How to Plan a Productive Survival Garden

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How to Plan a Productive Survival Garden

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Getting the garden ready for planting is an exciting time of year despite all of the hard work that is involved in the process.  However, it’s important to remember that planting a homestead or survival garden is different than growing a couple of crops in a small corner in the yard.  There is a lot of planning involved with making sure that it is as productive and efficient as possible.  Let’s take a look at a few things to consider before planting that can help you to meet and exceed your harvest goals. 

Picking the Right Crops

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Imagine yourself in a SHTF scenario where you have limited resources, limited space and a limited amount of water.  Consider being in a situation where you need to rely on your garden to produce food that can be stored over the long-term.  Think about the nutritional needs of you and your family.  Imagine not being able to cook for a period of time.  What kinds of fruits and vegetables would you grow? 

Picking the right crops for your survival garden is one of the most important decisions that we can make.  It shifts the focus from choosing crops that we know will be enjoyed and eaten to those that will be easy to grow, produce abundant harvests and pack a big nutritional punch.  It involves choosing crops that are suitable for your climate, soil content and available water.  It also involves considering available space and how to make good use of every inch without impacting plant growth.

Be Proactive

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Another important consideration is to think ahead and identify potential threats to your crops.  How susceptible are they to extreme weather?  What natural predators are in the area?  Do they require a lot of ongoing care and maintenance?  Can you eat the crops raw or do they need to be cooked?  These are just a few questions to be considering in order to get ahead of the curve and prevent anticipated problems from occurring in the first place.  There are always ways to adapt in order to minimize risk, but the trick is to do it beforehand instead of reacting to a serious threat to your crop during the season.

How Much do you Need?

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Another important question to ask is how much food you need the garden to produce.  Research varieties of crops that produce more in less-time than others.  Consider replacing crops altogether with other, more practical and suitable options.  For example, watermelon, cucumber and carrots are a favorite, but they may not be the most-efficient.  While kale may not be high on your list of garden favorites, it packs a huge nutritional punch in a small amount of space.  Be judicious with deciding what to plant, and make sure that you have your basic goals met before planting optional “extras”.

Finally, it’s important to think about storage as you build this year’s garden.  Try to focus on crops that can be packaged, canned or processed so that you increase your chances of being able to build and replenish stockpiles.  Make sure that you have these basics met before planting those tasty, yet inefficient extras as well.

Remember that your garden represents an opportunity to become more self-sufficient and better prepared.  The goal is to end up with the largest possible harvest while using a minimal amount of resources and energy during the growing season.  Take some time to review your garden plans and make changes as necessary.  Chances are that you’ll be glad you did as the growing season progresses.