus, for example, can produce for literally decades if the asparagus bed is well taken care of.

  • Grapes
  • Mint
  • Lavender
  • Water Cress
  • Asparagus
  • Artichoke
  • Rhubarb
  • Lemon balm
  • Horseradish
  • Jerusalem Artichokes also Known as Sunchokes
  • Broccoli
  • Chives
  • Groundnut
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Garlic
  • Strawberry
  • Oregano
  • *Peanuts

*Note: While the traditional peanut is considered a perennial, it is very fussy, or tender, if you will, and thus, is normally planted as an annual.

Why perennial food plants. We ask this question because the focus when it comes to survival articles, and disaster scenarios are often times on evacuations or seasonal survival gardens that people can plant with the thought that they may not be in the same place next year.

One very good reason for planting perennials is because after the dust settles, you and others if you have established a community or simply are surviving with just your family need a long-term food source, a renewable food source, and one that renews itself is ideal.

You need to be able to raise as much food as possible for daily consumption and for preservation. Gardening on a large scale is labor intensive, requires a certain skill set, tools, and materials, so anything you can do to keep plants coming up every year with little care and attendance helps to ensure your survival.

Less work when it comes to certain food plants means more time can be spent on growing annual food plants, raising livestock, and even developing edible marine life using aquaponics.

In addition to the vegetables and herbs listed above, there are of course, raspberries, blackberries,  blueberries and a host of others that may or may not be predominate in your temperate zone that does not need to be planted every year.

Fruit trees are obviously perennial, but they do take years in many cases to begin producing fruit. If you had to evacuate your home and community and managed to find your way to a rural area, you may very well find abandoned fruit orchards, which you can cultivate to increase the harvest.

Apple, pear and peach trees will grow and flourish for years without human intervention, but with a little care, such as pruning, and in some cases proper pollination techniques you could improve the harvest with little investment.

In some cases, beehives are placed near fruit bearing trees and plants to ensure pollination takes place.

In some areas of the country lemon, orange and lime trees, which are all perennial, flourish as do avocado, and certain nut-bearing trees, such as almond, walnuts, and pecans and so forth.

Plants like peppers and tomatoes are scientifically considered perennials, but as a practical matter in this country, they are not considered so. Tomatoes, of course, bear fruit with seeds lodged in the pulpy fruit mass. If left unattended and given the right conditions, almost perfect conditions, the fruits would drop from the plants, and the pulp would essentially nourish the seeds until germination. Thus, you could in some cases have tomatoes, certain squashes, and pepper plants along with cucumbers and other plants that carry their seeds in pulp coming up every spring with little to no help from you. However, cold winters, animals, and poor soil conditions usually prevent this from happening.

In addition to the list of the most common, there are weeds, yes weeds, edible perennial weeds in fact, which may very well pop up in your gardens and lawns every spring. Burdock, Indian strawberries, dandelions, and plantains, just to name a few are to be found in most areas of the country.

Indian berries have a yellow blossom, whereas the traditional strawberry has white blossoms. The Indian berry’s taste does not resemble that of a strawberry, however. They are considered a nuisance weed by many but the berry is edible.

We are not talking about the banana shaped plantains, but rather the medicinal plant that is, of course, edible and is very likely ready to populate your backyard in just a matter of weeks.

Plantain, also called “The White-Mans Footprint” is a small wild plant with leaves that grow mainly from the plant’s base. Flowers: tiny, greenish, in spikes. Native to: northern temperate regions. Family: Plantaginaceae

Once established and with a little care, you can create a perennial food garden that can be overlapped with your traditional annual food plants that are planted every spring, summer, and fall.

The post Perennial Plants That Produce Food Year After Year appeared first on Preparing for shtf.

Planning Your Potager – A practical and productive kitchen garden

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Let’s put together a potager this year! Practical and beautiful, a well-planned kitchen garden is a time-honoured way to add more fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs into your diet.

A well-planned potager, or kitchen garden, can be a beautiful and enticing way to incorporate more fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs into your diet. The following tips will help you plan a productive and practical potager.

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Tip #1: Pick the Perfect Spot

In my introduction to the potager, I mentioned that it is, first and foremost, convenient. When choosing a location for your kitchen garden, try to find a spot as close to your kitchen as possible. This is your personal culinary garden, intended to be used daily throughout the growing season. When you need an herb or a handful of baby green beans for the meal you’re making, they must be ready right now, not after a long stroll down to the other end of the property.

Take into consideration the plants that you are growing. Unless you are growing all shade plants, you will want a sunny location with at least 6 hours of direct sunlight every day. In really hot climates, you might want it positioned so the plants are shaded in the afternoon.

And finally, locate your kitchen garden close to water. Garden vegetables are very thirsty and you don’t want to drag a heavy garden house or buckets of water in order to keep your plants healthy.

Tip #2: Pick Your Plants

The easiest way to decide what you want to grow in your potager is to think about what you like to cook.

For example, if you use a lot of fresh herbs, you’ll want a big pot of your favourites, or perhaps several small pots nicely arranged. Husband can’t get enough of your homemade salsa? Plan to have a steady supply of fresh cilantro and juicy tomatoes nearby.

In other words, stock your kitchen garden with the fruits, vegetables, herbs and edible flowers you use in your day-to-day cooking. These are the items you will want to have convenient access to throughout the growing season.

For the most part, the same plants will have a home in both your potager and your main garden, but what matters is the type and maturity of the plants. Here’s what I mean.

Pickling cucumbers go to the main garden, but seedless table cucumbers stay in the kitchen garden. Also – if you plan to grow tiny little immature cucumbers to make small batch gherkin pickles, you’ll want those plants handy.

Roma tomatoes for sauce are in the main garden, while cherry tomatoes remain close enough for nibbling.

Beans – both pole and bush – are fabulous in your potager. Any plants that you plan to leave into autumn for dried beans, though, stay in your main garden.

Even carrots can have a spot in your potager. Plant them thickly in a large container and harvest the sweet, tiny carrots throughout the growing season. Your keeping carrots, of course, go in your large main garden.

While most squash need to stay in a large garden, plant one or two climbing, or compact bush-style, zucchini in your potager.

Anything that needs to be tended or harvested daily needs to be in your potager.

Any of the foods that you plan to freeze, can, dehydrate or put into the cold cellar are best grown in your regular vegetable garden. Generally, you don’t need to check on potatoes, sweet potatoes, keeping carrots or storage onions constantly. They grow with minimal attention and are harvested at the end of the season.

Tip #3: Make the Most of the Space You Have

Because your potager is close to the house, it is probably confined to a relatively small space. If that’s the case, though, don’t be discouraged. In fact, look up! We’ll be discussing this in greater detail in future posts.

Using vertical growing space can maximize your growing area. Baskets of herbs can be hung on shepherd hooks. Many tomatoes grow well in upside-down hanging baskets, while others can be supported along a trellis. Pole beans and cucumbers also grow very well on a trellis or fence.

Don’t forget to keep hanging plants well-watered since they will dry out faster.

Take advantage of as much vertical space as possible to maximize your growing area. Consider growing juicy yellow pear tomatoes surrounded by creeping thyme in a vertical container or use hanging baskets suspended on shepherd hooks for your favorite herbs. Just make sure you keep them well watered as hanging baskets tend to dry out more quickly.

If you have a fence or a wooden wall with good sun exposure, eavestroughing can be fastened to it in order to make a vertical garden for plants with short roots, like herbs and lettuce. You could also add a ladder-like series of shelves to house a lot more plants than you could fit into the ground you have available. The Garden Tower operates on that space-saving concept, allowing you to grow 50 plants in a very small space. Plus, it composts in the same space, so it’s ideal for a potager.

Tip #4: Make It Beautiful

Although some may argue that beauty for its own sake is neither productive nor practical, I disagree. Your kitchen garden is an extension of your home and will likely be visible to your family and guests. So, making the area as attractive as possible just makes good sense.

Good garden design requires balance, symmetry and repetition.

To incorporate balance and symmetry into your potager, try adding two matching brightly colored containers filled with herbs and place them on each side of the entrance.

For repetition, add multiples of the same plants throughout the garden. For example, a group of 3 cherry tomato plants in attractive containers will have a stronger visual impact than a single plant. You can also create a sense of order by planting lovely borders of edible flowers or fragrant herbs along walkways.

Let’s face it – we like spending time in beautiful places.

One great thing about incorporating ornamental aspects into your potager is you may find you want to spend more time in an area that nourishes both your body and soul.

One book that I strongly recommend, if you are trying to design a kitchen garden – a potager – that is both beautiful and practical, is Gardening Like a Ninja. The author, Angela, is a friend of mine, and she has put together an amazing book about slipping edible plants into your landscape. The book is full colour and packed with gorgeous photographs and helpful charts. No matter how small the space or how much you need to make your garden look like landscaping, Angela will give you what you need.

 

Winter Prepper Project Ideas – Outdoors

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Written by R. Ann Parris on The Prepper Journal.

There’s a lot that winter (or early spring) can tell us about our properties, both for planting decisions, siting various things around our property, and for mitigating some of the weather that comes with winter and spring.

The post Winter Prepper Project Ideas – Outdoors appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

12 Seed Starting Tips to Start Your Garden Right

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Gardening is a very productive and enjoyable experience, and when done well, it will produce not only a pleasing array of plants, but also useful herbs, spices, and veggies. Gardening is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to start becoming self-sufficient, and as such it is a skill every prepper should acquire. As your […]

The post 12 Seed Starting Tips to Start Your Garden Right appeared first on Urban Survival Site.

DIY Bottom Heat for Seed Starting (or pet bed)

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DIY Bottom Heat for Seed Starting Retail bottom heat is expensive – I saw one “kit” at a local garden center that was big enough for 2 flats and was $79 – wow!  You can buy a lot of tomato plants for eighty bucks!  A low cost alternative had to be possible for a dedicated …

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It’s Time To Build Your Raised Beds

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 It’s Time To Build Your Raised Beds! It’s nearly that time of year when you have to start building your raised beds and planning your garden. This is my favorite time of the year! Spring and gardening = Awesome. For space efficiency and high yields, it’s hard to beat a vegetable garden grown in raised …

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The post It’s Time To Build Your Raised Beds appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

Most common seedlings problems and how to fix them

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Seed starting is the most anticipated task of every gardener. However, it is also the most critical one. If you fail to grow your seedlings and nurture them, you can lose your entire crop. There are a few common seedlings problems and we all need to know how to handle them. If you are self-sufficient, … Read more…

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5 Things You Didn’t Want to Know About Gardening

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5 Things You Didn’t Want to Know About Gardening No one mentions the darker stuff about gardening. Gardening has been romanticized by the media so badly that the reality is lost in the message. Gardening is a lot of work that will cause you to sweat, bleed, want to rip your hair out, and just …

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Stacking Functions: Increasing Efficiency with Multi-Function Spaces

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Written by R. Ann Parris on The Prepper Journal.

Analyzing homestead elements for multi-functionality and redundancy were covered in the first article. This time we’ll look at combining them into multi-function spaces.

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Eight Efficient Food Crops to Grow

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Eight Efficient Food Crops to Grow Many families grow their own food in order to become self-sufficient. There is nothing better than home grown food. It’s cheaper, fresher and often better tasting than the one you buy from the supermarket. However, starting your own garden can be challenging. Things complicate even more if you decide …

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Growing Rice 101 – Free PDF

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Growing Rice 101 – Free PDF Knowing how to grow rice could mean the difference of surviving or dying … Rice is full of carbohydrates and Rice cultivation is well-suited to countries and regions with low labor costs and high rainfall, as it is labor-intensive to cultivate and requires ample water. However, rice can be grown …

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8 Best Vegetables for Small Space Gardening

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Most of us are forced to dwell in an very small space (which we call home) at one stage or another in our lives. The problem is that most of us also adore the idea of having our own little patch of land, or at least a small garden in some form, especially one from […]

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Suburban Micro-Farm (Book Review)

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What is the first thing that a suburban homesteader does?  I’m sure you guessed correctly – they start a garden.  It’s probably the easiest thing to do to start a self-reliant lifestyle because of many reasons. There’s a low barrier to entry – you just need some dirt and a few seeds – and it’s

How to Build a 50 Dollar Greenhouse

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How to Build a 50 Dollar Greenhouse See how to build this fantastic greenhouse for around 50 bucks or less if you can use your head! I live in Nebraska, so that means the last frost and cold evening may come well after may… That’s why I am going to build this myself this year. …

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Mary’s Heirloom Seeds Giveaway

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Mary’s Heirloom Seeds Giveaway

We LOVE Giveaways!!!! Mary’s Heirloom Seeds is sponsoring their first GIVEAWAY for 2017! PreparednessMama is pleased to take part in offering this great package. Are you ready??? This is a super simple giveaway with loads of seeds! This will run from Tuesday, January 31st thru Sunday, February 5th and is open to residents of the US […]

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Why Bamboo Could Save Your Life

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 Why Bamboo Could Save Your Life! Bamboo is cheap, awesome and invasive …. yet it could save your life in an emergency situation. I would consider planting some before it’s to late! Bamboo is one of the greatest finds in a survival situation and has been used by people for thousands of years to do …

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How To Stop Invasive Plants From Taking Over Your Garden

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How To Stop Invasive Plants From Taking Over Your Garden If you love lilies and black-eyed Susans, but hate the way they’re taking over your garden and choking out other plants, here’s what you can do: Many plants multiply by dropping seeds and by sending out roots that establish new plants. A layer of mulch will prevent the …

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The Top 5 Myths about Organic Gardening

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The Top 5 Myths about Organic Gardening Growing your own garden is great in itself, you get fresh fruit and vegetables for your family, you save money plus the satisfaction of self-sufficiency. You might have been considering organic gardening for the additional health benefits, but there are some naysayers out there that make it seem …

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How To Grow Ten Tons of Organic Vegetables!

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How To Grow Ten TONS of Organic Vegetables! If you’re homesteading or have a farm, you are probably always looking for ways to maximize your produce yield. Obviously, you don’t want to lose time or resources on a bad harvest, plus there is always the winter to stock up for. Just imagine, though, if you …

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DIY 5-Gallon Chicken Waterer

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DIY 5-Gallon Chicken Waterer For anyone who is homesteading or is just interested in having a chicken coop of their own, a convenient water supply can eliminate a lot of work. There is plenty to be done on a homestead, and one less thing to worry about can make a big difference. For a convenient, …

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How To Grow Food In One Container All Year Round

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How To Grow Food In One Container All Year Round Space is at a premium when you’re making preparations for harsher times, and if you don’t have such a roomy abode to begin with then the idea of growing your own fruit and vegetables can feel highly unviable. But eating plenty (and eating healthy) is …

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17 Natural Antibiotics Our Grandparents Used Instead Of Pills

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17 Natural Antibiotics Our Grandparents Used Instead Of Pills Our ancestors had a solution for treating infections, burns and other different illness, using what mother nature has offered to us. It would be good to remind ourselves what these antibiotics are and possibly think about using them in case of a SHTF scenario where pills are …

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13 Survival Foods That Will Outlast You

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13 Survival Foods That Will Outlast You If a regional or global disaster will hit tomorrow, do you have all the basics like food and water covered? Will you be able to survive with what you stored in your pantry? Stockpiling food and water shouldn’t be seen as a controversial activity and there are a …

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From a Complete Newbie to a Confident Canner

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From a Complete Newbie to a Confident Canner Canning or ‘jarring’ your own food is a skill that is making a huge comeback. People are learning how to make jams and jellies and pressure canning their harvests. In doing so, they are creating shelf-stable foods that require no refrigeration and will last years if properly …

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How to Grow Your Own Herbs for Cooking

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How to Grow Your Own Herbs for Cooking Fresh herbs are a wonderful and healthy way to season food, and many of them even have medicinal properties. Some of us are intimidated by the prospect of growing their own herbs, but as Spark People’s tutorial shows us, it just needs a little bit of knowledge …

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7 Reasons to Grow Corn in a Survival Garden

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7 Reasons to Grow Corn in a Survival Garden There are many different foods you can grow in your backyard survival garden. You should emphasize on growing those foods, which can last for long and which can grow in different weather conditions. Another thing you need to keep in mind is the nutrition value of …

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How Much Should You Plant In Your Garden To Provide A Year’s Worth Of Food?

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How Much Should You Plant In Your Garden To Provide A Year’s Worth Of Food? Not long ago, people had to think about how much to grow for the year. They had to plan ahead, save seeds, plant enough for their family and preserve enough to survive over the winter months! It wasn’t just a hobby. It didn’t take …

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DIY Simple Soda Bottle Mousetrap

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DIY Simple Soda Bottle Mousetrap DIY pest control is a great way to save money, and may even be a necessity if professional pest control is out of reach. Store bought poison or natural repellents work especially well for a lot of pests, but poison can be dangerous to your family and natural options don’t …

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Calculating the Cost of Growing Your Own Food

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Calculating the Cost of Growing Your Own Food There are plenty of rewards from growing your own produce. Self-reliance, the potential for extra income, and of course the availability of fresh fruits and vegetables are all great reasons to grow your own garden. For a garden that is cost-effective and productive there is a bit …

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Prep Blog Review: 8+ Food Crops To Grow In Your Survival Garden

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articol_10

Growing your own food makes you more independent, helps you save a lot of money and allows you to enjoy fresh ingredients any time of the year.

It may be challenging to start growing your own food, but you will thank yourself later, in a survival situation, when all the shelves will be empty and you will have fresh crops to feed the bellies of your loved ones.

Starting your own survival gardening is on your resolutions list for this year? For this week’s Prep Blog Review I’ve gathered five articles on this topic.

If you have other suggestions, please share them in the comment section.

  1. Eight Efficient Food Crops To Grow

Eight-Efficient-Food-Crops-to-grow

“Becoming self-sufficient is one of the many good reasons to want to grow your own vegetables. Nothing beats home grown food and for many people, there’s a great appeal to grow efficient food crops. The food you grow is cheaper, fresher and often better tasting than the one you get from the supermarket.

Starting your own garden may be challenging and most people give up after the first try. To boost your confidence, you should start by growing efficient food crops. After you acquire the proper experience, you can try growing more challenging crops.”

Read more on Prepper’s Will.

  1. Plant These Edible Flowers in Your Garden

Edible-Flowers

“The first edible flower I ever ate was a nasturtium. We had giant nasturtium plants growing in our herb garden, nearly taking over, in fact, and decided we would start consuming the orange and yellow blossoms and leaves. They have a peppery flavor with a little bit of a kick. It’s always fun to discover plants in your own backyard you can eat.

Nasturtiums aren’t the only edible flower that is commonly found in backyards and growing wild. Here is a list of some of the most common. This list is by no means complete, but is meant to be a starting point for further study of the flowers you have in your yard. Just because you see the name of a flower on this list, do not assume you can run right out and start eating them.”

Read more on Preparedness Advice.

  1. Indoor Gardening Ideas

3437003584_015070dee9_b-225x300“There are certain times of the year where, no matter your climate, you’ll have a hard time getting vegetables to grow in your outdoor garden.

However, this doesn’t mean that you have to go without fresh, home-grown veggies, or buy them from the grocery story.

Instead, you can grow some vegetables indoors, wherever you have space. Here’s how.”

Read more on Be Self Sufficient.

  1. Container Gardening: Grow a Fig Tree in a Pot

figs-purple

“Tight on garden space? Maybe you live in an apartment with only a balcony for growing food. Maybe you have a rental place and you can’t dig up the back yard. Or just maybe you have a postage stamp yard with no room for a garden. Fig trees grown in containers may be ideal for your limited space or limited opportunity situation.”

Read more on Attainable-Sustainable.

  1. 3 Great Ways to Stop Weeds This Year Without Using Harsh Chemicals

Weeds1

“Weeds can ruin more than the just the look of your property. By robbing the soil of vital nutrients, they also wreak havoc on yields in the garden, and can keep flowerbeds from staying healthy and vibrant.

But before all hope is lost, there are actually some great ways to reduce or even eliminate your weed woes completely. Even better, none  require the use of harsh, man-made, synthetic chemicals. Here are 3 of our favorites.”

Read more on Old World Farms Garden.

the lost ways cover

This article has been written by Drew Stratton for Survivopedia. 

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Eight efficient food crops to grow

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Becoming self-sufficient is one of the many good reasons to want to grow your own vegetables. Nothing beats home grown food and for many people, there’s a great appeal to grow efficient food crops. The food you grow is cheaper, fresher and often better tasting than the one you get from the supermarket. Starting your … Read more…

The post Eight efficient food crops to grow was written by Rhonda Owen and appeared first on Prepper’s Will.

10 Things to do While Waiting to Garden

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10 things to do while waiting to garden | PreparednessMama

For those of us looking forward to gardening season, these long winter days and nights can be torture. You stare longingly at the yard, itching to get out and dig. Knowing full well that the snow is too high, the ground is too wet, and the wind it too bitter for you to get out […]

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An Incredible New Garden Website For Gardeners, By Gardeners!

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A new garden website?!! I don’t think we’ve ever been more excited to release an article than we are today! Today is the official launch of a new garden website, created with one purpose – to celebrate gardeners and gardens

The post An Incredible New Garden Website For Gardeners, By Gardeners! appeared first on Old World Garden Farms.

7 Herbs You Can Grow Indoors Year-Round

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7 Herbs You Can Grow Indoors Year-Round I am so glad I came across this article, I didn’t realize that herbs can be frown indoors all year round, after reading this in depth article I now understand we don’t have to wait until spring to enjoy our favorite herbs. Herbs do still need warmth and …

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Six Planning Tips for Starting a Garden from Scratch

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Six Planning Tips for Starting a Garden from Scratch Spring will be here in a couple of months and if you are new to gardening this article may give you the upper hand, you may have tried before and had failed crops or the veggies didn’t grow well enough. I scoured the internet for hours looking …

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How To Make a Barbecue Planter

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How To Make a Barbecue Planter If you have an older BBQ trolley laying around why not transform it into a mobile greenery machine… If you do not have one laying around look on craigslist or your local paper. These look amazing and you can have all your herbs and small vegetables in one place. …

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Late Winter and Early Spring Checklist For Prepping The Gardens

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Late Winter and Early Spring Checklist For Prepping The Gardens Gardening is a great hobby to have and I would recommend it to anyone. Gardening is good for the body and keeps the mind busy…  If you are preparing a survival garden or you want to have the prettiest garden in the neighborhood, you still …

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Amazing Tips for Winter Composting

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Amazing Tips for Winter Composting Composting anytime of the can be challenging. With winter being here are you still composting? I found a great article from our friends over at eartheasy.com where they have an in depth article on tips for winter composting. Tips like this one are just amazing knowledge to know… First to …

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12 Fastest Growing Vegetables

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12 Fastest Growing Vegetables I found a great website that shows us 12 vegetables that are fast growing and in a survival situation these vegetables might be a handy source of nutrients if SHTF. As a side note, remember if you can’t keep up with the fast growing vegetables you can always can them as …

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7 Things To Do Right Now To Get Ready For a Fabulous Summer Garden

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summer gardenHold on to your hat! Spring and it’s warmer cousin, summer, are just around the corner. Yes, even if you’re looking out the window at piles of crystalline, white snow — believe! One day soon, the days will lengthen and your summer garden will become just as real as those freezing temperatures!

Seed companies from companies like Seed Savers, Territorial Seed Company, and Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds have their catalogs at the ready. Be sure to request them now before supplies run low. Here’s a comprehensive list of seed companies to peruse.

Even before the catalogs arrive, though, there are a number of actions you can take right now to get that summer garden ready before the spring thaw.

1.  Improve your soil, if it needs it.

Marjory Wildcraft of The Grow Network, says that conditioning your soil is one of the first thing any gardener should do. Keep in mind that soil composition can change over time and should be re-evaluated every so often.

Our garden was growing tomatoes non-stop, even throughout the winter, when suddenly everything pretty much died. We learned, later, that our soil had accumulated too much nitrogen and had to back up several steps to make some adjustments. You might need to:

  • Have your soil tested by your local extension office.
  • Mix compost in with the soil you now have.
  • Add amendments, per instructions from extension office or local growers.

This article outlines even more mistakes a backyard gardener can make on her way to developing a healthy, productive garden.

2.  Push your composting into high gear!

Make sure everyone in the family knows what can and cannot be added to compost and place “compost catchers” near the kitchen sink and anywhere else food is prepared. As explained in this article, you really can compost through the winter.

Get the kids busy shredding newspaper and old mail (remove plastic windows in envelopes before shredding). Visit a nearby coffee house and ask for their old coffee grinds. Ask neighbors for grass clippings, piles of old leaves, and vegetable peelings. If it’s too cold outside to venture out to a compost pile, keep a rolling compost bin like this one on the patio, just outside the back door, or in an outbuilding. You can always move it when warmer temperatures arrive.

3.  Research what grows best in your area and microclimate.

If you’re not sure what to plant and when, visit a farmer’s market and talk to the pros or search on the internet for local gardening blogs.

Out of curiosity, I did a search for “Phoenix garden blog” and came up with 28,900,000 results. OK, most of those didn’t have the information I was looking for, but the way I figure it, is that if someone cares enough to write about their gardening efforts, they probably have some pretty good information and tips to share!

Local nurseries (probably not the big box store nurseries) will likely have good advice about what grows best in your climate. Remember that many of us live in micro-climates, and our backyards may have more than one microclimate, which affects what we can grow and when it should be planted and  harvested.

4.  Check your watering system.

Replace any missing or damaged valves or hoses. There’s nothing quite like spending some money on seeds and/or seedlings, amassing a good amount of quality compost, and then coming out one day to discover that your plants are nearly dead from an unexpected heat wave.

This happened to us last June, and it was so disappointing. If your garden depends on a watering system, this is an area that can’t be neglected.

5.  Think about what you like to eat a lot of.

There’s no point whatsoever in planting lima beans if no one, and I mean no one, in the family will eat them! Once you have a list of what you and your family enjoy eating, check with gardening blogs, farmers, local nurseries, and planting calendars and schedule planting dates.

Take time to do your research. You’ll find that some carrots, for example, grow poorly in your soil and climate but there are other varieties that will thrive. I learned that in the Phoenix desert, I needed to grow a variety of carrot that produced short, stubby carrots that loved hot weather and the type of soil in our raised beds.

By the way of a bonus tip, winter is a great time for building and preparing your raised beds. Here are reasons why these are a great way to garden.

6.  If your planting season is still a month or more away, solarize your garden area.

This is a very easy thing to do, and I wish I had done this last month. It’s a simple way to rid your garden area of weeds.

Water your garden area very, very well and cover it with a huge sheet of clear plastic. I’ve seen some gardeners use black plastic, but this site recommends otherwise.

Weight the plastic down around the edges to make sure that it doesn’t fly away, even in a good sized gust. Wait for 4-6 weeks. This allows the weeds to sprout, thinking, “Yaaay! We can begin adding hours of backbreaking work to this poor gardener’s week!” However, the joke is on them because once the seeds have sprouted, they will quickly die, either from the heat beneath the plastic or from being smothered with no air or sunlight.

Some seeds won’t sprout at all but will still die from being overheated.

How lovely to enjoy a gardening season with very few weeds to spoil the fun!

7.  While you’re messing around with your soil and garden area, check for earthworms.

I was pleasantly surprised this week to discover a nice, healthy assortment of worms in our herb garden that I didn’t realize were there.

If your garden area doesn’t seem to have worms, they can be purchased and added to both your garden and your compost pile. As long as your compost bin is in a sheltered area and safe from freezing, those earthworms will do their part in getting the compost ready, and if you live in an area that doesn’t freeze, the worms will be safe in the ground.

summer garden

Updated January 14, 2017.

Plant These Edible Flowers in Your Garden Now

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Plant These Edible Flowers in Your Garden Now via Preparedness Advice

The first edible flower I ever ate was a nasturtium. We had giant nasturtium plants growing in our herb garden, nearly taking over, in fact, and decided we would start consuming the orange and yellow blossoms and leaves. They have a peppery flavor with a little bit of a kick. It’s always fun to discover plants in your own backyard you can eat.

Nasturtiums aren’t the only edible flower that is commonly found in backyards and growing wild. Here is a list of some of the most common. This list is by no means complete, but is meant to be a starting point for further study of the flowers you have in your yard. Just because you see the name of a flower on this list, do not assume you can run right out and start eating them.

First, do a bit of research on the flower, make sure you have it correctly identified. This foraging book is one of my favorites and the author is a well-known foraging expert. Second, make sure you know which parts can be eaten. If you are interested in learning to identify edible plants like the ones on this list or growing a garden with all the herbs, vegetables, and edible flowers you could possibly want, check out this book and this book.

Interestingly, as you learn more about foraging in your backyard and elsewhere, you’ll find that not every part of a plant is edible. It’s important to have some fundamental foraging knowledge before you start picking random plants and eating them!

Angelica Anise Hyssop
Apple blossom Artichoke
Arugula Bachelor Buttons/Cornflower
Banana Basil
Borage Calendula
Carnation Chamomile
Chicory Chives
Chrysanthemum Cilantro/Coriander
Citrus Clover
Dandelion Daylily
Dianthus Dill
Elderberry English daisy
Fennel Freesia
Fuschia Geraniums
Gladiolas Hibiscus
Honeysuckle Hollyhock
Hyssop Jasmine
Johnny Jump Up Lavender
Lemon verbena Lilac
Linden Mallow
Marigold Marjoram
Mint Mustard
Nasturtium Oregano
Okra Onion
Orange blossom Pansy
Passionflower Pineapple sage
Primrose Radish
Red clover Redbud
Rose Rosemary
Rose of Sharon Runner bean
Safflower Sage
Savory Scented Geranium
Snapdragon Society garlic
Squash blossom Sunflower
Sweet Marigold Sweet William
Thyme Tuberous Begonia
Tulip Viola
Violet Winter Savory
Yucca

It’s good to know that the flowers of these plants are edible because they’re a source of nutrition and flavor that would otherwise go to waste. Sample a single petal, or small piece of a petal, before assuming you’re going to like the flavor. Get a good foraging book or two, preferably one with a few recipes to get you started. Try drying the petals and seeping them in hot water to make teas or chopping up the edible blossoms, leaves, too, if edible, and adding them to biscuit batter or on sandwiches and in salads.

The beauty of this very long list is that there is something to be found in every growing region, from deserts to the coldest climate areas. Many of these flowers will be found in the wild, such as wild violets. I’ve made a printable checklist of these flowers so you can have a copy on hand to keep with you as you forage.

In the future, I plan to write posts on some of the flowers on this list along with pictures and identifying information, as well as a few edible weeds. However if you have these in your yard you don’t need to wait for me.  Learn about the plants in your yard or area today.

Updated by Noah, January 14, 2017.

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Grow Lights Explained: Here’s What You’re Doing That’s Wrong

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Grow Lights Explained: Here's What You’re Doing That's Wrong

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One of the most important considerations for indoor gardening is light. While some vegetables will chug along with a bare minimum of six hours of light daily, they will flourish with 12-16 hours daily. Clearly, grow lights are a must, especially during winter. However, one of the most common mistakes among indoors gardeners is using the wrong type of light.

Red, Blue, And Full-Spectrum Light

Let’s start by talking about the color in light. We perceive sunshine, for instance, as white light, but it’s actually made up of all the colors of the rainbow — it’s full-spectrum. Light bulbs don’t generate light the same way that the sun does, and the color of light they produce often appears as off-white. Traditional incandescent bulbs, for instance, give off a yellow-red glow, whereas basic fluorescent tubes often have a blue glow.

Looking For Non-GMO Vegetable Seeds? Get Them From A Company You Can Trust!

Plants have different reactions to the different colors within light. Blue light encourages the growth of strong leafy plants, while red light helps plants flower and fruit. It helps to understand how plants react to red and blue light in order to choose the best grow lights for your indoor garden.

Fluorescent Grow Lights

Not that long ago, basic fluorescent tubes were the only real option for grow lights, and many gardeners still swear by them. They are inexpensive, easy to install, and energy efficient. And, with the advent of compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs, installation is easier than ever, since you can simply screw a bulb into any existing light fixture.

Grow Lights Explained: Here's What You’re Doing That's Wrong

Image source: Wikimedia

Fluorescent bulbs come in warm (red), cool (blue), and full-spectrum ranges. The light that fluorescents produce is relatively weak, but there are also high-intensity fluorescent bulbs if needed. Full-spectrum and high-intensity fluorescent bulbs are more expensive than basic ones, but they may end up being more cost-effective.

LED Grow Lights

Light emitting diodes (LED) bulbs have a lot of potential for grow lights, but they are not yet widely used. Like many technologies in their infancies, they are relatively expensive, although their cost is coming down. Keep your eye on LED grow lights because they have a lot of benefits, including having a long life and being energy efficient, and emitting little heat. Also, they can be programmed to produce specific wavelengths of light.

HID Grow Lights

There are two types of high-intensity discharge (HID) bulbs, both of which produce bright and intense light. Metal halide (MH) bulbs emit light that is quite similar to natural sunlight, without generating a lot of heat. However, they do tend to the blue end of the spectrum, and depending on the type of bulb used, you may need to supplement with high-pressure sodium (HPS) lighting, which emits red light. HPS bulbs are excellent to promote flowering and fruiting. However, both types of HID bulbs can only be used in special fixtures, with ballasts, and the complete set-up can be expensive.

Your Grow Light Set-Up

Indoor gardening requires light, but that light must be cool. The heat created by incandescent and halogen bulbs is too intense and will fry your seedlings. Stick with fluorescent, LED or HID lighting.

Consider where the grow lights will be placed in your house. If your plants are already getting a great deal of light from a south-facing window, then weaker bulbs (like basic fluorescents) will work fine as supplementary lighting. If your plants are in a darker area of your home, you will need more powerful grow lights, like high-intensity fluorescent or HID bulbs.

The distance between your plants and your light source depends on what kind of bulbs you use. Since fluorescents are weaker, they can be placed only 2-3 inches from your plants; but LEDs should be 12-18 inches away. Either way, you will need to adjust the height of your grow lights as your plants get taller. Don’t count on keeping the position of your lights static. Seedlings will grow tall and spindly, without putting out leaves, if they need to stretch toward a far-away light source; and, of course, you don’t want them to touch the bulb.

The most complicated part of creating a grow light system is figuring out how big — in terms of wattage — it needs to be. It’s not just about the square footage of your growing space, but also about the type of light you’re using and what you’re growing. You will need a higher wattage if you’re using weaker bulbs, or are growing light-loving plants. Lettuce, for instance, needs less light than tomatoes do. While it’s tempting to just go with a higher wattage to cover all contingencies, that can have a negative effect on your energy consumption. There are all kinds of online guides that can help you figure out how to tailor your wattage to your plants.

Grow lights aren’t rocket science, but they aren’t a trip to the candy store, either. To effectively use grow lights, it helps greatly to have some understanding of how plants react to light, and of the available bulb options. Once you have that knowledge, you can optimize your own grow light set-up so that it best suits your needs.

What advice would you add on using grow lights? Share your tips in the section below:

Bust Inflation With A Low-Cost, High-Production Garden. Read More Here.

How To Build And Why You Need A Ladybug Garden

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How To Build And Why You Need A Ladybug Garden I am glad I am sharing this with you today, I plan on starting my survival garden this spring and the one thing I have read about gardening is if you are not careful and do not use pesticides you can get a case of …

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3 Great Ways To Stop Weeds This Year Without Using Harsh Chemicals

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“How can I stop weeds without spraying everywhere?!” It is probably one of the most popular questions to our blog every spring, summer and fall. Weeds can ruin more than the just the look of your property. By robbing the

The post 3 Great Ways To Stop Weeds This Year Without Using Harsh Chemicals appeared first on Old World Garden Farms.

DIY Dry Banana Peels as Fertilizer

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How to dry banana peels and give a potassium boost to your garden | PreparednessMama

Did you know you can take dry banana peels and turn it into fertilizer for your garden? We eat a lot of bananas at our house so I like the idea that all the peels that we would normally compost can be used to benefit the garden. Homemade potassium fertilizer using banana peels is very […]

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One Plan Is Not Enough: 7 Tips to Create a Successful Food Plan

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Written by Guest Contributor on The Prepper Journal.

What are the most important things to consider? In this article I cover some of the requirements of creating your master food plan.

The post One Plan Is Not Enough: 7 Tips to Create a Successful Food Plan appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

5 Overlooked Mistakes That Can Ruin Your Indoor Garden

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5 Overlooked Mistakes That Can Ruin Your Indoor Garden

Image source: Pixabay.com

 

Growing your own vegetables indoors allows you to have fresh ingredients any time of the year, regardless of where you live. Still, many indoor gardeners start out with a lot of ambition but often give up when their plants don’t get past the seedling stage or are less than ideal for eating.

Here are five common, overlooked mistakes indoor gardeners often make:

1. Being unrealistic.

If you are going to grow plants that, otherwise, need lots of space outside, you may need to reassess what you’re doing. A fully grown plant is going to be much bigger than the seedling. Perhaps you need to plant something else.

You also will need to make sure the plants you are growing are not dangerous to household pets. The bottom line: Do research and have a plan.

2. Not giving the plants a chance.

Different plants grow at different rates. Some seeds need to be planted deep within the soil, while others need to be planted just below the surface for optimal growth. Some need darker environments, while others will not grow at all without as much light as possible. Most packages of seeds give you the appropriate growing instructions for what you are planting.

Looking For Non-GMO Seeds? Get Them From A Family-Owned Company You Can Trust!

Again, do your research and be realistic about what you can grow. If you live in a small apartment, it doesn’t make any sense to try and grow plants that require a large amount of space.

3. Not watering properly.

5 Overlooked Mistakes That Can Ruin Your Indoor Garden

Image source: Pixabay.com

Newly planted gardens are very picky — too little water and nothing will grow, but too much water and your plants will drown. The challenge to a flourishing indoor garden is to find the balance and provide the right amount of water. In general, you will want the soil to be damp but not wet. This can be a bigger challenge during winter when the air is dry.

Make sure you dampen the soil before you sow the seeds and then – after planting — cover the container with clear plastic until the plants are germinated. Check the plants daily to make sure they are not drying out, and water them accordingly.

4. Not providing enough light.

Light will help almost all plants grow, unless you have selected plants that are more shade tolerant. Placing your plant containers in front of a large window is often the gardener’s first choice, but if your window doesn’t face the right direction or get enough sun during the day, then it may not produce desirable results.

This New All-Natural Fertilizer Doubles Garden Production!

Since it might be difficult to provide your new garden with an adequate amount of natural light, you may want to think about an alternate source of light, including grow lights. Your new plants will need about 12-16 hours of light a day. Use a timer to make it easier.

5. Not providing the right environment.

Most newly planted seeds need a warm environment to germinate properly and sprout. But once the seeds have sprouted, they don’t require as warm of an environment and are more tolerant to temperature fluctuations. Proper temperature and air circulation are essential in the early stages of indoor gardening. Set your containers in an environment where these things can be controlled.

Growing plants indoors isn’t easy, and like any hobby it is always best when you have done some research and have as much information as possible. If you can provide your plants with the necessities needed to germinate and sprout, then you will have an indoor garden you can appreciate all winter – and year-round.

What common mistakes have you made growing vegetables indoors? Share your tips in the section below:

Bust Inflation With A Low-Cost, High-Production Garden. Read More Here.

DIY Solar Heated Garden Bed

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DIY Solar Heated Garden Bed I never knew that gardening could get so technical … I read today that it is possible to grow your food with the aid of wine bottles. You may be thinking, “huh” but once you read the science behind this it will blow you away, also its a great way …

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Seed Packets: Big Gardening Lessons Packed in a Small Space

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Seed packets: BIG gardening lessons packed into SMALL spaces | PreparednessMama

Don’t overlook lowly seed packets for gardening knowledge. They often pack a big lesson into their small space. Seed packets have such a wealth of growing information but I think we often overlook how great they really are.  We reference our favorite seed catalog or gardening book for the details to grow our favorite plants […]

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100% Natural Flea Killer For The Home And Garden

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100% Natural Flea Killer For The Home And Garden I have 3 dogs and I have been really lucky not one of my dogs has had fleas! My wife and I discuss fleas every spring and I did some research and found a great natural way to kill the fleas in the home or the …

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Survival Gardening: How To Plan Your Low Water Garden

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Low Water Gardening Droughts are becoming more common. The impact of droughts on food production is very real. After all, plants need water to grow. But, you don’t always need a ton of water to grow food. That’s where low-water crops come in. They can produce food for your family to eat without taking nearly as much water.

If you don’t have a large water stockpile, or you are concerned about a coming drought, it might be time for you to switch to a low-water garden.

Low-water gardens are designed to receive significantly less water than a traditional one. The soil, coverings, and seeds are all meant to work together to minimize your water needs.

Also known as dry farming, this method is a return to the roots of agriculture for many locations. Before dams and irrigation innovations, farmers didn’t have the access to water. They planted, gave an initial soaking, and then let the plants tend to fetching water for themselves.

Winter is a great time to plan your low-water garden. But, no matter the season, here are some essentials to consider when working on this type of garden.

The Soil Is Essential

The quality of soil in your garden will help stretch the length of time between watering sessions. You’ll want plenty of compost and organic material in your soil.

This will help absorb water and slowly release it. You’ll also want some coarse sand in your soil. Sand helps draw in any moisture that does fall, so you’ll maximize the benefit of rain.

Clay is another component of low-water garden soil. The clay will hold the water, and slowly give it to the plants’ root systems.

You’ll want to thoroughly mix your soil, incorporating all the elements evenly. That way all your plants will grow well. Loose soil is recommended for this type of gardening, so tilling your soil to a depth of four to six inches will help.

Unfortunately, making the exact soil combination that you need for your climate will take time. There isn’t one perfect formula that’ll work everywhere.

Set up highly nutritious soil for your plants! Get your A to Z guide on survival gardening!

You Can’t Skip the Mulch

In a low-water garden, mulch isn’t just a suggestion. It’s essential. You need this soil covering to ensure the water stays where it belongs.

Without mulch, you’ll lose precious water to run-off. Evaporation will also be a problem.

A good layer of organic mulch prevents both of those from occurring. It’ll keep the water around the plants longer, and allow it to soak deeply into the soil.

Mulch

What Plants to Choose

When picking plants, be sure to check out the hardiness zone recommendations so you don’t plant something that won’t grow well in your area. There are a variety of crops to pick from that don’t take as much water.

You can also have a long-term vision when creating a low-water garden. If you have plenty of water now, you can plant some perennials that will take water initially. Once those plants are established, their water needs drop substantially.

For both long and short term planning, here are some crops to consider:

Grains

If a drought happens, you won’t be able to depend on large grain producers to keep on growing. Even if you don’t regularly plant grains, you’ll want to have some low-water seeds stored on hand. That way you have them when you need them.

A bonus with these grains is they’re easier to harvest than wheat. Many take minimal processing before being ready to eat. These grains would be a good addition to your low-water garden crops:

  • Amaranth
  • Buckwheat
  • Quinoa
  • Field Corn

Vegetables

Vegetables are a great way to add variety and nutrients to your diet. Here are some excellent options for a low-water garden.

  • Jerusalem artichoke (this takes more water the first year, but once it’s established it needs very little.)
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Swiss chard
  • Peppers
  • Asparagus (another long-term crop)
  • Drought tolerant zucchini

Fruits

To add some natural sweetness to your diet, be sure to include some fruits in your low-water garden. Here are some plants that grow well with little water.

  • Watermelon
  • Figs
  • Pomegranates
  • Most pit fruit trees (once established)
  • Rhubarb (once established)

Legumes

Many legumes don’t require much water. Consider adding these to your garden:

  • Black eyed peas
  • Chickpeas
  • Tepary beans

Think Native

If you head to a natural area nearby, what plants are you going to see thriving? Chances are many of those are wild edibles. Take time to learn about plants native to your region.

Some of the plants considered weeds by many will be the perfect purposeful addition to your low-water garden. After all, no one is out in the woods irrigating the weeds. They just grow.

If you can’t find any seeds for these plants, try to dig up some established ones and transplant them. That way you’ll get a variety that grows well in your area.

You might even have a separate area where you encourage these plants to grow. That way they don’t take over your dedicated garden space. That will also help spread out your gardening efforts and minimize your risk of losing everything from theft. Hidden food sources are wonderful!

  • Burdock
  • Dandelions
  • Lamb’s quarter
  • Stinging nettles
  • Plantain

Shopping for Seeds

When selecting varieties, you’ll want to go with heirloom seeds. Many modern versions of these plants have been altered and turned into very needy seeds. This is especially true with corn.

Back in the day, irrigation options were very limited. Plants often didn’t get much water unless it rained. You want plants that survived then—not the needy variations humans have turned those plants into.

The one exception would be plants that have been selectively bred for dry-land planting. You can often find drought-resistant varieties of many of your favorites.

Another tip is to plant mini-varieties of the plants you most want to grow. For instance, it takes much less water to grow a cherry tomato than it does a beefsteak. Planting a few of your favorite water-loving plants in the mini-form will help you keep from feeling deprived with your garden.

Save Your Seeds

By saving your own seeds each year, you’ll be selecting varieties that did the best in your soil. Over time, your seeds will be essential to increasing your yield. They are locally adapted plants that thrive in your garden.

Get your step-by-step instructions on how to plant over 125 plants inside your garden!

Companion Planting

The Native Americans knew much about growing food. One method they used is known as the three sisters. This method of companion planting grouped plants together to maximize their yield.

Corn, beans, and squash were the original three sisters. These crops work together in harmony. The beans give nitrogen to the soil, which the corn and squash need. The beans grow up on the tall corn stalks, reducing the need for additional scaffolding.

Finally, the low-lying squash leaves protect the soil from the sun’s rays and help ensure water doesn’t run-off.

Planting companion crops will also help you plant more in a smaller space. This is essential if you’re just getting your low-water garden established and don’t have much soil built up.

Companion planting

 

Give Plants Space

Because your dry land plants will need to establish a deep root system, you can’t plant individual plants or companion groupings as closely together as you do in a traditional garden. That means your yield won’t be the same.

When to Plant

Your soil needs to accumulate the winter moisture. This built-in reserve is what will get your plants through until harvest.

If you wait too long to plant, your soil will be too dry. Conversely, if you plant too early you risk a killing frost freezing your garden.

When you plant your seeds, you want the soil to be nice and moist. Keep an eye on both the weather and the soil. You’ll want to plant after the last killing frost, but before the daytime temperatures get so high that they dry up your soil.

Once planted, you need to seal in the moisture in the ground by applying a good layer of mulch. Have your mulch on hand and ready to go before you plant.

Caring for Your Low-Water Garden

Low-water gardens are easy to care for once they’re planted.  You don’t want to water most of them, because you’ll risk cracking the dry soil. Cracked soil loses moisture much faster than soil that isn’t cracked.

Any watering that you do for your long-term plants that are just getting established needs to be done gently. You can’t turn a hose on full-blast. Rather, gently water the soil around the plant instead of the plant itself.

You don’t want to overwater any of the low-water varieties you are planting. Plants that don’t get watered will grow a deeper root system than ones that are frequently watered. You want to start your plants off trying to seek water from the ground.

Besides doing less watering, low-moisture gardens bring a couple of other benefits. They take much less time than a traditional garden.

For instance, you’ll notice that you won’t get as many weeds in a low-water situation once your plants are up. There just won’t be enough water for them to grow.

But, you’ll want to pluck out any weeds that do creep in. You’ll also want to be diligent about weeding as your plants are just sprouting. That way weeds aren’t competing with your plants for resources.

Many garden pests thrive in moist environments. They’ll often leave your dry land crops alone. So you’ll have fewer to deal with.

You might notice your plants starting to shrivel up before harvest. The leaves may turn brown and you might see spots. These are typical signs in a low-water garden, and they don’t necessarily mean you’re going to lose your harvest.

Are you a dry farmer?

What tips can you add to help others get started in this style of gardening? It’s a different approach to growing food, and everyone can benefit from you sharing your knowledge.

Start growing your survival garden that will keep you and your family fed for life!  

This article has been written by Lisa Tanner for Survivopedia. 

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2 Insanely Simple Ways To Live Healthier, Have Less Stress & More Cash!

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A few weeks back, someone asked us in an interview if we could name the top 2 things that have helped us live healthier. The answers came out so quickly and easily that we both looked at each other and knew

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10 Organic Foods That Aren’t Worth Buying

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10 Organic Foods That Aren’t Worth Buying We all want to feed our family the healthiest, cleanest food we can afford. The trouble is that organic foods are usually more expensive than conventional versions. If you’re trying to get the best for your family while sticking to a budget, be sure to check out the …

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The Cheap Mini-Greenhouse That Makes Seed-Starting Easier

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The Cheap Mini-Greenhouse That Makes Seed-Starting Easier

Photo: Jacki Andre

As a gardening blogger and writer, I probably shouldn’t admit this, but I don’t start seeds indoors.

Living in zone 3, I should start most seeds in March or April. But April is always extremely busy at my day job, with lots of stress and long hours. Typically, I forget to water, don’t have the patience to adjust grow lights, and don’t have time to carry plants outside before work so that they harden off. The few times I tried this, it ended up being a big, fat failure. I don’t even try anymore.

The Cheap Mini-Greenhouse That Makes Seed-Starting Easier

Photo: Jacki Andre

That’s why I was excited to stumble across the idea of winter sowing. In a nutshell, winter sowing is planting seeds in repurposed plastic containers, which act as mini-greenhouses. Once planted, the containers should be put outside — even in freezing temps, and even in the snow. As the temperature warms up, the seeds will germinate, and the seedlings will stay toasty in their little greenhouses.

Looking For Non-GMO Seeds? Get Them From A Family-Owned Company You Can Trust!

The containers will naturally collect moisture through their various openings. The plants should chug along on their own, and naturally harden off. You do have to do some work, though: Once the temperatures stay above freezing, the seedlings should be transplanted into your garden. Since it all sounds logical (and easy!), I’m going to give it a whirl.

Containers For Mini-Greenhouses

Tall translucent or clear plastic containers work best so that sunlight reaches the plants. Containers need to hold 3-4 inches of soil, and still allow room for seedlings to grow. Consider using containers like these:

  • Milk jugs
  • Distilled or filtered water jugs
  • Large vinegar bottles
  • Family-size juice bottles
  • Soda/pop bottles
  • Rotisserie chicken deli containers
  • Clear tote boxes

All containers will need holes drilled or cut into the bottom, both for drainage and so that seedlings can suck up available water. Additionally, the containers will need at least one hole in the top so that moisture can get in that way, too. Vessels like milk, water and juice jugs already have that hole built in. A bonus is that if you live in an area that experiences heavy rains, you can use the jug lid as a way to moderate moisture levels.

Creating And Sowing Your Mini-Greenhouses

The Cheap Mini-Greenhouse That Makes Seed-Starting Easier

Photo: Jacki Andre

Starting with a clean container, make holes in the bottom. Depending on the type of plastic, you may be able to create holes by carefully twisting a knife tip in a circular motion; or you may be able to cut holes with a utility knife. If you have a harder, thicker plastic, you will probably need to break out your drill. If your container does not have at least one hole in the top, this is a good time to get that done, too.

Next, if your mini-greenhouse doesn’t already have a separate bottom and top (like the rotisserie chicken container or the plastic tote), you will need to cut through the container to create a hinged lid. Where exactly you make that cut depends on the container you’re using. Keep in mind that you want at least 3 inches of soil in the bottom. Depending on how much room will be left for the plants to grow in, you might make your cut anywhere from 3.5 to 5 inches from the bottom. It’s handy to leave a few inches of plastic uncut so that the pieces stay together and to form a hinged lid.

This New All-Natural Fertilizer Doubles Garden Production!

Cover the bottom of your greenhouse with soil and wet it thoroughly. Let the soil drain before planting the seeds to the depth indicated on the seed packet. Once you have your seeds in, tape the sides of the container closed with duct tape. Labelling the containers is a good idea. Then it’s time to stick your greenhouses outside.

Choosing And Timing Seeds

Jessica over at The 104 Homestead has a very helpful zone-by-zone guide to help you choose seeds for winter sowing. Your best bets are hardy seeds, ones that require pre-chilling or stratification, or ones that produce seedlings that can withstand light frosts.

The Cheap Mini-Greenhouse That Makes Seed-Starting Easier

Photo: Jacki Andre

Depending on your zone, you can start putting your greenhouses out between the winter solstice (zones 6 and 7) and February (zone 3). Each month, as the weather grows warmer, you can sow different seeds. Typically, flowers can be planted the earliest, followed a month later by herbs and those seeds that require stratification. And then a month after that, you can get your frost-tolerant seeds in; and finally, about a month before the typical planting dates for your zone, the seeds for tender plants can be started. For myself, in zone 3, this means starting in February and wrapping up in late April.

To work on this project, I visited my local gardening center in January. Not surprisingly for zone 3, the selection of seeds there was limited. (Go online for a better selection.) I picked up what I could, and ended up putting out herb seeds a month earlier than recommended. We’ll see how they do. As for my future monthly greenhouses, I’m going to settle in with a steaming mug of tea and a gardening catalog, to do some research about which hardy varieties would be best to plant next. How about you? Will you give this a whirl, too?

Have you ever tried winter sowing? If so, what tips would you add? Share your thoughts in the section below:

Bust Inflation With A Low-Cost, High-Production Garden. Read More Here.

7 Smart New Year’s Resolutions Every Gardener Should Make

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7 New Year’s Resolutions Every Gardener Should Make

Image source: Pixabay.com

Are you making New Year’s resolutions this year? If so, consider making resolutions that could benefit your garden.

Here are seven:

1. Use what you have

Many people will say they want to have a garden but that they don’t have enough space. They just need a new perspective. You always can grow with what you have, whether it’s a small window box for herbs or microgreens indoors. There’s a variety of vegetables that will thrive in almost any space and that require minimal care.

Some plants may be harmful to your pets, though, so it is always recommended you do some research before you make a purchase if you plan to have indoor plants. If you really cannot have a garden in your home, you can reach out to your surrounding community, as there are often community gardens with plots available where you can plant and grow in an outdoor space.

2. Choose the right plants

Photos of gardens that look perfect might make you feel slightly jealous or incompetent as a gardener, but what you might not realize about those picture-perfect gardens is that the plants were selected for that specific region.

Looking For Non-GMO Vegetable Seeds? Get Them From A Family Company You Can Trust!

With this in mind, you want to choose the right plants for your climate. Do you live in a humid climate, or do you normally experience long, dry summers? If you can resolve to select the plants that thrive in the climate in which you live, then your garden is more likely to thrive – and it will be something you will want to show others.

3. Start your own compost bin

Some cities have rules regulating compost bins, and if so, there are smaller versions of personal compost bins available to keep in your kitchen or outdoor space.

Adding compost will definitely improve the quality of your soil – and garden.

4. Keep your tools in top shape

7 New Year’s Resolutions Every Gardener Should Make

Image source: Pixabay.com

If you live in a climate with distinguishable seasons, like summer, spring, fall and winter, then you can use the winter season to make sure all of your tools are in top shape — or replace any that might be getting old.

This way, you can begin gardening immediately when weather again becomes favorable. You don’t want to have to wait to plant during spring if you discover one of your beloved tools needs repaired or replaced.

5. Know what you’re planting

Different kinds of plants require different maintenance schedules, so take some time and learn about them. When should they be planted? What is their pruning schedule? How much water do they require? Appropriate pruning and maintenance is also essential for effective pest control.

6. Keep a garden diary

This isn’t like a mushy diary kind of thing, but instead focuses on when you planted it, when you watered it, when you noticed the first bud, etc.

This New All-Natural Fertilizer Doubles Garden Production!

You also could include the weather experienced in your area each day; this will help put a pattern together for effective gardening. By keeping track of your gardening, you will be able to see patterns of what worked and what didn’t so that you don’t make the same mistake twice.

7. Create a garden scrapbook

You might take digital photographs of your gardens, but do you actually print any of them out? Start printing them. When you do this and put them into a photo album or scrapbook, you will have memories to look back on during those cold winter days.

Also, by having memories of what you garden looked like last year, you can make plans to change or reorganize your garden next season. These memories will give you beautiful photographs you can set on a desk or table around your home, and they will brighten up any room with your very own artwork.

What gardening resolutions are you making? Share your suggestions in the section below:

Bust Inflation With A Low-Cost, High-Production Garden. Read More Here.

Creating Goals for Your Best Garden Ever

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The first step to creating your best garden ever is knowing what you want and setting goals to get there. Too often we make goals for things like finances and education, but we don’t realize that we can use goal-setting to improve many aspects of our lives. Have you ever actually stopped to think about your vegetable gardening goals? Let’s take a quick look at some of the common motivations for gardening first, because that’s the basis of your goals. Getting outside Digging in the dirt is a wonderful way to get outside, get some fresh air and gentle exercise,

7 Ways To Hide Your Survival Garden

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7 Ways To Hide Your Survival Garden Survival gardens will be a major or only source of food for you and your family when shit hits the fan. You will have to do all you can to protect and guard your garden. Indoor gardens normally stay more safe and hidden from unwanted eyes. But if …

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DIY Vertical Garden Design Step By Step Tutorial Instructions

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DIY Vertical Garden Design Step By Step Tutorial Instructions Believe it or not folks, spring will be here before you know it. That means its time to start planning your garden. I can’t wait to start planting my survival garden this year. I came across this awesome DIY project that I am going to be …

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How To Build an Awesome Garden Pond

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How To Build an Awesome Garden Pond Garden ponds are not just for avid gardeners, they act as great water reservoirs that need little maintenance. Garden ponds can hold water to irrigate plants you have growing in your garden, or in a drastic water crisis, provide water for the family. Keep in mind that the …

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