Plant Your Garden with Heirloom Seeds This Year

seedsIt is already that time of year again to start planning your garden. A prepper needs a garden for several reasons. The food it provides will give your family something to eat today, while the extra produce that is common is preserved and put on the pantry shelves for the future. Gardening today also helps teach you the ins and outs of gardening so you are an expert when the garden is the only thing you have to feed your family.

While you are thinking about your garden this year, think about using heirloom seeds. Heirloom seeds are the only kind that will produce vegetables that you can harvest the seeds from to use next year. This means you always have new seeds to use for the following year. In fact, you will probably have more seeds than you can use, which means you can sell, trade or barter your heirloom seeds for different seeds or other things you need.

Heirloom seeds do cost a bit more. However, you only have to buy them one time. You will save money in the long run by paying a little more up front and not ever have to worry about buying seeds again. The investment can pay off once you learn how to harvest, dry and preserve the seeds to sell or trade.Seed-Packets-IMG_0879

When you are shopping for heirloom seeds, keep in mind you are going to be getting vegetables that are very natural. They haven’t been crossbred or genetically modified to be disease resistant, have shorter growing times or produce larger than life crops. You will have to learn how to garden without the benefit of these traits, which isn’t all that hard. And, you will LOVE the delicious produce you harvest.

Start shopping for your heirloom seeds today so they are ready to put in the ground when planting season arrives. If you can’t afford to buy all heirloom, start with a few packs and slowly build up your supply.

Planning Your Prepper Garden

starting seedsWhile spring is still a couple of months away for most people, it is the time of year you need to start planning your prepper garden. Growing your own food is an essential part of the food pantry process. You will not only save money by growing your own food and preserving it, but you will also have an established food supply source if and when things do get crazy.

It is important you spend some time planning your garden so you can take advantage of every inch of space. This is especially important if you have limited space. Many gardeners make the mistake of picking up a bunch of seeds and planting them simply because it seems like the thing to do. Those gardeners usually end up with a bunch of food they won’t eat and either give it away or let it go to waste. You can’t afford to do that when your garden is what feeds your family.

You need to learn about companion planning. One common method that has been around for centuries is planting corn with pea plants in between stalks. The corn shades the peas (which like cooler temps) and provides the pea vines with a trellis. This is an excellent way to maximize your space. Another option is to plant a root crop with a shallow-rooted crop on top. Herbs are excellent for planting over a root crop. Both plants will get the sun they need and will not fight for nutrients. Read up on this because some herbs should not be planted near certain plants. Garlic for one is not a plant you want next to your peas.seeds

Another trick you will want to learn is succession planning. Depending on where you live and your growing season, you may be able to get several crops of potatoes, corn and other veggies. If you start early enough, you can typically get at least 2 crops of vegetables with short growing cycles.

Lastly, invest in heirloom seeds. These seeds produce fruit and vegetables with seeds that can be saved and used for the next season. This is absolutely essential to your prepper garden. You want to be self-sustainable. In a SHTF scenario, you won’t be able to run to the store and buy new seeds every year. You have to produce your own. In many areas, you will need to order your heirloom seeds. They are not usually readily available in most stores. Order now so they are in your hands when it is time to start your plants indoors in preparation for the spring.

Gardening With Kids

gardening with kids

If you want to teach your kids about self reliance, one of the best ways to start is with a garden. When kids learn to garden, they learn responsibility and they experience the satisfaction of growing something themselves.

Your child should ideally have his own garden space. He may love helping you in the garden, but having his own garden will give him a greater sense of pride when he sees it grow. He will learn that his garden thrives when he takes care of it, and it withers when he doesn’t. Continue reading

How to Start Your Seeds Indoors

heirloom seeds

I know, there is still snow on the ground. At least there is here. But it won’t be long and it will be time to get your garden going.

Some seeds to best planted directly into the garden, while others are best started early in your home and transplanted once the seedlings are established and all danger of frost has passed. Continue reading

Saving Seeds Part 1: Tomatoes (The Wet Method)

We have discussed the importance of heirloom, non-hybrid seeds, but in order to ensure you always have seeds to grow your own food, you need to understand how to correctly save seeds from the food you grow.

Seed saving techniques are a bit different for different types of plants. Today we’ll discuss tomatoes because most gardeners love to grow tomatoes and saving the seeds is relatively simple. Tomatoes are open-pollinated, so you don’t have to worry about them mixing with other plants and giving you something you weren’t planning to grow.

Tomato seeds are saved using the “wet method.” This method can also be used to save seeds from melons, cucumbers and some squash. Continue reading

5 Reasons You Should Buy Heirloom Seeds

When you buy seeds for your home garden, make sure you are getting non-hybrid heirloom seeds. They are essential to your long-term food production goals. Here are 5 reasons why heirloom seeds are the best seeds for your garden.

Flavor

Most hybrid varieties have been developed for convenience. They provide fruits and vegetables that are durable and easy to ship without spoiling too fast. They are bred to be uniform and boring. If you’ve ever had a cardboard-tasting tomato from the grocery store, you know exactly what I am talking about. Continue reading