Survival Gardening–A Note of Caution and Practical Instruction

Seed companies and gardening centers are seeing a boom in business this year like nothing for 30 some years. Some say it’s a once-in-a-career event. Many people are gardening for the first time or expanding the gardens they already have.

This is all without the urging of any sort of official campaign, such as Victory Gardens in WWII. The rising cost of food prices and fear over possible shortages have been key motivators. It’s a wonderful thing to see such interest in survival gardening, but a few words of caution and helpful guidance are in order, especially for first time gardeners.

Before I address this, let’s step back just a bit. If you’re someone who expects calamity but isn’t gardening, thinking you’ll buy food for storage, then garden when that runs out, you may be in for a shock. You’re not going to become proficient at survival gardening in one season, no matter how optimistic you may be.

Gardening should be part of your survival strategy now, in addition to anything else you may be doing. There’s still time this season to plant some salad greens or vegetables that will be ready this fall.

If you start with a big garden, thinking you’re going to feed your family all the produce you need, you may be disappointed. Chances are you’ll only be able to grow enough to supplement what you ordinarily eat. Enjoy every bit of it, no matter how much or meager the result.

The miracle of producing food from seeds is remarkable and rewarding. There’s nothing like that which you’ve grown yourself.

While gardening can be fun, especially if you get the family involved, it’s also work. Are you prepared to deal with weeds, big and small animals and other pests, and changing climate conditions? How much do you know about your soil and the nutrient requirements of the plants you’re growing? Do you know how to can or freeze the extra produce you’re raising?

In a nutshell, how well have you planned and prepared for gardening? And are you prepared for failures?

If those questions sound negative, and if the task of survival gardening seems overwhelming, then let’s turn negatives into positives. Though it may take a few years of experience at gardening before you have the confidence and skills you may wish to have, don’t be discouraged. You can do it.

And if you’ve started this year, congratulations. You have no reason to regret anything you’ve done this season already. Gardening is truly a process of discovery, filled with hopes, dreams, and even a little adventure.

Old timers will tell you they learn new things every year. So, make mistakes. Learn from those mistakes and move on. Capitalize on failures. If your carrots didn’t make it this spring, replant or try something else in that space. Don’t give up.

There’s much about gardening that attracts us to it. Without getting philosophical or mystical, once you’ve started, you’ll be drawn in and will desire to learn all you can. Do so. Talk to more experienced gardeners. Buy gardening how-to books. Subscribe to gardening magazines. Take a Master Gardening course from your local university extension center. Take advantage of resources offered on this site.

One very important resource available here is The Mittleider Gardening Course. It gives you simple straight-forward instruction and illustrations on the Mittleider
Method. It teaches basic topics, plus 15 advanced topics such as cold-weather gardening, pruning for maximum yields, growing plants vertically, solutions to common gardening problems, understanding fertilizers, home seedling production, building an inexpensive greenhouse and more.

If you like, choose to download to your computer right away. You can have The Mittleider Gardening Course today and begin discovering its guidance for you.

By the way, if the word “Course” puts you off, don’t worry about whether you’ll pass or fail. Give your plants what they need. Help feed yourself and your family by doing so, and you will have passed with flying colors. The only way to fail is to simply do nothing.

Your next step toward successful survival gardening is to order The Mittleider Gardening Course now.


Author: John Wesley Smith

John Wesley Smith writes and podcasts from his home in Central Missouri. His goal is to help preppers as he continues along his own preparedness journey.