Gardening is a skill that will help you throughout your life.Once you know the skills, gardening is very helpful, especially when preparing for survival situations and for an off the grid lifestyle.
Being able to grow your own food is a great skill to have, but honing that skill for living off the grid can be tricky.
By optimizing space, preparing for all seasons, building garden storage, and learning to use indoor gardening, you will become an off the grid gardening pro.
Check out the instructions and information for even more tips.
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Optimize Your Gardening Space
Whether your garden area is 10 square feet or 1000, chances are there’s more you’d like to plant than you have room for. This Instructable will give you tips to increase your growing capacity without spending a lot of money.
Grow up: Plant squash, bean and cucumber varieties that vine (not bush varieties). Plant these on a trellis (in the case of cukes and squashes) or, in the case of pole beans, up a bean teepee. A teepee can be made of any long, slender poles (I used furring strips I found in my garage, and tied them together with zip strips).
For pole beans, the teepee should be at least 5′ tall. You can use fencing as a trellis as well, whether it’s chain link, chicken wire, welder wire, or whatever you have. Plants might need a little guidance to know where to grow, just be sure to treat them gently so you don’t break the stems.
One space-saving way to grow potatoes is with a potato tower. Here’s how it works: Make a tube of fencing (as seen below), or out of a trash can with the bottom cut off. Plant your potatoes as you would normally, but more densely (5-10, depending on diameter) in an area the size of your tube.
As your potatoes grow, add alternating layers of straw and compost, leaving about 6″ of leaves exposed at all times. At the end of the growing season, when the plant leaves start to die back, you can kick over the tower and pull out your harvest of potatoes.
Help Your Garden Survive In All Seasons With a Winter/Summer Grow Table
Building a Winter/Summer grow table is easy. It can be covered with thick plastic sheeting in the winter and shade cloth during the summer months. All you need is some plastic shelving, 1/2″ PVC pipe, PVC pipe cutter, zip ties, shade cloth (for Summer), and thick 4 or 6 milplastic sheeting (For Winter).
The plastic shelves can be purchased at most hardware stores or even at Wal-Mart. They cost on average $14 depending on size. Instead of stacking the unit as shown, the shelves can easily be used as tables. You will need solid surface to grow your plants.
The purpose is to keep out air circulation that will dry out your potted plants. If your shelves have a mesh or grid surface, cover the table top with a black plastic trash bag.
Cover with Nursery Shade Cloth that provides 30%-40% shade. This cannot be purchased at the hardware store. Shade cloth that is available at the hardware store is only 75% shade, which is too dark for growing plants. I always purchase mine knitted, hemmed, and with grommets.
The hem helps the shade cloth keep longer and the grommets make it easy to tie down the material.
Keep Yourself Organized And Your Tools Protected With An Easy Shed
This DIY boasts a 33 minute build time using their instructions and plans. A quick build of a simple shed would create additional outdoor storage for your gardening supplies. Keeping your equipment and supplies out of the elements will keep them in good shape and you prepared for anything.
This DIY boasts a 33 minute build time and free plans. Find out more here.
33 Minute Shed Instructions
Learn How To Garden Indoors
You never know what kind of conditions you will be living in in a survival situation, and it is best to be able to garden no matter where you are. Knowing how to grow food, herbs, etc. indoors could be a vital skill in certain situations. It’s also a way of ensuring your ability to grow regardless of the season or weather.
Something as simple as this Mini Herb Garden could be good practice for an unforeseeable need. Indoor gardening is a whole different animal form traditional, outdoor gardening. Something as simple as watering is different from one to the other. Because conditions vary, there’s no way to give hard-and-fast advice like “Water once a week.” Heat and sunlight specific to your home will dry out the soil at different rates.
You’ll have to feel the soil with your finger. If the plant’s tag says, “Water steadily or evenly,” then water whenever the surface of the soil is dry to the touch. If the tag says, “Water moderately,” allow the top inch or so to dry out between waterings. One note: Don’t overwater. It’s as liable to kill a plant as under-watering. Read all about indoor gardening and tips like these here.
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