Stacking Functions: Increasing Efficiency with Multi-Function Spaces

Click here to view the original post.

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.

The post Stacking Functions: Increasing Efficiency with Multi-Function Spaces appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

Eight Efficient Food Crops to Grow

Click here to view the original post.

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 …

Continue reading »

The post Eight Efficient Food Crops to Grow appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

Growing Rice 101 – Free PDF

Click here to view the original post.

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 …

Continue reading »

The post Growing Rice 101 – Free PDF appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

8 Best Vegetables for Small Space Gardening

Click here to view the original post.

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 […]

The post 8 Best Vegetables for Small Space Gardening appeared first on Urban Survival Site.

Suburban Micro-Farm (Book Review)

Click here to view the original post.

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

Click here to view the original post.

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. …

Continue reading »

The post How to Build a 50 Dollar Greenhouse appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

Mary’s Heirloom Seeds Giveaway

Click here to view the original post.
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 […]

The post Mary’s Heirloom Seeds Giveaway appeared first on PreparednessMama.

Why Bamboo Could Save Your Life

Click here to view the original post.

 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 …

Continue reading »

The post Why Bamboo Could Save Your Life appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

How To Stop Invasive Plants From Taking Over Your Garden

Click here to view the original post.

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 …

Continue reading »

The post How To Stop Invasive Plants From Taking Over Your Garden appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

The Top 5 Myths about Organic Gardening

Click here to view the original post.

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 …

Continue reading »

The post The Top 5 Myths about Organic Gardening appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

How To Grow Ten Tons of Organic Vegetables!

Click here to view the original post.

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 …

Continue reading »

The post How To Grow Ten Tons of Organic Vegetables! appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

DIY 5-Gallon Chicken Waterer

Click here to view the original post.

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, …

Continue reading »

The post DIY 5-Gallon Chicken Waterer appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

How To Grow Food In One Container All Year Round

Click here to view the original post.

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 …

Continue reading »

The post How To Grow Food In One Container All Year Round appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

17 Natural Antibiotics Our Grandparents Used Instead Of Pills

Click here to view the original post.

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 …

Continue reading »

The post 17 Natural Antibiotics Our Grandparents Used Instead Of Pills appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

13 Survival Foods That Will Outlast You

Click here to view the original post.

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 …

Continue reading »

The post 13 Survival Foods That Will Outlast You appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

From a Complete Newbie to a Confident Canner

Click here to view the original post.

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 …

Continue reading »

The post From a Complete Newbie to a Confident Canner appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

How to Grow Your Own Herbs for Cooking

Click here to view the original post.

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 …

Continue reading »

The post How to Grow Your Own Herbs for Cooking appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

7 Reasons to Grow Corn in a Survival Garden

Click here to view the original post.

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 …

Continue reading »

The post 7 Reasons to Grow Corn in a Survival Garden appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

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

Click here to view the original post.

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 …

Continue reading »

The post How Much Should You Plant In Your Garden To Provide A Year’s Worth Of Food? appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

DIY Simple Soda Bottle Mousetrap

Click here to view the original post.

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 …

Continue reading »

The post DIY Simple Soda Bottle Mousetrap appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

Calculating the Cost of Growing Your Own Food

Click here to view the original post.

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 …

Continue reading »

The post Calculating the Cost of Growing Your Own Food appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

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

Click here to view the original post.

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. 

1 total views, 1 views today

Rate this article!


[Total: 0    Average: 0/5]

Eight efficient food crops to grow

Click here to view the original post.

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

Click here to view the original post.
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 […]

The post 10 Things to do While Waiting to Garden appeared first on PreparednessMama.

An Incredible New Garden Website For Gardeners, By Gardeners!

Click here to view the original post.

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

Click here to view the original post.

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 …

Continue reading »

The post 7 Herbs You Can Grow Indoors Year-Round appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

Six Planning Tips for Starting a Garden from Scratch

Click here to view the original post.

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 …

Continue reading »

The post Six Planning Tips for Starting a Garden from Scratch appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

How To Make a Barbecue Planter

Click here to view the original post.

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. …

Continue reading »

The post How To Make a Barbecue Planter appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

Late Winter and Early Spring Checklist For Prepping The Gardens

Click here to view the original post.

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 …

Continue reading »

The post Late Winter and Early Spring Checklist For Prepping The Gardens appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

Amazing Tips for Winter Composting

Click here to view the original post.

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 …

Continue reading »

The post Amazing Tips for Winter Composting appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

12 Fastest Growing Vegetables

Click here to view the original post.

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 …

Continue reading »

The post 12 Fastest Growing Vegetables appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

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

Click here to view the original post.

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

Click here to view the original post.

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.

The post Plant These Edible Flowers in Your Garden Now appeared first on Preparedness Advice.

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

Click here to view the original post.
Grow Lights Explained: Here's What You’re Doing That's Wrong

Image source: gehl-led.com

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

Click here to view the original post.

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 …

Continue reading »

The post How To Build And Why You Need A Ladybug Garden appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

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

Click here to view the original post.

“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

Click here to view the original post.
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 […]

The post DIY Dry Banana Peels as Fertilizer appeared first on PreparednessMama.

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

Click here to view the original post.

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

Click here to view the original post.
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

Click here to view the original post.

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 …

Continue reading »

The post DIY Solar Heated Garden Bed appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

Seed Packets: Big Gardening Lessons Packed in a Small Space

Click here to view the original post.
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 […]

The post Seed Packets: Big Gardening Lessons Packed in a Small Space appeared first on PreparednessMama.

100% Natural Flea Killer For The Home And Garden

Click here to view the original post.

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 …

Continue reading »

The post 100% Natural Flea Killer For The Home And Garden appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

Survival Gardening: How To Plan Your Low Water Garden

Click here to view the original post.

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. 

6 total views, 4 views today

Rate this article!


[Total: 0    Average: 0/5]

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

Click here to view the original post.

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

The post 2 Insanely Simple Ways To Live Healthier, Have Less Stress & More Cash! appeared first on Old World Garden Farms.

10 Organic Foods That Aren’t Worth Buying

Click here to view the original post.

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 …

Continue reading »

The post 10 Organic Foods That Aren’t Worth Buying appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

The Cheap Mini-Greenhouse That Makes Seed-Starting Easier

Click here to view the original post.
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

Click here to view the original post.
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

Click here to view the original post.

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

Click here to view the original post.

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 …

Continue reading »

The post 7 Ways To Hide Your Survival Garden appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

DIY Vertical Garden Design Step By Step Tutorial Instructions

Click here to view the original post.

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 …

Continue reading »

The post DIY Vertical Garden Design Step By Step Tutorial Instructions appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

How To Build an Awesome Garden Pond

Click here to view the original post.

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 …

Continue reading »

The post How To Build an Awesome Garden Pond appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

10 Reasons Why Low Tunnels Beat Cold Frames for Winter Gardening

Click here to view the original post.

10 Reasons Why Low Tunnels Beat Cold Frames for Winter Gardening Fresh produce is key to a nutritious diet, but those who grow their own vegetables know how much of a challenge it can be. Whether you’re homesteading or prepping, it is a great idea to get your own garden established as soon as possible …

Continue reading »

The post 10 Reasons Why Low Tunnels Beat Cold Frames for Winter Gardening appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

Trench Tomato Planting – How To Plant Tomato Horizontally

Click here to view the original post.

Trench Tomato Planting – How To Plant Tomato Horizontally Anyone who has grown tomatoes can tell you that they tend to be sensitive, and fruit production can be unpredictable. The traditional vertical method of growing tomatoes ensures sunlight exposure to more surface area of the plant, but sometimes water and other nutrients are not able …

Continue reading »

The post Trench Tomato Planting – How To Plant Tomato Horizontally appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

Small Spaces Survival: Growing Food Upside Down

Click here to view the original post.

survivopedia-small-spaces-survival-growing-food-upside-down

One of the most basic supplies that you’ll need in the event that SHTF is food, but living in an apartment or small area can make it tough to grow your own.

You can build a standard vertical garden, and you can do a terrarium, but it may seem that you don’t have many options.

That is, unless you’re willing to think outside the box and turn traditional gardening upside down! Literally!

What is an Upside Down Garden?

I’m sure you never saw your granny growing her tomatoes upside down while lettuce was growing above it, but that’s just because she never thought of it. Upside down gardening is exactly what it sounds like – you grow your plants out of the bottom of the planter instead of the top. Think of it as doubling your vertical gardening space.

Maybe you’ve seen the kits for these at your local superstore or garden center, but those are almost exclusively for tomatoes.

This space-saving food solution lasts for years with just 10 minutes of work per day.

There are several other fruits, veggies, and herbs that grow great in this manner, which means that you can nearly double your growing space without taking up any extra square feet!

Video first seen Yewtoobnube’s channel

In addition to practically doubling your growing opportunities without eating up more space, growing plants upside down had a couple of other advantages. First, the plants aren’t touching the ground so you don’t have to worry so much about mold, rot, or insect infestation.

Upside down plants also grow more vigorously, they’re easier to water, and you don’t have to break your back weeding them or tilling a garden. Finally, the fruits, veggies, and herbs are easier to access. Just pluck them off the plant. No bending, twisting, or kneeling. All in all, they have all of the same benefits of standard container gardening and then some.

Upside down garden

What Plants Grow Well Upside Down?

Though it seems weird to think of any plant growing upside down, just about any plant that has a sturdy root system and a decent-sized stem will do well. Here are some of the best:

  • Tomatoes
  • Cucumbers
  • Peppers
  • Strawberries (ever-bearing plants are great!)
  • Eggplants
  • Zucchini
  • Summer squash
  • Pole Beans
  • Bush Beans
  • Herbs with a Sturdy Stalk (Basil, Parsley, Lemon Verbena, etc.)
  • Parsley
  • Creeping Herbs (Oregano, Thyme, etc.)

Blueberries can also be grown upside down, but they have some specific growing requirements, so make sure your zone meets these, or make arrangements to artificially emulate their needs.

The only thing that you need to consider is weight of the produce. Larger varieties of eggplants and peppers may need to be picked when they’re still a bit small to keep them from breaking off the plant. Other than that, you’ll be surprised at how well most plants do upside down.

Compatible Plants for the Top

Since the name of the game is maximizing growing space, don’t waste all that real estate up top. You can grow lettuce, peppers, herbs, onions, garlic and any other plant that isn’t going to grow far enough over the sides that they become entangled with their upside down planter mates. This is something that you may just want to play with.

Oh, and if you aren’t desperate for edible plant space, you can always grow flowers such as petunias in the top to make the entire display even more beautiful.

How do I Grow an Upside Down Garden?

Excellent question. There are many different designs that you can choose from but most of them are extremely simple. You can even do an internet search and make your own from burlap bags, hanging baskets, terra cotta pots, or even plastic buckets in a size suitable to the plant. The only requirement is that container is large enough and strong enough to support the weight of the dirt and the full-grown plant.

Now, you may be thinking, “How in the world do I start a plant upside down?” Another great question. You can’t use seeds – you have to use seedlings of small plants.

To get started, you need to drill a hole or holes in the bottom of your container. Depending on the size of the plant or the container, you may be able to plant more than on plant per container. Just keep in mind the size of the roots and of the mature plant.

To grow tomatoes, cucumbers, and other large plants in a 3 or 5 gallon bucket, drill a two inch hole in the middle of the bucket. For smaller plants such as strawberries, you can put smaller holes (1 1/2 inches in diameter or so) every few inches around the bottom of the bucket. If you’re using long planters, you can plant tomatoes et al. every 12 inches or so. When you’re drilling your holes, keep in mind the size of your seedlings or young plants.

You really want to choose plants that will fit safely through a hole no bigger than 2 inches because there’s this thing called gravity that will pull your roots and soil through the hole. You can combat this fairly easily, but only if you keep the hole small.

To do that, you’ll need something that will fit across the hole to keep your plant secure until its roots are large enough to do the job. Whatever you use will also help keep the dirt from washing out through the hole when you water it.

I chose to use scraps of denim from a pair of jeans that I was going to throw away, but you can also use landscaping fabric, newspaper, a coffee filter, or whatever else you have handy. Just make sure that it’s something you’d be safe drinking water through.

I lined the entire bottom of my bucket with it, but you don’t need it to be that big; just 6 inches or so in diameter so that there’s enough extra fabric for the dirt to hold in place. Cut a 2-inch (max) slit in the fabric and slip your plant through it so that it divides the plant from the roots. Keep the slit as small as possible for maximum performance.

Next, gently push your plant through the hole in the bucket and adjust it so that the roots are completely confined within the bucket. Push your fabric down against the bottom of the bucket, then fill the container to within a couple of inches of the top with soil and compost.

Video first seen on subtac

What to Grow in the Top of your Planter

If your goal is to maximize your growing space, this is the most important part of all because you still have all of that dirt real estate at the top of the bucket or planter. There are only two things that you need to consider here when you’re deciding what to plant on top: watering needs and root size. Oh, and compatibility.

Most plants grow well together, but there are a few that just won’t play nice. For example, garlic onions (all varieties, including shallots) stunt the growth of all types of beans and peas. Onions and mint shouldn’t be grown with asparagus. Cucumbers are mean to fresh herbs. Pole beans and mustard don’t work well with beets. Cabbage of all varieties inhibits strawberries. This isn’t an inclusive list, but it’s a start.

Research before you plant so that you know if your plants are compatible and if they share similar watering and lighting needs. Also, make sure that they don’t have such long roots that they get root-bound. You can avoid that by using the right size container and leaving plenty of space for the roots to spread from both top and bottom.

Growing food upside down is a great solution for the problem of growing food in small spaces. It’s also great for people who have difficulty bending, squatting, or performing other physical activities required by traditional gardens. All you really need to do is water and occasionally fertilize if necessary. Voila!

One of the benefits that I enjoy the most is that if you hang these around your porch, they provide natural, beautiful shade and privacy.

Grow your own food, save space, and you don’t even need a yard!

This article has been written by Theresa Crouse for Survivopedia. 

2 total views, 2 views today

Rate this article!


[Total: 0    Average: 0/5]

10 Reasons Seed Catalogs are Still Relevant Today

Click here to view the original post.
10 Reasons seed catalogs are still relevant in the age of online shopping | PreparednessMama

Garden Dreaming?  Use Seed Catalogs for Ideas to Plan Your Garden 10 Reasons seed catalogs are still relevant in the age of online shopping. These weeks after Christmas are one of my most favorite times of the year. I love the possibilities of the New Year and the way we are naturally encouraged to start […]

The post 10 Reasons Seed Catalogs are Still Relevant Today appeared first on PreparednessMama.

Specific Seed Saving Instructions for Common Vegetables

Click here to view the original post.

Specific Seed Saving Instructions for Common Vegetables If you grow your own garden every year and always wondered how to save the seeds, this is your article. If you are a prepper, this article will show you how to collect and store the seeds from common vegetables. It is vital that we save the seeds …

Continue reading »

The post Specific Seed Saving Instructions for Common Vegetables appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

A Collection Of Cool Things To Do With Stinging Nettles

Click here to view the original post.

A Collection Of Cool Things To Do With Stinging Nettles Stinging nettles have been around from the beginning of time, they hurt us a kid but these green wild plants can actually be very useful in the kitchen. Here is something that I have just found out today! Stinging nettles actually have a similar flavor to that …

Continue reading »

The post A Collection Of Cool Things To Do With Stinging Nettles appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

Leaf Mold and How it Can Help Your Soil

Click here to view the original post.

Leaf Mold and How it Can Help Your Soil Have you ever considered allowing your leaves to break down and become leaf mold? Although it might sound funny, allowing your leaves to molder will ease them into becoming a wonderful rectification for soil. Easily recognized as being dilapidated leaves of brackish colors, leaf mold is …

Continue reading »

The post Leaf Mold and How it Can Help Your Soil appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

30 Things You Should Never Compost or Recycle

Click here to view the original post.

30 Things You Should Never Compost or Recycle Composting is an economical, green way to fertilize your garden, and it is essential for homesteaders to know how to properly compost.  Most homesteaders are pretty isolated, so it’s is very inconvenient and expensive to go out and buy fertilizer.  Another thing that some new homesteaders don’t …

Continue reading »

The post 30 Things You Should Never Compost or Recycle appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

How To Build an Underground Greenhouse (Multiple Designs!)

Click here to view the original post.

How To Build an Underground Greenhouse (Multiple Designs!) Growing your own food isn’t difficult in the summer, but winter gardening is a lot more complicated. It is made infinitely easier when you have a space that is insulated from the elements. The below article shows many examples of people who have built underground Greenhouses, sometimes …

Continue reading »

The post How To Build an Underground Greenhouse (Multiple Designs!) appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

Trench Composting Basics

Click here to view the original post.
Trench Composting is an easy and inexpensive way to get nutrients into your garden soil when you don't have room for a compost bin. | PreparednessMama

When you don’t have room for a compost bin. Trench Composting is an easy and inexpensive way to get nutrients into your garden soil when you don’t have room for a compost bin. Many years ago in another city, I made friends with a wise master gardener. She had the same love of gardening that […]

The post Trench Composting Basics appeared first on PreparednessMama.

20 Unusual Uses For Everyday Herbs

Click here to view the original post.

20 Unusual Uses For Everyday Herbs Herbs are so much more than a garnish. This article will show you 20 unusual uses for everyday herbs… Take these 10 herbs and you’ve got yourself 20 different ways to tackle everyday issues, from keeping mice away to treating the common cold. Herbs are so easy to grow, …

Continue reading »

The post 20 Unusual Uses For Everyday Herbs appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

How to Eat and Grow Pomegranate – an Amazing Fruit for Food and Medicine

Click here to view the original post.

How to Eat and Grow Pomegranate – an Amazing Fruit for Food and Medicine When it comes to survival foods, you’ll want to grow pomegranate. If you don’t have the space to grow your own, or your not in the ideal pomegranate growing zones 7-10, then you can add this to your list of foods …

Continue reading »

The post How to Eat and Grow Pomegranate – an Amazing Fruit for Food and Medicine appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

3 Secret Food Sources for When SHTF

Click here to view the original post.

I’m looking at what’s happening in places like Syria and Venezuela these days and I am shocked at how disaster looks for these people. Buses going into Aleppo to evacuate people amid bombing? Venezuelans having Internet but no food? I don’t care what your prepping philosophy is, you have to admit that these two SHTF … Read more…

The post 3 Secret Food Sources for When SHTF was written by Bob Rodgers and appeared first on Prepper’s Will.

How To Build A Vertical Aquaponic System

Click here to view the original post.

How To Build A Vertical Aquaponic System You can turn a small yard, a corner in a community garden or an unused space in your home into a thriving vertical farm for vegetables and fish. A household-sized vertical aquaponic system can fit into a 3ft by 5ft (1m x 2m) area and feed a family year-round. …

Continue reading »

The post How To Build A Vertical Aquaponic System appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

Build A Badass Shed With A Front Porch

Click here to view the original post.

How To Build A Badass Shed With A Front Porch Do you happen to spend a lot of time in your shed? It’s not uncommon to keep tools or projects you’re working on here, or even additional personal belongings that didn’t quite make the cut for being used inside the house. Whatever you store in …

Continue reading »

The post Build A Badass Shed With A Front Porch appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

How To Grow And Make Your Own Tobacco

Click here to view the original post.

How To Grow And Make Your Own Tobacco To get started, you need seeds or transplants. If you live in tobacco country, you might be able to buy some transplants locally; otherwise, you need to seed your own. Unfortunately, starting tobacco from seed isn’t the easiest thing in the world – yet it’s not as …

Continue reading »

The post How To Grow And Make Your Own Tobacco appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

The Indoor ‘Egyptian Secret’ That Grows Vegetables 30 Percent Faster

Click here to view the original post.
The Indoor ‘Egyptian Secret’ That Grows Vegetables 30 Percent Faster

Image source: Pixabay.com

When you live in a climate that experiences changes in climate, you know that there’s a limited time of year where you can successfully garden. By using hydroponic technology, you can grow a garden in the winter — and you can do it without soil. Hydroponics is an indoor gardening system that is completely soil-free and can be kept year-round. With this system you can grow pretty much any type of plant you’d like, as the only limitation is the amount of space you have in your home.

What Is A Hydroponic Garden?

Have you ever put a part of a plant clipping into a glass of water and watch it develop roots? This is, essentially, hydroponic gardening. Plants get nutrients from soil normally, but with this type of gardening the nutrients are dissolved into water or another nutrient solution rich with minerals. Depending on the system you have set up, the plants even may grow better than in a soil-based garden.

This technique for growing plants is not new and was actually used by ancient Egyptians many years ago.

How Does It Work?

The Indoor ‘Egyptian Secret’ That Grows Vegetables 30 Percent Faster

Image source: Pixabay.com

These systems work by using nutrients dissolved into water (or another mineral-rich solution) using mediums like expanded clay pebbles, gravel or mineral wool. Plants are grown with their roots in the solution while the plant itself is supported above the solution.

As long as the plant receives the nutrients it needs to grow, the soil really isn’t needed. This type of gardening allows for plants to grow in greenhouses or entire buildings dedicated to agriculture – or in your basement. Since, for some avid gardeners, space or environment might be the biggest roadblock to successful outdoor gardening, this system allows for everyone to garden year-round regardless of how much space they have.

Getting Started

Setting up a hydroponic system is not a small task, and it requires a consistently dedicated space within your home. While this type of gardening might be intriguing to you, you might find yourself asking whether it’s worth it to go through all of this when so many people can successfully garden the regular way with soil.

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

The biggest, and probably most obvious, benefit to this type of gardening is that it allows you to grow plants where regular agriculture just isn’t possible, such as in urban centers or northern climates where farmland isn’t plentiful or fresh produce isn’t readily available due to environmental factors.

Aquaponics: The Secret To Growing More Food Than You Can Eat

The second benefit from these kinds of system is for the environment. Studies have shown that hydroponics uses approximately 10 percent of the amount of water that its soil-based equivalents do. And since these systems do not require any kind of pesticide, there aren’t any chemicals or other damaging agents released into the air.

Finally – and for some gardeners most significantly – plants grow faster and produce a greater yield through hydroponics. When set up right, hydroponics plants will grow about 30-50 percent faster than ones planted in a soil-based garden.

There is more than one kind of hydroponic system, and which one you select will depend on what is right for you. The kinds of systems you can set up are:

  • Wick systems
  • Aeroponics
  • Drip systems
  • Nutrient film technique
  • Ebb and flow systems

Story continues below video

 

 

Hydroponic systems are flexible and can be created on a large or small scale to fit your space and budget. Even better, most of the equipment needed to start a hydroponics system can be purchased from gardening centers or home improvement stores, so you don’t need to place special orders or have everything shipped to you.

Have you ever planted a hydroponics garden? What advice would you add on getting started? Share your tips in the section below:

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

Grow a Lemon Tree from a Seed (Indoors, too!)

Click here to view the original post.

Grow a Lemon Tree from a Seed (Indoors, too!) Citrus fruits are full of essential vitamins, great for recipes, and are a lovely addition to your garden.  Some varieties, like lemon trees, can also be grown indoors.  If you’re trying to be self-sufficient and you start everything from scratch, buying a tree from a garden center …

Continue reading »

The post Grow a Lemon Tree from a Seed (Indoors, too!) appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

Educational DIY Mini Grass Houses for Kids

Click here to view the original post.

Educational DIY Mini Grass Houses for Kids Prepping can be challenging with small children in the family.  Keeping them busy and entertained can be quite the job, and you already have plenty of work to do.  At some point, you may even want to get the kids involved in gardening.  Wouldn’t it be great to …

Continue reading »

The post Educational DIY Mini Grass Houses for Kids appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

Rick Austin Secret Garden of Survival

Click here to view the original post.

Rick Austin, Secret Garden of Survival Forrest & Kyle “The Prepping Academy” Audio in player below! During Forrest trip to Prepper Camp he was able to meet a lot of interesting folks. And he even managed to convince a few in to being on the show. This guest needs little introduction if you’ve ever seen the … Continue reading Rick Austin Secret Garden of Survival

The post Rick Austin Secret Garden of Survival appeared first on Prepper Broadcasting |Network.

35 Creative Ways To Recycle Wooden Pallets

Click here to view the original post.

35 Creative Ways To Recycle Wooden Pallets When you’re sticking to a self-sufficient, green, and economic lifestyle, you become familiar with salvaging and repurposing materials. Pallets are great for repurposing since they have a sturdy build and are usually made out of quality wood. They make for easy repurposing if they are in decent shape, …

Continue reading »

The post 35 Creative Ways To Recycle Wooden Pallets appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

Feeding the Beast During SHTF – Soups & Substitutions

Click here to view the original post.

Written by R. Ann Parris on The Prepper Journal.

Sometimes we may feel pigeonholed or daunted by the storage foods we can afford, or overwhelmed by how we’re going to use those storage foods without the endless repetition taking a toll. Here are some formulas and ideas for turning common storage foods into actual meals, increasing the variety of meals we can make with a few standard ingredients, and some substitutions that can lower our costs or improve the serving size, nutrition, and flavor of our cooking.

I’m not a big baker and I don’t thrill to the stove top – only the dinner table. Given the amount of work a lot of us are going to be doing just hauling water where it’s needed, plus the labor of gardens and any animals, rearing our children, cooking from scratch, cleaning without a dishwasher and washer-dryer, I’m planning to go simple with a lot of my cooking. So even if you’re not a big cook, there are ideas here that can help, ideas that can be made even with off-grid cooking methods.

Replacements

While I’ll get into some specifics in a minute or two, one thing to consider in our disaster cooking is simple substitutions.

Wheat is commonly pushed for home storage due to the price and condensed calories, and then people feel obligated to buy a grinder, and then they feel like slackers for not practicing their home-ground wheat flour bread options. I do think we should practice what we plan to use, but I don’t think everybody with buckets of wheat actually has to view it as only a future bread dough.

Wheat can be boiled and served with the same seasonings as every side dish, from herbed buttered noodles to fried rice.

Whole wheat berries & fruit in cream

Wheat berry & white bean soup

It can also be boiled to be part of or replace oatmeal and cream of wheat (soaking it overnight will make it boil faster in the morning).

If there’s a soup that calls for barley, couscous, or rice, wheat will work there, too, and cooks in about the same amount of time as barley, maybe a hair longer if it’s stored oxygen free and is older than 2-3 years (45-60 minutes usually, without a pre-soak).

Having an alternative use for the first 50-300# (or more) of wheat can buy us a little more time before we get pushed into buying not only a good grain mill, but then all the replacements for it.

Point in fact, most of our grains, from starchy dent corn to barley, wheat to quinoa, and amaranth to rice are fairly interchangeable. They take different times to cook in some cases, they definitely have their own flavors, but there’s little that can’t be made to work for any of them.

Likewise, spaghetti can be very easily used in place of an Oriental noodle, especially whole-grain spaghetti or angel hair pasta. That’s pretty handy, since even the good stuff is pretty cheap, and two pounds of spaghetti stores in about the same space than two packages of ramen.

Those substitutions exist all over.

And once we do get our grain mill, don’t neglect the other things in the pantry.

We can grind dry oats – even rolled oats – to replace part of our flour as well.

Old dry beans that don’t want to soften can be turned into flour to replace a quarter or a third of a recipe, either bread or fry batter or even for gravies.

Until recent times, we used flours from barley and maize as often as we did wheat, and a lot of the world still uses them – just as often or as a partial replacement for flavoring. So can boiled or roasted acorns. We can grind dry oats – even rolled oats – to replace part of our flour as well. Doing so can sometimes to often improve the protein components of our foods, decrease the glycemic index, and help us use something that’s not really moving in our pantries.

That inexpensive oatmeal can also be turned into homemade granola bars, muffins, and griddle cakes, decreasing the amount of flour we need to use and providing a fork or finger-food in a world of spoons.

Recipes

When seeking out recipes specifically for preppers, a fair number use a lot of ingredients or require a fair bit of prep. Call me lazy, but I’m just not there, even in today’s world. Camping and backpacking recipes regularly seem to call for things we might not have on hand anymore, too, and a lot of perishable foods these days.

One, a lot of the no-fire, no-gas cooking methods really lend themselves to such. Two, the less ingredients and effort, the more time reading with kids, playing a game, or sitting with my eyes closed listening. I kind of like those options better.

Pioneer Soup

If you’ve heard of 3-5-7 can soups, you’re familiar with this. It’s basically just a rule of thumb to help check the boxes on the main “eating” components:

  • Filling/satiety
  • Fast-access energy
  • Slow-access energy
  • Proteins
  • Vitamins

The general concept is to pull 1-2 items from each category to make sure the body is getting all the nutrients it needs, which is increased by consuming a rainbow. That said, even I don’t make broth with just one seasoning. Still, the lists from the guidelines can help.

One that I ran across breaks it into “Five F’s”:

  • Fat: Oil, margarine, butter, lard, tallow, fatty meat (bacon, salt pork, hocks)
  • Flavor Root/Shoot: Garlic, onion, scallion, celery/celeriac, turmeric
  • Flavor Leaf: parsley, marjoram, thyme, oregano, basil, nasturtium
  • Filler (starches): Potato, pasta, grains & corn, pseudo-grains, cattail root
  • Fuel (protein): Legumes (beans, peas, lentils), jerky, meat sticks/sausage, ham, fish, game

The breakdowns are nice as more than a check-box guide to make sure nutritional needs are being met.

Sometimes soup get pigeonholed, which is a shame, because from a creamy red bean and rice soup to veggie to chicken-noodle to some of the Oriental soups and things like borsch and solyanka, we have a ton of options available to us. Even working off of simple, cheap, condensed-calorie prepper staples and garden veggies or wild edibles, we can present a huge variety.

Alternating what we combine and even how we serve it can help avoid appetite fatigue, which is another aspect where limiting ourselves to 1-2 items from each category can help.

How we present soups can make a big difference as well, creating significantly different feels to meals even with the exact same ingredients, or very minor twitches.

That applies whether we use the 5-F method, or one of the other guides.

One of those other common formulas for pioneer soup breaks it into three fuel categories – the primary fats, proteins, starches – and then three filler (belly filling, short on calories) and flavor components:

Veggies – tomatoes, tomato powder, green beans, carrots, zucchini, yellow squash, radish and mustard sprouts, cooking/roasting radishes, autumn squash, bell peppers, salsify, turnip, parsnip, beets, etc.

Leafy Greens – spinach, beet tops, lettuce, swiss chard, mizuna, cabbage, endive, turnip tops, dandelion, plantain, nettles, borage, leeks, ramps, radish tops, water or upland cress, mustard greens, mache/corn salad, sweet pea leaves, dock, kale, sprouts

Herbs & Seasonings – tart/sour berries, garden herbs, cress, wild onions, hot radishes, horseradish, onion, garlic, ground or cracked mustard seed, modern-day seasoning blends & stock bones

Soup Alternates

Part of what makes soup an economy food is that the broth helps us feel full and increases the satisfaction from the meal.

That said, we can break apart our general standard for pioneer or 7-can soup and still get the benefits of economical belly filling balance and variety.

A pasta salad can easily be made from storage foods and fresh garden or foraged goodies, especially if we plan ahead for something like powdered Parmesan cheese that can be a pick-me-up. Three or four roasted autumn veggies on a pile of fresh or wilted leafy greens creates another fork-ready meal.

We can turn our protein component into a creamed soup or just serve a broth beside either of them to get some of the belly filling aspects back, or incorporate dried beans or cut-up dry sausage (or Slim Jims).

Shrimp Tacos

Likewise, we can turn simple ash cakes or thinned-down Bisquick into tortillas or crepes, mix up a cabbage slaw, and bust open a can of small shrimp to sear in fajita spices as a pick me up. Just a few shrimp and a couple of tacos can provide the mental boost of a non-spoon meal, even served with a pile of rice on the side and-or a cup of spicy black bean puree soup.

Instant Potatoes

Potato buds that say they’re ready to eat and just need water are telling bald-faced lies. That said, instant mashed potatoes are in a lot of kits and come pretty inexpensively on their own. Even without extra seasonings and evaporated milk for them, instant potatoes have a lot of value, especially in conjunction with our pioneer soups.

One, little says I love you like a wedge of shepherd’s pie. We can use those general basic flavorings to make a brothier version to make it stretch further, or increase the veggies beyond the usual ratios.

We can also indulge in things like a broth-heavy roasted marrow meal or just serve our Bear Creek or homemade beef or veggie soup with a happy mound of potatoes to the side or right in the middle. The seasonings from the soups will (hopefully) help mask the bland flavor, and it creates a different presentation – which is good for the mental aspects of eating, especially if a lot of our diet is rice and beans and boiled wheat.

Two, instant potatoes can be turned into goodies like potato pancakes. Or, we can mix them as directed (even in cold water; they’ll absorb it in a minute) and then bake them off to create a pseudo-dumpling or biscuit with little effort and little clean-up.

Instant potatoes can be turned into goodies like potato pancakes.

Instant potatoes also make a great thickener for our soups. We can use them to create a gravy-like broth or to imitate a creamed soup or chowder. They can also make a nice, easy flavor and calorie base for standard potato chowder without taking as much time as potatoes would to cook and mash.

Assortment of foodstuffs with a high fiber content, including various fruits and vegetables, wholemeal bread and baked beans.

Emergency Foods

While things like soup and the common basics for food storage focus around economy, it doesn’t mean we have to break the bank to jazz it up one way or another. We can avoid falling into ruts – now and later – by figuring out new ways to use the items we already have.

We can apply a little creativity and still get meals that offer variety by adding in a few things like a variety of pasta and some feel-good seasonings like powdered parm and fajita spices. Spices and sauces like soy, Dale’s, Old Bay (or the generic) and Adobo powder pack a lot of bang for the buck. We can make use of things like hot radishes, sprouts, microgreens, and wild edibles to season and bulk up our serving sizes.

We can also ease our workloads by harkening back to pottage with soups, casseroles, and one-pot meals.

In some cases, examining where we stand on our preparedness arc and how balanced our preparedness health wheels are invaluable, because it can help us decide if we need something expensive like a good grinder or a wood stove, or if our storage is at a point where a smaller set of fixes makes more sense – at least for now. Being able to buy inexpensive foods like grains, pasta and dry beans, and still create filling, varied, satisfying meals out of them, can help open up the budget for those items.

If you liked this article, please rate it.

The post Feeding the Beast During SHTF – Soups & Substitutions appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

10 TO DOs In Winter For Your Survival Garden

Click here to view the original post.

Winter Gardening Dos

You’ve worked hard to improve your soil, pick your seeds, and plant your survival garden. But now temperatures are dropping. Winter is here.

You don’t want all of your gardening efforts to be wasted during this harsh season. There are steps you can take to maintain and protect your survival garden this winter.

Taking care of your garden and orchard in the winter takes a little work, but it’ll be worth it in the spring when your overwintered plants are still alive.

You’ll have a head start on next spring’s planting, and you will be able to provide more food for your family.

Keep a close eye on the temperature during the winter months—the lower the temperatures, the more work you’ll have to do.

1. Care for Perennial Plants

If you’ve planted perennials like asparagus or rhubarb in your garden, you’ll be overwintering some plants. These will need protection from the freezing weather.

Once the ground has gotten cold, ensure that you’ve cut back these plants. Then cover them with four or five inches of a natural mulch. You can use:

  • Straw
  • Hay
  • Leaves
  • Wood that’s been chipped
  • Shredded pine needles

The mulch will protect your plants from the temperatures that can change rapidly in winter. You don’t want your plants to constantly freeze and thaw throughout the winter. Mulch helps keep their temperature more constant.

It also provides warmth for the roots. By protecting the roots of your plants from freezing, you’ll give them a much better chance of winter survival.

In addition to protecting your plants, the mulch will also provide nutrients to your soil. Just be sure to uncover your plants when spring comes. Then, you’ll want the mulch to be around the plants instead of on-top of them.

You’ll also need to continue watering your plants if you aren’t getting precipitation regularly. While plants don’t need as much water in the cooler temperatures, they do need some. Plan on a deep watering session at least once a week if the ground has begun to thaw and you don’t have a snowpack.

2. Start Your Seedlings

If your growing season is short, you’ll want to maximize it by starting your plants indoors this winter.  Before planting, you’ll want to ensure you have containers that drain well and good soil.

You’ll want to time this step right so your seedlings can be transported directly to your garden when they’re the right size. If you have gardening neighbors, ask them for advice on when to start plants. Otherwise you can check with your county extension agencies or online resources.

Start Your Survival Garden And Never Worry About Food Again – Read More! 

3. Keep Pests Away

Winter’s freeze doesn’t eliminate the threat of pests to your garden. Some insects, such as the tomato hornworm and squash vine borer, burrow underground for the cold season. If you had a pest problem before winter, you might find yourself with an even bigger one come spring.

One strategy to eliminate these underground pests is to till your garden before the hard freeze, but after small freezes. Turning over your soil will expose the pests to the cold and decrease their survival odds.

Bugs aren’t the only pests you’ll encounter in the winter. Hungry deer and rabbits will be searching for anything they can find when the snow is covering what they normally eat. Make sure your garden fence is solid to protect your overwintered plants.

If you have an orchard, you’ll also want to have wire around the base of the trees. This will keep animals from gnawing on the trunk. This video shows an easy way to keep animals away from your trees with stakes and wire:

Video first seen on The Do It Yourself World.

4. Know Your Plants’ Hardiness Level

Not all plants can withstand the same levels of cold. Be sure you know the hardiness for your plants and trees. If the weather in your area drops lower than it typically does, you may need to take additional action.

When planting with overwintering in mind, always select hardy plants for your zone. You should know when your typical first frost occurs, and how low the average temperatures are when selecting seeds.

If colder than usual weather is predicted, ensure your plants have a thick layer of mulch. New plants and trees will need more protection than established ones.

Hardiness zone map

5. Protect Your Orchard

Trees can be vulnerable to freezing temperatures, especially if they’re not very hardy. Water that’s in the tree can freeze, causing limbs to break off and other damage. Here are some ways to keep your orchard trees from freezing this winter:

  • String some of the big, old-fashioned, non-LED Christmas lights through the branches. Though they let just a tiny bit of heat, it’s enough to protect from a light freeze.
  • Place a blanket around your tree. This obviously works best for small trees.
  • Don’t fertilize in the winter. This extra food boost will encourage your trees to grow, which is not what you want happening in the winter. Those new shoots will be extremely susceptible to damage.
  • Apply a frost cloth to your trees.
  • Mound the soil up high against the base of the tree.
  • Light a fire on the ground nearby to help warm it up and provide heat to the branches. You can save what you trim each spring to burn over the winter.

If you wrap or bank the trunk of your trees, be on the lookout for insect infestation. The bugs like a warm place to live as well.

A buildup of snow can also cause problems with trees. If you notice that the branches are bowing under the weight of the snow, help them out by knocking the snow off. This will keep your branches from breaking off.

6. Bring Plants Indoors

Some plants that don’t respond well to freezing temperatures can be dug up and potted for the winter. Just bring the pots inside, and care for them by providing water.

Here are some plants you can bring indoors for the winter:

  • Banana plants
  • Basil
  • Cilantro
  • Lavender

You can also dig up starts from other plants, and bring the shoots indoors. But, you’ll want to do that before the deep freeze occurs to help avoid transplant shock.

Winter is also a great time to start a small garden indoors. You can grow a variety of food indoors, which will help lower your winter grocery bill and provide fresh, local produce to enjoy. Just remember to keep an eye on your indoor garden and keep it in a room of your house that isn’t going to freeze.

7. Inspect & Organize

Since you won’t be using your gardening tools as often this winter, take time now to inspect them all. Your goal is to make your life easier once you jump into the gardening season again.

Sharpen your pruners, hoes, and any other tools you use with blades. Repair or replace any handles that have cracked.

Also, take time to walk your fence and make any repairs that are needed. If deer were a problem, consider adding another layer to increase the height of your fence.

Organize your garden supplies and make note of anything you’re running low on. Now is a good time to reorder supplies so you have them on hand when spring comes along.

8. Keep Your Compost Going

You’ll want compost in the spring to help get your garden growing again. If your compost pile is exposed to the elements, you can use a tarp to cover it. This will help keep the center warm and encourage the organisms to continue working.

The cover will also keep your compost from getting too wet. Too much moisture isn’t good for your pile.

You can save your food scraps throughout the winter to ensure your pile continues to grow. If you’re letting your compost pile go dormant for the winter, you might consider starting a small secondary pile. Just remember to keep adding carbon.

Video first seen on Alberta Urban Garden Simple Organic and Sustainable

9. Plan for Next Year

Winter is the perfect time for planning your next year’s garden. Take time to sketch out your current garden’s layout so you can remember where each crop was planted. This will help you more efficiently plan crop rotation.

You can use the cold months to study new gardening techniques, research the best varieties for your area, and reflect on last year’s harvest. There’s always something to learn when it comes to gardening, so pick up some reading material at the library, and enjoy planning your garden.

10. Harvest Edibles

If you’re overwintering carrots, onions, cabbage, or other plants that will continue to produce in your climate, be sure to harvest the edibles. There’s nothing like farm fresh produce in the middle of winter.

For plants that grow underground, the freeze will eventually kill off the tops. This makes your edibles less visible. Be sure to mark where these plants are located so you don’t forget when your garden is covered with snow.

If you typically enjoy milder winters, the number of edibles you can grow significantly increases. You can also extend your growing season with cold frames or greenhouses. Remember to water the plants you have in there, and keep weeds at bay.

This way  you can have your own survival garden no matter the season. Click the banner below and learn how to grow an endless supply of nutritious food in your backyard with no effort and in extreme conditions.

Venezuela is in shambles. People were unprepared. How will you feed your family? 

This article has been written by Lisa Tanner for Survivopedia.

6 total views, 6 views today

Rate this article!


[Total: 0    Average: 0/5]

Keyhole Gardens: A Drought Tolerant Composting Garden

Click here to view the original post.

Keyhole Gardens: A Drought Tolerant Composting Garden The Keyhole Garden concept is brilliantly simple. A circular raised bed has a center compost basket that distributes nutrients to the surrounding lasagna-style garden bed. A small pie-slice section of the bed is used for easy access to the center compost basket forming the keyhole design, this is a …

Continue reading »

The post Keyhole Gardens: A Drought Tolerant Composting Garden appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

Indoor Vegetable Gardening: 37 Edibles You Can Grow Indoors In The Winter

Click here to view the original post.

Indoor Vegetable Gardening: 37 Edibles You Can Grow Indoors In The Winter As a prepper, one of the essential skills is for you to be able to sustain yourself and have food available to you the whole year, if and when you need it. One way of achieving this is through an indoor vegetable garden. It …

Continue reading »

The post Indoor Vegetable Gardening: 37 Edibles You Can Grow Indoors In The Winter appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

Basic Survival Skills for Living a Good Life

Click here to view the original post.

Basic Survival Skills for Living a Good Life It may seem like survival skills should come along with common sense, but with modern conveniences, it’s easy to get someone else to do most things for you.  Food preparation, laundry services, and vehicle maintenance can be easily outsourced these, days but what do we do in …

Continue reading »

The post Basic Survival Skills for Living a Good Life appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

Vegetable Storage in a Root Cellar

Click here to view the original post.

Vegetable Storage in a Root Cellar As the growing season draws to a close and the winter months approach, it’s time to think about storing food for the winter.  Freezing and canning are a great option and can definitely extend the shelf life of your harvest.  Nothing beats fresh vegetables in the winter months, though. …

Continue reading »

The post Vegetable Storage in a Root Cellar appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

3 Unique And Inexpensive Gardening Gifts For The Gardener In Your Life

Click here to view the original post.

Looking for a couple of unique gardening gifts for that hard-to-buy-for friend?  Almost everyone has at least one dirt digging, plant loving gardener on their Christmas list. And during this season of giving, why not surprise them with something to celebrate

The post 3 Unique And Inexpensive Gardening Gifts For The Gardener In Your Life appeared first on Old World Garden Farms.

Build An Underground Year Round Greenhouse For Less Than $300

Click here to view the original post.

Build An Underground Year-Round Greenhouse For Less Than $300 This underground greenhouse is perfect for anyone who wants to grow food all year round. If you are a prepper or a homesteader this should be your goal, if not now, for the future. If you have enough room to place this greenhouse you can enjoy …

Continue reading »

The post Build An Underground Year Round Greenhouse For Less Than $300 appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

Managing Garden Expectations

Click here to view the original post.
Managing garden expectations - THe Suburban Micro-farm by Amy Stross | PreparendessMama

The Suburban Micro-Farm by Amy Stross I have created many gardens over the last 25 years. Big yard and small – I’ve done them all. We moved from Oregon to Texas and purchased our home just over a year ago.  I went right to work on my new garden, hiring a tractor to get the […]

The post Managing Garden Expectations appeared first on PreparednessMama.

Twelve Wild Foods For The Christmas Season

Click here to view the original post.

Twelve Wild Foods For The Christmas Season   As winter is approaching, the wild edibles get harder and harder to find. This article shows you 12 wild edibles still around when its Christmas season, it even shows us recipes to use them with too. Wild edibles should be utilized more, especially because the price of …

Continue reading »

The post Twelve Wild Foods For The Christmas Season appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.