Survival gardening is something to look forward to during the spring season. We recently posted tips on preparing your garden for the winter and now it’s time to get back to your backyard and make the most out of spring. Self-sufficiency is just one of the wonderful benefits you get from maintaining a garden, especially one that includes vegetables and herbs. Aside from enjoying the natural and nutritious food you harvest, you’re also saving money in the process. Here are some of best foods to grow for survival that can supply your essential needs and hopefully sustain your family in times of disaster, crisis, or when SHTF.
Survival Gardening | Plants to Grow This Spring
Potatoes have been a staple of many people’s diets for thousands of years. They are fairly easy to grow, although they do have certain pests and diseases to contend with. Potatoes are also great for storing and cooking delicious and hearty meals any time of the day. Here are homemade potato dishes you can try with your harvest.
Beets offer a great deal of nutritional value in the form of beet tops or greens, while the storage-friendly beetroots offer calories and nutrients.
3. Sweet Potatoes
Sweet Potato is a perennial vine that will expand over a large area if not guarded properly. This vine plant grows fully under the heat of the sun but can also remain in shady areas. Sweet potato is a sub-tropical/tropical crop but is worth trying in cooler areas after all chance of frost has passed.
Beans are great rotation crops to help maintain soil quality by restoring nitrogen to the soil when depleted by other crops. Beans are rich in fiber, protein, antioxidants, and are low in fat. They are also very good food for the human diet and can be a healthy substitute for meat.
Eggplants are warm weather plants and should be planted after frost. This nightshade vegetable is high in fiber, antioxidants, and a good source of vitamins B1 and B6.
Tomatoes are one of the easiest plants to grow. There are lots of varieties to choose from. Nothing compares to picking a fresh ripe tomato straight from the vine. Tomatoes are also versatile. They can be preserved for later using different methods such as canning, freezing, and dehydrating. Grow tomatoes with this survival garden guide.
This is a hot season plant and should be planted in April until early June. Peanuts are a good source of healthy fats, Vitamin E, protein, and antioxidants.
Carrots are essential root vegetables in our kitchen. They are rich in fiber, beta-carotene, antioxidants, and vitamins A, C, K, and B8. Read this guide to grow carrots and you’ll soon enjoy a fresh produce to add to your healthy and delicious recipes like stew, bread, and more!
Snap peas are an excellent addition to your survival garden. As nitrogen-fixing legumes, they can enhance the fertility of the soil they’re grown in. They are moderately nutrient dense and doesn’t require much attention to grow.
Cabbages keep their nutritional elements regardless of the length of cooking. Whether you eat cabbages raw or shred and cook it, a cup full will give you a total of 33 calories. Doing this once every week may keep you healthy.
Berries, a great source of potassium, are said to be perfect for losing weight. These beauties are also an excellent source of the fiber and vitamin C our body needs. You can put berries in your smoothie, salad, pastries, or snack on them alone.
12. Grain Corn
Contrary to popular belief, corn is actually not a vegetable. It’s a type of grain that’s a good source of carbohydrates, protein, and fiber. Since it’s rich in vitamins and minerals, it can be a good addition to your wholesome survival garden.
Barley is rich in fiber which can be planted during spring and winter. It has several benefits and is consumed by both humans and animals. And yes, barley is used for making beer, so you can make that your next project.
Cooked broccoli in a cup only has a total of 44 calories. It has tons of fiber and no fat–an ideal vegetable for those on a strict diet.
Squash was one of the original “three sisters” in American Indian agriculture along with beans and corn. Squash are vining crops that store well. This plant is also an excellent source of nutrients and calories which makes it a perfect addition to your recipes.
Did you know that plantain is an edible and almost magical “weed” which grows freely in backyards, meadows, and roadsides? The use of plantain goes as far back as the ancient Persians, so it’s definitely something you want to have in your backyard.
People may not expect this herb to have any healing effect, but it wasn’t labeled the “king of herbs” for nothing. This is also great in pesto and any other pasta dish! With a life cycle of one year only, you will have to plant basil every year to keep your supply going.
Peppermint contains menthol properties which make it an effective natural remedy, food flavoring, and even as an ingredient for cosmetics. This herb is adaptive and grows well in almost all locations. It also spreads easily and is best contained in a pot.
Every herb garden needs lavender! This amazing plant can be infused into your drinks like tea and lemonade. Plant lavender in a sunny location with average to dry soil. Do not overwater.
Chamomile contains volatile oils such as bisabolol oxides A and B, matricin, flavonoids, and other therapeutic substances. The flowers of chamomile are famous for their medicinal purposes. It can be consumed as a tea, can be dried, extracted, and even turned to creams and serums.
Watch this video posted by Learn Organic Gardening at GrowingYourGreens and learn some survival gardening tips on planting an edible food garden at home:
There are a lot of other plants that have been known to have medicinal benefits and practical uses for humans since the old times. There are actually other new discoveries made each year. You can even plant during the late summer with a few of these helpful gardening tips. If you have the time to grow these plants then you have a greater chance of surviving if the SHTF.
Do you have more survival garden plants you want to add? Let us know in the comments section below!
Up Next: 5 Herbs for Your Survival Garden
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Editor’s Note – This post was originally published on March 20, 2017 and has been updated for quality and relevancy.
Featured image via homeyimprovements.com