Survival Gardening: The Best Types of Plants To Grow For When SHTF
Stockpiling food for disasters usually means being stuck with canned or preserved foods for a considerable amount of time. It’s not a truly bad thing per se, but let's admit it: you can only eat those frozen peas and canned meat for so long. Your body will soon crave for something hot and fresh, while your pantry will need some replenishment as well.
This is basically why preppers have started growing their own survival gardens.
A survival garden lets you grow the things you need: from edible plants and fruit to medicinal herbs. The catch is that this garden is mostly hidden in plain sight to ward off any potential looters.
Keeping a thriving survival garden will provide you and your family a source of fresh food even in the face of disaster. In the long run, this will also let you lead a more sustainable lifestyle--- when you grow your own food, you learn to be more self-reliant.
It’s best to fill your garden with plants that will be beneficial when SHTF. Here are the best types of crops to plant in your survival garden:
Planting perennials is a great way to start a survival garden.
By definition, perennials are plants that grow year after year without any need for you to replant them. Some perennials are active from spring to autumn and then become dormant come winter. Evergreen perennials, on the other hand, are the kind of plants that can survive the harsh winter temperatures.
Think of perennial plants as the gifts that just keep on giving: you only need to plant them once and they'll continue to yield harvest--- as long as you take good care of them. Most perennials produce yield for a short period during different times of the year, letting you extend your harvest.
Aside from being relatively low maintenance, perennials also benefit your soil by improving nitrogen content and fostering a stable garden ecosystem. Perhaps the only downside is that they take a bit of time to grow...some perennials take years before producing a decent yield, so it would be best to start planting them as soon as you can!
Some great perennial plants to have in your garden include asparagus, rhubarb, a variety of berries, ginger, daylilies and potatoes, to name a few.
Plants That Offer Camouflage Or Are Easy To Hide
What sets a survival garden apart from the usual vegetable garden is that it's meant to hide in plain sight. You don't want neat hedges and rows of produce displayed for all the world to see and loot when SHTF. When planting a survival garden, you'd want to keep some plants that people will pass off as weeds to cover your other crops. In most cases, the more unkempt your garden looks, the better.
People usually pass off dandelions and stinging nettles as weeds, but they actually have a lot of benefits. Dandelions have been used as medicinal plants for centuries and their greens can be eaten as well. Stinging nettles sound formidable, but they're actually rich in iron, fiber and vitamins. If anything else, their "stingers" will keep potential looters at bay. Other wildflowers like chickory or fireweed are also great to have around; just make sure you keep them controlled so they don't take over your other crops.
Keeping your energies up, especially during a stressful survival situation is important, that's why it's always wise to stock up on plants that have high calorie yields.
Grains do this job pretty well. Corn, which can be grown even on really small acreage, can provide as much as 365 calories in one serving (100 grams). It's also very versatile---but we'll talk about that in a few.
Another great grain to plant is quinoa. Considered a superfood, quinoa is rich in both protein and carbohydrates and is pretty easy to grow and harvest.
Beans, turnips and potatoes also provide a good percentage of calories.
A little serving of these crops can go a long way, especially when you're stocking up for the winter, when food can be scarce.
Finally, you have to make sure that the crops you're planting can be prepared or used beyond the dining table. Take herbs like basil and oregano, for example. They make food taste and smell great, but they also have a lot of medicinal properties. Basil is known to improve digestion, fight colds and even treat sore muscles. Oregano is likewise used for its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Both plants are great for container gardening, too.
Like what we mentioned earlier, corn is an insanely versatile crop as well. You can grill it, boil it, eat it on the cob, or dry the kernels for future use. It can be parched, ground, served as cornmeal or milled into flour. The cobs can be used as biofuel and the stalks as feed for livestock.
Other versatile crops include nuts, tomatoes, beans and the staple potato.
Growing your own survival garden takes a lot of skill, practice and patience. It's not something that grows overnight, so to speak. As a prepper, you'll encounter a lot of challenges along the way. Still, it's an important skill set that can even save your life when situations turn sour.
Growing your own garden ensures food security for you and your family in the event that the groceries and supermarkets run out. This also means you know what you're eating: you won't have to wonder if it's full of dangerous pesticides or other chemicals. Lastly, growing your own food makes you self-reliant. This paves for a more sustainable lifestyle that's independent from the system.
Start planting your survival garden today and let us know how it goes in the comments below!
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