Gardening Tips that Will Save You During an Apocalypse

Posted by Diedra Blackmill on Feb 28th 2019

Seed keeper from Fury Road

Image from Mad Max: Fury Road copyright Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

So you think you can just “start a garden” if an emergency scenario arises?

Oh ho ho. Think again.

If you have no experience, gardening isn’t that easy. It actually does take some planning and know-how.

So if you’re worried about a future apocalypse, you should start gardening today, and get some experience under your belt.

Here are our valuable tips for getting through the specific challenges of post-apocalyptic gardening.

Make a habit of collecting rainwater

If infrastructure crumbles and you don’t have running water, you can’t just keep drawing water from the tap to keep a garden hydrated.

Where are you going to find enough water during periods of drought or low rainfall?

Modern farmers run extensive irrigation systems precisely because Mother Nature does not always provide enough water for efficient gardening or farming.

So, just as you would keep food storage to make sure you have enough to eat between harvests, you need to keep a rainwater collection system to have water for the garden between rains.

Metal bucket with rainwater

You can of course collect water from ground surface sources like streams and ditches if those are available. These sources aren’t always safest for drinking, but unless they’ve been heavily polluted, they’re typically fine for the garden.

You’ll want to keep your rainwater barrel out of direct sunlight so it doesn’t grow algae.

Why you should resume gardening ASAP

In an emergency scenario, you never really know what’s going to happen or when food will run out.

The thing is, just because you have a stockpile doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be gardening. What happens if the stockpile runs out in winter?

Instead, eat your fresh vegetables and fruits while they’re fresh. Preserve what you can (drying is an easy way). And save those non-perishables for when you can’t grow.

Dried tomatoes in a jar

Also, crops fail.

You don’t want that to happen when you absolutely depend on a successful harvest. Start gardening early so that failures happen when you can still correct for them or start over.

Make a keyhole garden

Okay. You really want to know how to garden efficiently in less than optimal circumstances?

It’s all about design.

And the best design for growing through drought, poor soil, and urgent need for food is a keyhole garden.

Keyhole garden diagram

Dave’s Garden

It is a circular, raised garden bed with a compost bin at the center. You compost right where you are gardening. And the beds slope slightly away from that center bin.

Food and plant waste go into the bin, as well as gray water or collected rainwater. The resulting compost tea distributes moisture and fertilizer to the garden.

The garden is contained by a border wall made of bricks, stones, or whatever you want to use, and it has a distinctive “keyhole” access point that allows you to enter the garden and fill the compost bin.

Not into the whole survival prepper thing? It’s still kind of fun to pretend. Fire up Mad Max: Fury Road, or your favorite post-apocalyptic film, and get in the mood for some self-reliance. Then visit Indoor Cultivator for your gardening supplies.

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