Global warming, climate change, natural disasters, and the simple unknown have some gardening preppers scratching their heads. I’ve heard some people question whether or not they even want to waste any time with trying to grow a garden. However, it can be worth it. You just have to realize that planting for preppers is a real methodology, and I’m here to teach it to you.
Planting For Preppers 101: What You Need To Know
I feel as though growing and having access to your own food, as well as wild foods that can be foraged, are vital survival skills. After all, food is one of the things that we can’t live without. Because of this, and the fact that it’s been pretty rainy here in my neck of the woods, I’ve decided to share some valuable knowledge (in my humble opinion) about growing food.
Too hot, too wet – these are all very natural issues that come up right alongside the weeds in the garden. When preparing, or even just trying to be self-sufficient, it may be wise to plant from what I call the “Four Corners of The Climate.” The four corners of the climate, here, refers to the following factors:
- Too Hot
- Too Dry
- Too Wet
- Too Cold
It may seem odd that there is both a hot and dry section. Some people think of that as the same thing, but it really is different and vital when planting for preppers. Moving on:
Too Hot – Drought Resistant Plants
When considering drought resistant plants, it’s a good idea to look for fruits, vegetables, and herbs that grow well further south.
- Beans: Just about all varieties of beans seem to fare well in the high heat. Pole beans, dry beans, green beans (snap beans), and lima beans all like hot climates.
- Tomatoes: The best tomatoes seem to be picked off the vine in the clutches of the summer’s heat. They just love it! A few really good varieties, in my opinion, are the Arkansas Traveler, Purple Calabash, and the Marvel Striped.
- Peppers: Like tomatoes, peppers prefer the heat, and they do quite well. All varieties of peppers are good for high heat, but spicy peppers love it especially. The Charleston Belle and Carolina Wonder are two good choices.
- Watermelons: We all know that the best watermelons are available early through to late summer. Watermelons seem to thrive in the heat of the summer, but they don’t do very well if it’s too dry. Considering how juicy they are it makes sense, right?
- Melons: The Missouri Gold variety are a good choice for the hot months. Melons of many varieties normally fare well in the heat, just not if it’s too wet or too dry.
Too Dry – Drought Resistant
Believe it or not, there are some plants that prefer a pretty dry climate.
- Woody Herbs: Herbs such as oregano, sage, rosemary, and thyme are all really good herbs to grow when living in a dry climate. You’ll notice that the plants themselves are not very moist. Since, they’re actually somewhat dry, it makes sense. Planting for preppers follows the adage that knowing your herbs is knowing your medicine.
- Amaranth: The leaves, grains, and seeds of amaranth are delicious, and they love the dry climate. Amaranth is native to South America and is not only delicious but incredibly beautiful too. The grain can be used in a variety of ways and is very light to store.
- Onions: I’m truly beginning to believe that onions grow everywhere. Wild onions are usually easy to find in almost every state. They’re also pretty tasty and also provide good medicine for the body.
- Garlic: Wild onion and garlic can often be found relatively close to each other. There are many varieties that grow well in dry climates. This is yet another medicinal food!
- Cabbage: I haven’t been extremely successful with cabbage, and that’s because I didn’t realize how dry it really likes the weather. Look for flat-leaved varieties, as they seem to hold more water and be a bit crisper.
Too Wet – Water Lovers
If you live in an area that has a little floodplain, you might consider trying to grow some rice. There are at least twenty varieties of rice that can be grown in the United States. Rice can be grown in states like Southern Arkansas, Texas, California, Mississippi, Missouri, and Louisiana.
A few other plants that like a little more water than the rest are:
- Asparagus: But be warned, it takes a long time before you’ll get a really good harvest
- High-Bush Cranberries
ALL of the above-listed plants are great for infiltration bases, also known as rain gardens. A rain garden should be placed in shallow-bottomed depressions in different areas of your property that hold water. These plants will help eliminate erosion and puddle problems, all while providing edible landscape.
Too Cold – Cold Hardy
There are all sorts of goodies whose growth favors the cooler weather. There are even a couple of plants that sweeten in the frost and snow.
- Leeks: Leeks are not bothered or affected by the shortened amount of hours of sunlight in the winter months. They actually grow well and prefer the winter.
- Kale & Collards: Kale likes it pretty cold out, but if hits freezing, it’s no good. If it’s too cold, the kale will start to wilt and wither. Collards, on the other hand, thrive in the freezing temperatures.
- Parsnips: Snow actually sweetens this root vegetable. If it’s cold enough to snow, your parsnips will still grow.
- Cabbage: I mentioned in the drought-resistant section that cabbage loves the dry heat of the summer months. There are some varieties that do better in the cooler, and even freezing, months. Look for crinkled leaf varieties rather than the flat leafed.
- Turnips: My first winter in Arkansas provided me with turnips all through the season and into the next. Turnips are another vegetable that sweeten in the winter, as some of the spiciness gets taken out.
Learn Organic Gardening at GrowingYourGreens shows us 12 fruit trees that thrive in the desert with little maintenance:
Gardening, whether you’re a hardcore prepper, or you just enjoy growing food, is a form of foresight. Knowing what you can grow successfully is an important skill for life in general, and knowing what planting for preppers can look like heightens that. With that said, this concludes planting for preppers 101! Happy Prepping!
Did you find this list helpful and interesting? Let us know in the comments below.
Want to learn how you can grow your food in your own backyard? Check out helpful tips on how to grow all the food you need in your backyard and start growing your own food today!