Prepper Gardening During a Drought

self-sufficient gardensWith droughts gripping a large portion of the nation, preppers are struggling to keep their gardens green and growing. A prepper garden plays a pivotal role in establishing a food storage. Without a garden, you are forced to rely on the grocery stores and pay ridiculous prices. It is only going to get worse considering many of the farms that supply that grocery stores are caught in the nasty droughts as well.

Preppers can keep their garden going by changing up the way they do things. Even the oldest dogs (preppers) can learn new tricks. These tricks will come in handy when the tap is dry and watering your survival garden isn’t as easy as turning on the faucet.

1-Put in a serious effort to keep the weeds down and away from your plant base. Weeds are water hogs and the little water your garden does get will be stolen by the weeds who are just as thirst as your plants.

2-Use pine needles, dead leaves, compost and even old newspaper around the base of your plants to keep the ground moist. The sun bakes the earth and evaporates the water quicker than your plant roots’ can absorb it.

3-Use soaker hoses or make your own out of an old garden hose. Poke a few holes along the defunct hose and lay it on the ground. The water will go right to the roots and not spray out and evaporate before it ever hits the ground.

4-Don’t waste water by over-watering. Set a timer or pay attention to the clock. Typically, 15 to 20 minutes is plenty of water for your veggies.drought-84611_640

5-Obviously, only water during the early morning hours or late at night. If you are a night owl, water throughout the night. Take advantage of the sun being down and it’s evaporating rays put away for the night.

Keeping your garden watered will help you control the bug population as well. When your plants are weak and thirsty, they are prone to disease and pests. Have you ever seen a lot of grasshoppers in a lush, green area? Not so much. They thrive in the dry areas.

Staying Cool When Bugging Out in a Heat Wave

desert-175465_640With a blistering summer expected to rock most of the country and severe drought in many areas, it is important you are prepared to deal with a survival situation in the extreme heat. Your survival is going to be made more difficult by the extreme temperatures. Oddly enough, many preppers assume it will be cold when they are forced to survive in the great outdoors. Heat waves can lead to civil unrest. People get hot, power grids are pushed to their limits and some will fail. It is a recipe for disaster. The following tips will help you if you ever find yourself forced to bug out or hunker down in a heat wave.

1-Stay out of the sun. Don’t get outside at noon and decide to walk 3 miles in the blistering heat. If you are on the move or have to walk to retrieve water or supplies, do it in the morning or late at night.

2-Cover up if you do have to be outside. Light cotton is best. Silk is also a nice lightweight material that will keep your skin covered and protected from the sun, while giving you plenty of breathing room.

3-Place a damp towel on the back of your neck and replace as needed if you feel warm or notice the signs of hyperthermia setting in.

4-Avoid doing any manual labor during the heat of the day. Relax in the shade. If you can’t find shade, try to create some with a lean-to or in the shadow of a rock wall. Caves are lifesavers and are naturally cool. cave-262258_640

5-If you have sunscreen in your bug out bag, wear it. You don’t want your skin getting burn. This will only dehydrate you and leave you in a very bad way.

6-Use a stick or a shovel and dig a hole in the ground long enough for you to recline in. The earth is much cooler than the surface by as much as 30 degrees. Don’t worry about getting dirty, just bask in the coolness of the soil.

7-If you are somewhere there is mud, rub the mud on your skin to act as sunscreen. It will also keep you cool. When the mud hardens and dries, it will slough off. Find more if needed.

We never know when we have to bug out, but being prepared to cope with extreme temperatures is one of the most important aspects of survival. Your core body temperature can only be off by 3 degrees, up or down, for 3 hours before you find yourself in real trouble. Stay cool this summer and avoid heat stroke.

Droughts Increase Risk of Wildfires–Are You Prepared?

fireWith the very real possibility of drought in areas all across the country, it is important you prepare to deal with a wildfire that has spun out of control. With a lack of snow and rain, the open country is going to be akin to a giant tinder bundle. A spark from a passing car or a strike of lightning could set off a devastating wildfire that threatens homes and lives. Fire is incredibly unpredictable and can change directions at anytime. You need to be prepared and ready to flee should a wildfire threaten your home.

When you hear about or see a fire in your area, you need to pay attention. Listen to the radio and check in with the news every hour or so to check the progress of the fight. Firefighters will give containment numbers. This means they have the fire a certain percent contained. Fires that are burning out of control and have a 0 percent containment are the most dangerous.

If an evacuation advisory is issued, it would be best to listen and get out before it becomes a mandatory evacuation. If there is not an order to leave the area, you still may want to consider doing so anyways, especially if you have anybody in the home that has any kind of respiratory problems. Wild fires contain toxins in the smoke that can make it difficult to breathe and may cause adverse reactions. It is best to get away from the area and let the firefighters do their thing while you watch from a safe distance.firefighters

Keep a bug out bag ready to go at all times. It is a good idea to keep family keepsakes in a single bin that can be grabbed and tossed into the car on a moment’s notice. You don’t want to waste time trying to hunt down grandma’s wedding ring. Have a credit card available to use to rent a room in a nearby town. Make sure you have at least half a tank of gas in the car to get you far enough away from the fire as well.

Don’t assume a wildfire will never happen in your area. They can happen anywhere at anytime. Be prepared to deal with one.

Preparing to Garden During Extreme Heat and Drought

drought-84611_640There are plenty of states and regions all around the world that are expecting the worse this summer. Whether anybody wants to name the problem, it is no secret our world’s weather is drastically changing. With many regions light on snowfall over the previous winter and the winter we are just coming out of, drought is inevitable. Places like California were banking on a wet winter to bring them out of the drought they were in last year. It didn’t happen.

It is time to prepare for droughts and exorbitant food prices due to those droughts. As a prepper, you should be learning how to grow your own food. As a prepared prepper (is that redundant), you need to know how to conserve and save as much water as you can in order to keep your garden thriving throughout what is predicted to be a very hot summer.

*Mulch will be your friend. Pile it around the roots of the plants to help keep the ground moist. You don’t want the hot sun baking the earth and evaporating the water before your plant’s roots get a chance to absorb it.

*Invest in rain barrels—if your city ordinance allows. Put the barrels up now and catch as much rainwater as possible to prepare for a dry July and August.rainbarrel

*Use irrigation style watering instead of sprinklers. Sprinklers waste a great deal of water that could be used to water the roots directly. Sprinklers are also to blame for some leaf spotting.

*Set a timer to avoid over watering. It is easy to forget you have the water on and you could be harming your plants by giving them too much water.

*Only water in the early hours of the morning or late at night. This ensures the sun is not evaporating the water as quick as it is hitting the ground.

Keeping plants partly shaded can also help if the temperatures are exceeding 100 degrees or more. On extremely hot days, your plants are going to wilt and need more water to survive. Container planting is another way to conserve water. The water is not absorbed as quickly and you will be able to move the plants out of the heat of the sun when it becomes too much.