I love gardening. They are fun, rewarding, and save money. However, it is Only useful for setup purposes In the long term if you focus primarily on a self-sufficient garden. If you rely on bags of fertilizer, soil, and seeds every year, network disruptions and supply chain problems can put an end to your fun hobby.
We saw the beginnings of last year with a shortage of seeds. In my area, seed supplies were better than last year. But I’m still always looking for ways to make my property more of a closed loop. Between the use of perennial plants, the provision of seeds, and the production of fertilizers on site, I have made a lot of progress.
Perennials are long-term investments for a self-contained garden.
Rhubarb has been growing for about a month now. The first asparagus spears began to appear. I planted one rhubarb crown and possibly seven asparagus crowns in 2014. You cannot harvest rhubarb in the first year. Asparagus needs to wait three years before harvesting. But if you have somewhere you plan to take shelter, they deserve it.
Since 2017, I’ve been receiving multiple servings of asparagus a week for about two months a year. Other than weeding and watering every now and then, I had no work or effort other than purchasing crowns and planting them in the beginning.
Last winter, I dug up the roots of the rhubarb plant and divided it into pieces, hoping that the “split crown” process would be easy, as all gardening books have assured me. she was. My native rhubarb has now turned into seven rhubarb plants. I won’t harvest anything this year, but next year, I have to drown in it, which is fine with my kids and me because we love rhubarb. And like asparagus, it has become a part of the landscape.
Are things like asparagus, rhubarb, mint, chives, and spicy radishes? of course not. I have bags of dried beans and meat in the freezer and hooves, just like many of the people reading this site. But my garden plants can make dried beans even more fun. And they’ll come back every year whether or not you put a lot of work into them, which is definitely in line with the goal of a self-sufficient garden.
I planted chives last year, and the radish roots that I laid over the winter are starting to show. We’ll see how to do this in the long run. Peppermint is everywhere. I planted it in 2015, and it’ll take over if I don’t pull large chunks every year.
Many of the things we enjoy eating each year are annual
For annuals, you can save seeds. Susan Ashworth’s book Seed to seed It is a great guide to start keeping seeds. I regularly save tomato, pumpkin and carrot seeds. The seeds are not very expensive. I buy seeds every year because it’s fun to try them and try new things. (The Organic Prepper recommends Seeds for generations For your heirloom seed – it’s a small Virginia family business). But saving some seeds can be a lifesaver. For example, a few years ago, some diseases wiped out half of tomato plants.
I saved the seeds from the ones that survived and have not had this disease since. Every garden has its own few quirks, and over time, supplying seeds from the healthiest plants can produce individuals that are exceptionally suitable for your garden.
Depending on your climate, you may be able to let some annuals go to seed. I only do this with herbs. With vegetables, planting them in the same place every year will usually lead to long-term illness. Of course, you can let it sprout and then pick it up and move it around when it’s young. But my growing season is so short that the tomatoes only bear fruit if they start indoors, and they are the only vegetables I’ve eaten that will volunteer outdoors here in Colorado.
Japanese farming rings
When I lived in Texas, I had a Japanese cultivation ring. By the time we moved in, I hadn’t even bothered to plant in it. It would sprout so many seeds from it that it was just a matter of pulling out the seeds I didn’t want.
Japanese Farming Rings are great for people who live in the suburbs. Howard Jarrett talks about them in his book Texas Gardening the Natural Way.
You begin by making two concentric circles. The outer wall can hold the wall bricks, and the inner wall is a few feet high chicken wire. Put compost in chicken wire, then plant it outside of chicken wire. When you water your compost, it drains and wateres the plants you placed right outside of it.
Not only is it an attractive way to fertilize, but it also gives your plants an extra boost of nutrients every time you water. In the end, we got volunteers from our fertilizer. One of the guajilo peppers we got in Food Town sprouted into a five-foot monster. It was excellent and came from our food waste!
We also had tomatoes and pumpkins growing on their own. We’d be letting some basil go to seed too, and this would grow every year in Texas.
It cannot work for you
I don’t get the veggies in Colorado, but parsley, dill, and cilantro will replant themselves. I don’t go deeper until most of the years. I generate enough compost on site with my animals that I simply put it on top of it.
The Organic No-till Revolution: High Production Methods for Small Farmers Written by Andrew Miffred delves into details on the topic.
The tillage system won’t work for everyone, but I got good results. I live in a semi-arid region, which means I can suppress weeds simply by not watering. No plowing definitely worth looking for.
The biggest complaint about no-till is usually the amount of compost needed to make it work. Since I have livestock, I produce a lot of compost on site simply by piling dirty bedding, watering, and flipping it occasionally. However, if you do not have livestock, do not despair. You still have options.
An enormous amount of yard waste ends up in landfills
When I lived in a suburb of Texas, my neighbors would put all sorts of things on the sidewalk. It was very usual, if you needed furniture, to walk around the night before Trash Day to see what other people were throwing at it. This is how I got my media cabinet, as well as a beautiful Chinese cabinet. They even match.
But if you want to build your own soil, you can easily grab bags of yard waste, assuming there are no laws against this kind of thing. In Texas, I know, it was a problem.
If you don’t think of picking up litter as an option, you can simply ask friends and neighbors to waste them in the yard. Pay attention to food scraps. Most people throw up more than they realize. Mixed with weed waste, it can produce a good compost.
Or, you can volunteer at a park
Depending on where you live, this can pay off in a number of ways.
I brought fallen leaves and Christmas trees of goats from the garden where my children and I volunteered. In my garden there are also wild plum trees that grow; We received permission from the ranger to harvest what we wanted. It was a good relationship for both of us.
Building healthy soil is the key to successful gardening. A healthy soil that contains a lot of organic matter will prevent all kinds of other problems. We talk a lot about becoming resilient ourselves; It applies to the natural world, too. Soils containing a lot of organic matter will promote healthy plants and good bugs that can help protect against harmful insects. You will not need to spend a lot of money on fertilizers and pesticides, which in turn will create more self-sufficiency in the garden.
Does this mean your garden will be perfect?
of course not. Just like proper diet and exercise do not guarantee good health throughout your life, and proper soil maintenance does not guarantee a hassle free garden.
I have plants that fail every year.
But it generally helps, especially in the long term. We must always move towards Flexibility and self-sufficiency For those of us who consider food production a part of our preparations. It’s never too early to search and prepare.
How to create a more self-sufficient garden?
Are you working to create a more self-sufficient garden or home? What are your plans for long-term gardening? Let’s talk about it in the comments.
Source: Organic Prepper
Joanna has been homeschooling three children since 2012. In 2014, she moved to High Plains, Colorado. She and her children started out on a small farm, gardening and raising chickens for eggs and meat. One animal drove to another, and these days they have cattle guard dogs, chickens, geese, ducks, alpacas, goats, pigs, and a very pampered cat.