Converting Your Yard into a Prepper’s Paradise
Prepper gardens are great: they’re a sustainable source of food right in the comfort of your own home. If done right, you’ll have safe, long-lasting stock for your family that’ll save you money and the trouble of the regular grocery store visit. If you’re thinking of starting up a prepper garden in your yard, here are a few tips you should consider before you get started:
● Think about the foods you’ll grow. You’ll want to choose plants that you eat regularly. The whole purpose of this garden is that it’s going to feed you for a long time, so consider easier plants for growing like peas, carrots, and beans. An array of herbs, as well.
● Organize the garden layout. Before laying out the plants in your garden, take some time to plan which plants will go where, and prioritize how much space each type of plant will need. There’ll be no surprises if you run out of space.
● Make sure your soil is suitable for planting. Have it tested to ensure it’s got the right balance of nutrients so you can grow the biggest, healthiest plants possible.
In this situation, mulch is your best friend. Using composted organic material like mowed grass or leftover veggies will dramatically increase the quality of your soil and prevent excess material from reaching the landfill.
● Learn how to preserve your plants. You’re going to have to research, either through books or online, on how to properly preserve your food. Properly canning your fruits and vegetables is important if you want them to last in the long run.
Brace yourself for garden pests, too. Research what kinds of unwanted critters and bugs live in your area, and what you can do to keep them away from your plants.
One of the biggest tasks that come with a yard garden is growing enough food when you don’t have the biggest space. Luckily, there are ways to work around that smaller and more urban setting:
● Plant vertically. When there’s not enough garden area on the ground, plant vertically. Trellises, fences, and hanging baskets will allow you to grow creeping vine plants and fruits you can hang indoors.
● Use containers. Containers like pots, buckets, or even yogurt cups can all be used to grow plants, as long as they allow for sufficient drainage to keep the roots from drowning. They’re easy to keep your plants outdoors and in.
● Companion planting! A great thing about a prepper’s garden is that you don’t need to lay out everything in spacious rows like a traditional garden. Plants can be placed anywhere and among each other (even among landscaping plants for extra camouflage), as long as they are compatible according to the rules of companion planting. Be sure to have these rules as a reference – with them your plants can grow better and stronger.
● They don’t all have to be fruits and veggies. Your edible plants can be placed among all sorts of plants with their own benefits. These can be edible landscaping and plants that provide natural medicinal benefits. Others can attract beneficial wildlife and ward off unwanted ones, promoting healthier growth for your garden. Some easy edible landscaping could be dandelions, chrysanthemums, clover, or chickweed, while more medicinal plants could include edible cactus fruit, certain berries or even cilantro.
Being equipped with the right arsenal of tools that do their job right and last can only help you grow and maintain a better garden. Alongside the basic manual tools, here’s a list of the especially handy gardening tools you’ll need:
· Invest in a quality, kink-free hose for easy, hassle-free watering when necessary. Don’t know which one to choose? Here’s a link to some great options.
· A tiller or cultivator for preparing healthy soil.
· A round-point digging or trenching shovel
· A hydrometer for monitoring your soil’s moisture
· Secondary cultivators such as flat-tined or garden rakes, trowels, broad forks, etc. for aerating the soil or spacing out your seeds well.
· Leaf rakes and square-point shovels are great for moving mulch, breaking up soil, and leveling beds or rows.
· Pruning shears or saws for maintaining growing plants
· Twine for tying up plants that need support, or air-layering
Designed with the purpose of survival, prepper gardens are practical and secure, able to withstand bad times. Turning your yard into a prepper garden will have plenty of benefits: you become more self-reliant in terms of food and can save lots of money in the long run. By properly planning things out, being space efficient, and equipping yourself with the right tools to maintain it, you’ll be reaping those benefits in no time.
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