FAQs About Urban Survival Gardens
FAQs About Urban Survival Gardens
What is an Urban Survival Garden?
Whether you need a small urban survival garden or just want to know how to grow a few things “just in case”, I hope you find what you are looking for on this site. If there is something in particular you would like to know about, please feel free to contact me.
How much space do I need for an urban survival garden?Urban survival gardens do not require much “land” at all. In fact, you don’t even need to own land to have an urban garden. Many people use pots and other various containers to grow their plants.
That said, if you do have a bit of land that you can use for planting a garden, your choice of plant selections will be increased. Meaning, that you’ll have more planting options open to you. For instance, plants that have a much deeper root system will do better in ground, even on a small plot of land.
A small area in the backyard can work well as an urban garden. Square foot gardening can be done on a very small scale, you only need a few square feet to produce a good amount of food.
You can also use 5 gallon buckets for gardening. Buy new or you can ask around to see about getting them for free. (Restaurants and grocery store delis may have some that they just throw away.) Your options are nearly unlimited when it comes to container gardening when you don’t have land available.
Some people have bucket gardens on their patios or apartment decks. Others have a little space in their backyards, maybe where the old kiddie pool used to be. You could even turn an unused section of your flowerbed into a mini garden, adding a few herbs here and there. Chives come to mind – they have a flowering appearance and an edible function.
What types of plants can I grow in pots or in a small area?You can grow virtually any plant in a container as long as the container is suited to the plant. By this, I mean that you can’t plant sweet corn in a 2 gallon flower pot and expect it to thrive and produce great corn. It would need a deeper container and sweet corn is best planted where you can have a whole “patch” of it. (It pollinates better that way.)
You’ll need to do a little research on what conditions are best for the type of plants you want to grow. Generally, this information is located on the seed packet, if you are planting by seeds and not seedlings.
Just use common sense when choosing your plants (for container gardens). By now most people know that you can grow tomato plants in 5 gallon buckets. You could also grow carrots, spinach, kale, onions, green beans, lettuce, squash, and cucumbers…just about everything.
Just know what your plants will need as far as root depth and support (ie; poles for beans or stakes for tomato plants).
One advantage to having your plants in some sort of container versus “in ground”, is that you could conceivably move your garden if you needed to vacate the area.
What types of containers can I use?Your choice of containers is wide open. From old milk jugs cut in half to 5 gallon buckets to pre-made window boxes. Just be sure to match your plants to the container to save yourself the frustration and disappointment of dead or non-productive plants.
What Type Of Plants SHOULD I Grow In A Survival Garden?
What Are Some Essential Plants For Your Urban Survival Garden?
When you are planning your urban survival garden you’ll want to consider your reasoning for wanting to have one in the first place. What is the purpose YOUR garden will be serving? Are you wanting to simply add a few fresh veggies to your table? Or do you want to provide a more substantial portion of your food, along with herbs that have healing properties? Knowing the answers to these questions will let you better plan your space and plant selections.
I will share some thoughts on what we deem essential in a survival garden. These are just our general guidelines and not mandatory. Your garden will vary according to your families needs.
Foods You Already Eat -Start by looking at what types of vegetables your family already likes to eat. Don’t try to grow something that you don’t already enjoy, it may just go to waste and be a waste of your precious garden space.
Nutritional Value -Getting the most out of your garden is becoming very important as food prices continue to rise and more contaminated food is discovered at the grocery store. You are going to want to grow plants with the highest nutritional value.
Think Dark Rich Colors -Green Veggies: spinach, kale, romaine lettuce, peas, green beans, etc.
Red Veggies: cabbage, bell peppers, jalapeño peppers, tomatoes, strawberries
Purple Veggies: eggplant
Medicinal Foods and Herbs -
The second thing to consider planting would be herbs, both for cooking and for healing. As the name suggests, a survival garden, should include plants that can serve a first-aid or long term medicinal purpose. Medicinal herbs may be the only form of medical care available in a SHTF event.
Think about what illnesses or medical conditions are in your family, then research which herbs and plants have traditionally been used to treat those illnesses. There are many resources available online. I’ve listed the better ones that I’ve come across on the right hand side of this site. I’ve found them to be the most reliable sources of herbal information online.
A few staple herbs might include: Echinacea, yarrow, peppermint, chamomile and plantain.
One note about plantain: if you do not spray your lawn for broad leaf “weeds”, you will most likely have this growing freely in your yard. I consider this a “must-have first aid” herb. Another interesting benefit to not chemically spraying your yard is that dandelions are an extremely healthy and nutritious plant
A Note On Seed Quality -A survival garden should consist largely (if not entirely) of heirloom plants. The seeds are then collected and used the following year or can be used for barter. Heirloom seeds are getting harder to find as people become more aware of the coming food and economic crisis. If you have an elderly neighbor who grows a garden, you might try asking them where they get their seeds.
Guerrilla Gardening - Part 1 - Seed Bombs
Just watching this OPEN Forum about Seed Bombs.
Holistic Approach, Victory Garden type Forethought.
Great Tools for the Small Business OPEN Forum is Great.
Focusing on the real Skills one needs to be Successful.
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