Survival gardening is becoming a fairly well known concept these days as more and more people are taking steps to be prepared for the wide array of unforeseen and also likely events and circumstances that could happen in the face of earth changes affecting the harvests and crops worldwide and economic challenges faced by many and the highly possible event of economic collapse or any other kind of breakdown or interruption in the extremely delicate “just in time” infrastructure we rely on so much.
Being prepared and able to provide for yourself is something everyone should be working towards in whatever steps they can.
Growing some of your own food is basically a lost skill to the majority of modern society but is becoming a necessary skill to learn as more of the current agricultural system that feeds the planet is simply unsustainable or has been devastated by extreme acts nature.
Learning the knowledge, and more importantly, gaining the experience of growing some of your own food will help you tremendously if you find yourself in a situation of having to rely on yourself to feed you and your family.
Now is the time to learn, so you can gain experience and learn from your mistakes, when the supermarket shelves are there to supplement you after you find out it’s not as easy as you first though it might be. Waiting until a crisis starts, leaving it to a time when you actually need food before attempting to learn survival gardening skills, could be costly.
My first attempt at container gardening on my patio was a disaster…it was a lot of work with very little to show but armed with more knowledge and research the next year I had much better results.
If you find yourself in a situation where you are relying on whatever you can grow you will definitely need to maximize your production efforts and make everything you grow produce very well.
Here are some of my tips to maximize your survival gardening efforts:
Make sure you start with the proper soil with enough fertilizer, compost and nutrients for your vegetables. There is a lot of information on the web about this so I won’t go into that much detail but this is something you should definitely educate yourself on.
But here’s a great fertilizer product to help maximize production:
Make sure you use the right seeds
There is a big difference between regular seeds, hybrid seeds or heirloom seeds. You’ll want to be able to save your seeds to use in re-planting your garden the next year and many seeds are genetically engineered not to grow again so you are forced to buy new seeds.
What is the Difference Between Hybrid or Heirloom Seeds?
The first thing you should understand is that seeds are not just seeds. They do not all function the same. With the advance of bio-engineering many seeds are now genetically modified to behave and grow differently than un-tampered with natural seeds. Some seeds have even reportedly been spliced with animal genes to make them more weather / pest resistant.
Are all Hybrid seeds the same?
The general hybridization of plants has been a natural process that has taken place in nature for all of time. When the wind blows pollen from one species and it falls on another species and pollinates it or bees come and gather pollen from one plant and then mix it with the next plant they go to a natural hybridization occurs.
Normal regular hybrid seeds have a mixed parentage, a bit like the difference between a mongrel dog and a pedigree dog. F1 hybrid seeds are the pedigrees, but like most pedigree dogs, they have genetic flaws.
F1 hybrid seeds are the ones altered in a lab and not through the natural process of nature.
F1 Hybrid seeds are first generation seeds that come from plants with two very specific parent plants. They can only be produced by crossing with exactly the same parent plants. These seeds are often sterile and can be unreliable in carrying across the feature of the parent plant that is desired.
F1 hybrid seeds are often marketed as ‘guaranteed’ to provide an identical and reliable plant that will germinate successfully. These F1 seeds are engineered to be bigger, faster growing and higher yielding than regular seeds, but seeds that have been developed to produce high yields will always be lacking in other areas like their ability to resist disease and pests, they will generally be lacking in hardiness. This makes them high-maintenance and they will require specific nutrients, herbicides, and pesticides in order to attain their full potential.
A predominant behavior also engineered into F1 hybrid seeds is that they will only grow one generation of healthy plants so you cannot save the seeds and use them to re-plant new crops, forcing you to buy new seeds each year.
The “Big Six” pharmaceutical and chemical companies have acquired and created joint ventures with hundreds of seed companies over the past 15 years. Monsanto, DuPont, Syngenta, Bayer, Dow, and BASF collectively own or partially own hundreds of formerly independent seed companies and Monsanto, of course, dominates them all.
So this basically creates a monopoly on a large portion of the world’s seed supply and ultimately gives these companies a major control and power over the future food supply of the world.
Why does this matter?
When you don’t have food, you can be easily controlled!
Imagine a rogue government that says, “Your food allotment is now tied to how many guns you turn in.” As long as you don’t mind starving, you can keep your guns (or your herbal medicine, heirloom seeds or whatever else the government is targeting for confiscation). But if you want to eat, you must comply.
Control of food is control of humanity. This is, of course, why Monsanto is attempting to control the world’s food supply. There’s no faster way to rise to a position of dictatorial power than to dictate whether people can eat (and what they can grow).
Another thought to consider is many of the controlling elite have an agenda to reduce and cull the world population to a much more manageable size (like down to 500,000,000 in the entire world). They are quite open about their agenda too and have never been secret about it. It’s actually even inscribed in stone on the very public tourist attraction the Georgia Guidestones located in Elberton, Georgia.
The Georgia Stones are often referred to as the American Stone Henge. You can also google Agenda 21 and you’ll see this is rather public information.
If these companies decided to hold seeds hostage and only dole out enough for a small amount of crops to be grown and many people simply died of starvation because they couldn’t get seeds to grow their own food and the commercial farming industry couldn’t get enough seeds either they could effectively reduce the world population. That’s certainly one method that would work and an entirely possible scenario.
Also when something life and death related becomes extremely scarce what happens to the prices they could start demanding for the seeds and the billions of dollars in profit they could stand to make? These are things that are possibilities that could happen if people don’t start to wake up and see what’s happening and demand to create a different reality.
Commercial business monopolies are actually illegal in the United Sates and we even have strong laws against corporate monopoly. How asleep are we to let a huge monopoly that directly affects our life or death go on without even demanding the government enforce anti-trust behavior? If we the people started to demand anti-trust enforcement, it might help prevent the continual shift of seed company ownership and gradual accumulation of the food chain by a few large companies.
Another idea is to promote independent, self-sustaining agricultural systems that maintain control of food with the people rather than the corporations.
An heirloom seed is a seed variety that has been around for many generations and hasn’t been bio-engineered or genetically altered by a laboratory. It’s a natural seed that will produce seeds that will grow year after year. You can grow crops and save the seeds from the crops and use those seeds to replant more crops the next season. You can’t do that with F1 hybrids.
That’s why people who grow food for self-reliance always use non-hybrid, heirloom seeds.
If you hope to survive hard times and food shortages that are coming our way, you need non-hybrid heirloom seeds that can produce a wealth of food and that can keep on producing it season after season!
Storing Seeds Properly is Imperative!
Seeds do not keep for very long so it’s imperative that you store them in foil sealed packages. Properly sealed seeds in foil sealed packages will last for many years as long as the packets are not opened and kept cool.
Heirloom Seed Awareness
There are a few things that you need to know about heirloom seeds in order to work with them successfully.
It’s a good idea to allow your biggest and strongest crops to go to seed. This will allow you to collect the seeds and save them so you can grow them the following year.
Also with some types of heirloom plants, you do have to be careful not to grow more than one variety of the same type of plant at the same time, unless you have a very large plot of land and can keep them separate. If you grow more than one variety of a crop there is a probability they will be cross-pollinated by the insects and this could create a hybrid of the original plant. The seeds you collect for the following year may produce a slightly different plant.
Here’s a great source for heirloom non-hybrid seeds in long term storage packaging.
Hand Pollinating Your Vegetables
Container gardens and patio gardens are more susceptible to pollination problems because they don’t get as much bee traffic or crosswinds as ground gardens do. Sometimes hand-pollinating is necessary when there isn’t enough bee traffic.
Hand pollinating your vegetables tends to dramatically increase the production of vegetables giving your more vegetables per plant.
You will need to first determine if your plant is self-pollinating or if it cross-pollinates.
Tomatoes and peppers self-pollinate, meaning each flower contains all the necessary plant parts to make a fruit. But many vine crops like cucumbers, melons, squash, pumpkins etc.. produce different male and female flowers. The male flower will have pollen-laden stamens and the female flower will usually have what looks like the tiny bud of a vegetable at the base.
A small paintbrush is a great tool for hand pollinating your vegetables.
If your plant is self-pollinating, all you need to do is brush inside each flower, making sure the pollen gets down into the pistil (middle part) of the flower.
I’ve also seen videos of simply shaking the plant.
If your plant is not a self-pollinator, take your paintbrush and hand brush up some of the pollen from the male flower and transfer it to the pistil on a female flower. You can also pick the male flower and rub the pollen right into the female.
Here’s a great YouTube video demonstrating this:
If your plant doesn’t start bearing fruit in a few days, then something else might be going on. Inadequate water, lack of sunlight, and nutrient-deficient soil can also cause plants to conserve energy and not bear fruit.
If you have quite a large garden where hand pollinating isn’t feasible then attracting bees will be necessary.
Bees love plant flowers that are blue, white, yellow or purple in your garden. These are the favorites in a honey bee garden. Further, you can create little areas for nesting for the bees, and this will keep them near your garden so your garden will be pollinated as necessary.
Making sure the plant flowers that attract bees are mixed throughout your garden will also help to ensure attracting healthy amounts of bees attending to your garden.
Another idea is to consider becoming a beekeeper. Not only will you have plenty of bees around but honey too.
Working With the Forces of Nature
Gardening by the phases of the moon is a technique that can speed the germination of your seeds by working with the forces of nature.
Plants respond to the same gravitational pull of tides that affect the oceans, which alternately stimulates root and leaf growth. Seeds sprout more quickly, plants grow vigorously and at an optimum rate, harvests are larger and they don’t go to seed as fast. This method has been practiced by many for hundreds of years, and is a perfect compliment to organic gardening because it is more effective in non-chemically treated soil.
Lunar planting is influenced by two factors:
The lunar phase controls the amount of moisture in the soil. This moisture is at its peak at the time of the new and the full moon. The sun and moon are lined up with earth. Just as the moon pulls the tides in the oceans, it also pulls upon the subtle bodies of water, causing moisture to rise in the earth, which encourages germination and growth. Tests have proven that seeds will absorb the most water at the time of the full moon.
The astrological signs of the zodiac correspond with the elements of water, earth, fire, or air. Each plant has a preference for what elemental sign it is planted in. The best time for starting seeds of most annual plants is during the fertile water signs, but root crops like earth signs, and flowers especially like the air sign of Libra. The moon sign changes every few days.
A great resource site for this is Gardening By The Moon. They have both a calendar and software that can guide you on the best days for planting by the phase and the signs of the moon as well as garden activities for each month for over fifty annual vegetables and flowers.
Using Pyramid Structures to Increase Garden Yields
Putting your seeds inside a pyramid structure that’s aligned to true north for 1-5 days before planting will produce a 20 to 100 percent increase in their yield and the plants will be disease resistant and won’t be affected by droughts according to scientific research done with pyramid structures.
To read the full article about this on another post CLICK HERE.
If space is limited you don’t need a gigantic pyramid structure. Small ones can be constructed easily following the plans at this site: http://www.precisionpyramids.com/pyramidplans.htm and if you aren’t skilled with wood working you probably have some skills that could be traded with someone who is.
Companion planting is a method of putting plants together in the garden that like each other or help each other out. Companion planting can have a real impact on the health and yield of your plants. Companion planting can help with disease and pest control. Some combinations work because of scents they use to repel insects while others work because they attract good bugs.
For example broccoli, brussel sprouts and cabbage do not like to be around strawberries and potatoes don’t do well around the melon family but carrots love to be around tomatoes.
In fact there’s a great book on companion planting called: CARROTS LOVE TOMATOES & ROSES LOVE GARLIC – Secrets of Companion Planting for Successful Gardening
For CARROTS LOVE TOMATOES & ROSES LOVE GARLIC: Secrets of Companion Planting for Successful Gardening CLICK HERE
The gardening classic Carrots Love Tomatoes was first published in 1975 and the sequel to that was Roses Love Garlic. This book is a combination of those two books. Not only does it tell what to plant with what, but also how to use herbal sprays to control insects, what wild plants to encourage in the garden, how to grow fruit and nut trees, how to start small plots or window-box gardens, and much more. It’s one of the most practical books around for any gardener of edibles, no matter how serious or casual. This is kind of like the companion planting bible and is definitely my top pick for a must have book on this subject.
Another really cool thing you can do to create bumper crops with more taste, color and nutrients is plant infared crystals around your crops.
Science tells us everything is energy and can be reduced to atoms, molecules and electrons and that crystals are great conductors of electricity. You can see evidence of this with your ordinary wrist watch. Watches have used quartz crystal to generate an electrical charge and power since the 1970′s.
The infared crystals for plants are coated with a liquid crystal coating of essential oils and natural crystals and gems that contain their own energy frequency. The tiny crystal spheres work like natural good energy batteries sending infrared pulses of these energies to your plants.
Benefits of Infared Crystals:
1. Energize Depleted Soil Without Harmful Chemicals - The crystals assist in pulling out environmental pollutant energies from your plants while feeding them essential healthy vibrational energies that have long been depleted from our soils. They feed constant energy to the soil via the piezoelectric action of over 1 million infrared rays of energy per second.
2. Nurturing House and Garden Plants - The frequencies and energies of the essential oils and crystals are nurturing energies that plants love. They help bring the plants to the energetic phi ratio of 8 (-) to 5 (+) also known as fibonacci ratio or the sacred polarity ratio in nature.
3. Deter Non-Beneficial Insects - Harmful insects on the other hand do not like the energies emitted from the infared crystals and stay away from your plants similar in a way to how ultrasonic and electromagnetic pest control devices work that you see sold online and at your local hardware stores. Pests don’t like certain sound frequencies and energies. However, these don’t require being plugged into a wall outlet. You insert the crystals half way into the soil with part of crystal showing and then watch your plants bloom and grow bigger and brighter and all around healthier. You also don’t have to use harmful insecticides on your plants that you end up ingesting later.
I hope these are some great tips you can use to get the most out of your survival gardening efforts.
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