Whether you're preparing for TEOTWAWKI (The End Of The World As We Know It) or a Depression having your own low or no cost food supply will help you get through hard times. In a Recession a properly run garden will help keep your food bill down. You don't need expensive chemical fertilizers or non-hybrid seeds, just a few simple tools and maybe a compost pile to go with some heirloom seeds.
Heirloom seeds are important because with Heirloom seeds you can save seeds from one year to plant the next year. Non-heirloom or Hybrid seeds often don't breed true from one season to the next giving you no or low crop yields from plants grown from their seeds.
Before buying your seeds you'll want to determine what seeds grow best in your area. You'll also want to locate low cost sources for Heirloom seeds. You should concentrate on seeds for plants that grow foods that you normally eat.
Learn which crops grow best in your area. Soil conditions can be corrected, but weather patterns and the area's growing season may favor some varieties of plants over others in your locale. Local gardening clubs know about the growing season and will likely have heirloom seed enthusiasts who can help you pick your future crop and may even share some seeds. A few knowledgeable gardening friends can jumpstart your crop growing efforts.
Learn the growing season in your area. Your growing season can be extended if you sprout early spring seedlings indoors next to a window (You can use a 12 or 18 cup foam egg carton on the windowsill. Cut the top off. Poke a tiny hole in the bottom of each egg cup for drainage. Toss in some soil & seeds. Water sparingly. Line the inside of the carton top with a sheet of plastic or aluminum foil and place the carton top upside down under the carton bottom to catch the water draining through the tiny holes in the cups.) or in a greenhouse you can make from clear plastic and a wood of metal frame. Your local Agricultural Extension Agent (look them up in the phone book or check with your state college) can give you detailed information about growing seasons and the best plants to plant in the area. They may also be able to direct you to classes being offered at no or low cost.
Stock up on the heirloom seeds that your research has shown will thrive in your area. Plant a small garden to get some practice and experience gardening and also to provide a source of heirloom seeds for you and your friends next year.
Tips Remember plants take time to grow, plan and plant ahead. Sprouting seeds indoors can extend your growing season. Start with a small garden of foods you like the most. As your confidence and competence grow you can expand your garden as needed. A Compost pile will help you grow bigger crops.
Warning There are some companies on the Internet selling heirloom seed packages for $99 to $165 which are purportedly packaged for long term storage. There is no guarantee that those seeds are best for your local growing area.
If you plan to plant soon such seed packages may not be worth the money to you. On The Other Hand If you plan to keep the seeds in the freezer "just in case" they offer a one stop shopping point for you, but be sure the seeds being offered are for plants you like to eat.
You'll need to fend off bugs while your crops are growing. Birds can be harmful to your plants; they'll eat sprouts in the spring and ruin your produce in the fall when fruit ripens.
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