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Show off your survival garden! (PICS)

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posted on Jun, 29 2009 @ 11:59 PM
Hey all.

I wanted to make a thread where everyone can come in and show off their survival gardens. Post pics, tidbits of wisdom, before & afters, or your favorite herbs, vegetables, or other plants. Heck even post recipes if you want

This year was my first year of major gardening. We had a fenced in garden area in the back that hadn't been used in about 8 years, and I decided that we needed to start it up again!

I live in the Northeast United States, in New England, in USDA Zone 6a (zone map below), so I couldn't get too ambitious and try to grow tropical fruits like bananas or pineapple. I am stretching the zone a bit though, as a few of the plants I'm attempting to grow like warmer (and/or rainier) climates (such as C. Sinensis, the plant from which Green tea comes from).

USDA Agricultural Zone Map

(Courtesy USDA)

My parents already had been maintaining a yearly herb garden, which is on the other side of the house. They've been growing culinary herbs like basil, chives, oregano, and lemon balm for years now. I expanded on their selection of herbs, choosing species we hadn't tried to grow yet.

We had 3 cubic yards of topsoil delivered from a local garden center, which was more than enough for what I had planned (plan picture below).

Garden Plan (potted plants / herb garden excluded)

Overall our family garden is composed of the (1) main fenced-in area, (2) a couple of auxiliary beds on the side, (3) a smaller 'mini-bed' behind the main bed, (4) a patio herb garden, and (5) potted plants.

The main area is composed of 3 beds, 2 are the same size, and there's one larger bed. The largest bed is full of veggies (Bed #1), the bed next to it has both veggies and herbs (Bed #2), and the last bed in the main area has a fish pond with a Japanese Maple (pic of main area below).

Main Area Overview

Unfortunately, I don't have the pictures of what the garden looked like before we tilled and pulled weeds, but believe me, it was a jungle. It took a ton of work to weed it and get the soil tilled (I think it was about 3 days of weed pulling and tilling). You just get to see the final result!

When I was digging in the 2nd bed to get it ready for planting, I dug up something I really didn't expect (picture below).

Baby Bunnies! These guys had a den in Bed #2. I had seen the mother bouncing around our yard, but didn't realize she had a den in the garden. A few days after I uncovered them, these guys were hopping around my yard (probably scoping out the lettuce i planted!).

Anyways, back to the main garden bed. Here's another shot of it from a different angle (below) after the bunnies had left:

In this bed I planted all veggies. I custom built the trellis for the cucumbers out of old wood and plastic mesh I bought at Home Depot. I used twine on the top of it to make sure it wouldn't fold when the vines got bigger (and the cukes weighted it down).

Here's a breakdown of what's planted in Bed #1:

Tomatoes (4 kinds)

I planted 'Big Beef,' 'Cherry,' 'Beefsteak,' and 'Campbells.' I wanted a few different varieties for use in cooking and also sun-drying. I'm planning on sun-drying most of the tomatoes for storage. You can sun-dry using an oven, basically you put the oven on its lowest setting (pref around 110-130 degrees) to dry them out. Or if you have a food de-hydrator that works too.


I bought the big cucumber plants from a nursery near my house, but they're hybrids, and a couple don't seem to be doing that great, so I'm also starting organic seedlings. Hopefully those will be done in time to harvest before the first frost. These are vine plants of the 'Straight 8' variety. I plan on using some in food and pickling the rest for storage.


Has to be my favorite veggie. There's nothing better than Eggplant Parmesan! I've got 3 Eggplant plants growing, and they're doing fantastic (so far). I was going to attempt to sun-dry at least some (if you can) for storage. These are of the 'Old World Italian Heirloom' variety, an excellent all around choice because they're hardy and taste great (grew them a few years ago in pots).


I've never really grown squash before, so I'm not sure what to expect from it. The plants so far are doing fantastic though. They are of the summer squash variety. The only gripe I have is the Striped Cucumber Beetles (Acalymma vittatum) that eat the leaves (pic below).

(IMAGE COURTESY: USDA Agricultural Research Service).

These nasty little S.O.Bs not only eat the squash leaves, but they carry bacterium that infect the plant and also eat it away. They are a pain in the butt to say the least, and I'm doing what I can to get rid of them. They haven't moved to my cucumbers yet and I hope they don't.

I am planning on storing the majority of squash I grow for later use in pies and cooking. I think you can store them in a root cellar but I'm not sure (that's my next project!).

Sweet Pepper

Great great veggie to grow in your garden. Not only do these guys taste great, but they don't have a lot of natural pests in my area. All of the sweet pepper plants I have are doing fantastic! I am planning on drying most of them out for storage and using the rest for cooking.


[edit on 30-6-2009 by JipStix]

posted on Jun, 30 2009 @ 12:00 AM
Beans (2 kinds)

Gotta have those beans! I'm growing two types of beans, one is the 'Purple Bush Queen' variety and the other is the 'Kentucky Bean Pole.' I've grown the Purple Bush Queen before and they've done exceptionally! They are purple until you cook them, and are easy to find on the vine (once the vines get big its a pain in the butt to find the green ones). I'm going to be using most of these when I harvest them for meals, and freeze some others for future consumption.


Packed with Vitamin C, these guys are great home-grown (way better than the store!!). I'm growing them in a narrow double row on the far end of the large bed (Bed #1). They're the 'Royal Chantenay' variety, growing pretty large (around 6-8 inches). I had to keep the ground extra soft where I was planting the seeds to ensure their growth isn't stunted by hard soil. I added about 4 inches extra topsoil to the existing dirt in the bed. They haven't started to come up yet, but I cordoned off an area for them so no one crushes them into the soil.


Haven't tried to grow these before (like squash) so I'm not sure what to expect. I planted them in between the eggplant and carrots, and in between the eggplant and tomatoes, so there are two rows. They haven't started to come up yet, so I don't have any pictures of them, but we'll see how they pan out. They store very well, so when I harvest them I plan on putting them into a root cellar or another container.

Auxiliary Garden Beds

I built these two beds this year out of old wood, they turned out great! I used the topsoil we ordered for the main garden to fill 'em up.

In the first Aux. bed I planted lettuce, black onion, tomatoes, and squash. The squash are doing great right now, but the other plants seem to be struggling a bit. They're alive, but aren't growing very fast.

In the second Aux. bed I planted only radishes in two parallel rows. They are doing GREAT! They will be ready to harvest within a week or two. They are a very fast-growing vegetable, usually only needing 3 weeks until harvest.


I built this small bed before I even planted the main bed. It's pretty small but I've got 3 plants growing in it now, Chamomile, Oregano, and Sweet pepper. I'm totally surprised! This bed was a bit of an experiment, and the plants are thriving; the chamomile looks fantastic. If you've got room, you should try to grow some, it's great for tea and you can even use the leaves in salad.

Patio Herb Garden

This is our yearly herb garden. My parents have been maintaining it for about 8 years now, planting pretty much the same herbs annually. They plant Thyme, Rosemary, Chives, Lemon Balm, Tarragon, Basil, Oregano, Catnip, and Hot Peppers. It's in a great location that gets lots of sun.


Been growing this stuff for a long time. They use it in flavoring meals and you can use it in tea if you wish. Very hardy herb, keeps coming back after frigid New England winters. A must for any herb garden!


Also very hardy, been growing this for a long time. You can use these for seasoning in food. Personally, there's nothing better on a potato then sour cream and chives, with a steak dinner. It's just plain fantastic. Be careful though, these grow like wildfire, might want to pot them!


The best fish seasoning you can use! Nothing is better on salmon and seafood than fresh tarragon picked from an herb garden. This is also a very hardy herb that can withstand a beating in the winter.


Been growing this for a long time as well. We usually pull it out of the ground and bring it in for the winter in a pot. Great on Italian food. Sprinkle a little on Eggplant Parmesan, tastes fantastic! Plant gets pretty big over time, semi-invasive. Can be stored fairly easily after you dry it.


Another great herb for use on a lot of food and in teas. This year we're growing a different variety, 'Greek Oregano,' just to try something different. Goes great on Italian food as well. You can dry this, like basil, and store it for a long time for future use.


I think my cats are addicted. I picked some last week and put it in a bag on the counter. Went to the bathroom real quick, came back out, and catnip was all over the floor, the bag ripped apart. Cats were going zany jumping in the air, whacking each other, rolling around. Can be used in a tea too I believe, not sure what medicinal properties it has though. Pretty hardy.

Continued on next post

posted on Jun, 30 2009 @ 12:00 AM
Potted Plants

I've also been growing a few plants in pots. Couldn't really find a spot for them in the ground, and some I didn't want to risk planting in the soil.

Mint - Black Peppermint

This is a HIGHLY invasive plant. Don't plant it in the ground if you can help it. It sends out runners above and below ground, and grows very fast. I'm growing mine in a wine barrel, and it seems to be doing great. You just have to make sure to prune it, and keep it in the pot so it doesn't spread like crazy.

It can be used for a tasty medicinal tea! It's pretty strong though, so careful on how much you put in the cup. Apparently some people say it can be used for relieving sickness and nausea, but I've never really drank a lot of it.

Aloe Vera

I actually had a few of these growing when I was at school in the Southwest, and figured I'd try growing one in the Northeast as well. Aloe Vera is one of the BEST plants for treating burns and bites, and looks cool to boot. I've used it on sunburns more times than I can count (bit of a beach bum). I'm going to grow it outside this growing season and bring it in during the winter, as it certainly is NOT cold hardy.

Camellia Sinensis (Tea plant)

The prize of my garden! It was a pain in the butt to get this plant. This is my first time trying to grow it, so I'm watching it like a hawk to make sure it does good. It's native to Asia, and is grown in Korea, Japan, Vietnam, China, etc...

This is where Green Tea, Black Tea, and Oolong Tea come from. It will grow up to 15-20 feet, but I'm going to prune it to around 4-5 feet because I want to bring it inside in the winter. It's borderline cold hardy in my zone, as it's meant for zone 7 (I'm in zone 6). I'm not going to take any chances though because it was so hard to get! Try to grow it if you can.

It will take at least 2 years until the leaves are ready for harvest, but nothing will be better than garden-picked green tea!!

Main Area - Bed #2
(Forgot to add this at beginning, apologies)

This bed contains a home-built triangle trellis with squash and bean seedlings on either side, as well as several herbs. The herbs are doing pretty well, except for the sage plant, which has seen better days. The veggies are doing fine so far though.

Bay Leaves

This is my first year growing Bay Leaves. I know they can be used for cooking, but haven't tried them yet. The plant is doing fantastic so far, even though somethings been nibbling on the bottom leaves (probably the bunnies). Apparently Bay Leaves go great with Mediterranean Cuisine. I'll experiment with them when the plant gets a little larger.

Cayenne Pepper

Not a huge fan of hot peppers, but Cayenne are pretty darn good. It has a lot of purported positive medicinal effects because of Capsicum, a compound in the peppers. They make a great addition to southwest dishes, and are awesome if you like spicy/hot food. The plant itself is doing amazing in our garden so far, as I don't think a lot of pests here in the northeast eat them.


Can't get enough of my garlic! Use it as seasoning in various dishes and as a cardiovascular supplement. Garlic is also touted as a vampire warding herb! If you have any neighborhood vampires garlic is a must! Plant is doing fantastic in the garden right now.


My first year growing sage, and the plant doesn't seem to be doing that great. It looked alright when I bought it and planted it, but it's gone downhill since. Don't know what I'm doing wrong, hopefully it will do better with more sun (been very rainy here lately). Sage has a lot of culinary uses in various cuisines, and has positive medical effects as well. I'll learn more as the plant (hopefully) starts to grow!


Thanks for reading all of this (if you got this far)
! Let me know what you think, and post pictures of your garden! If you have any questions let me know as well.


posted on Jun, 30 2009 @ 12:22 AM
Looks great!

If it's a survival garden for a SHTF situation, I hope you have weapons to keep your veggies safe!

First thing your neighbors are going to do when they get hungry is go to the garden they saw last month lol.

posted on Jun, 30 2009 @ 12:24 AM
Nice garden.
I'm jealous.

posted on Jun, 30 2009 @ 12:28 AM
Well...Funny you mention it because I am currently in the making of my "survival garden". So as soon as I have built mine, I will post some photos.

posted on Jun, 30 2009 @ 12:33 AM
arn't hydroponics the way to go for a survival farm? they allow for better control of conditions and make it possible to remove the natural elements from the situation.

posted on Jun, 30 2009 @ 12:36 AM
By the way, before I forget. NICE garden! Looking Good.

Cant wait to see how mine turns out.

posted on Jun, 30 2009 @ 12:44 AM
Hey thanks guys for the responses. Yea I haven't really looked into hydroponics, aren't those systems usually somewhat expensive? Or are you talking about a homemade hydroponics system?

I've run out of room in the beds and am probably going to be building a few more out of old wood for all of the seedlings I currently have growing (raspberry, st johns wort, echenacea, strawberry, pac choi, pomegranate). I'm beginning to think I bought too many seeds....


Ya I thought about that! I know my neighbors really well and they all started gardening this year as well, so we'll be in it together if people coming scavenging for food. I could never shoot someone asking for food, I'd probably give them a pamphlet and some seeds and show them how to garden


Yea! Let us see it as soon as its done. Remember to take before and after pictures, will give you a lot of satisfaction after putting in the work.

[edit on 30-6-2009 by JipStix]

posted on Jun, 30 2009 @ 01:53 AM
well @ least if the SHTF i'll know where to go looking for supplies while im on the run from the Goverment all over the world

I wouldn't personaly be showing pictures of mine just incase.....

posted on Jun, 30 2009 @ 02:09 AM
reply to post by JipStix

Good lookin garden. We haven't gardened for a few years, but now we have a daughter and 3 grandchildren living with us, plus a few other kids, They all call us Papaw and Nanny. Hell, they don't know what else to call us after these few years. Not all are related, but, hey, it's all good in a sense of family and community. We haven't had a garden for the last few years, but since all these kids are here and, of course, they get hungry, we decided to put in a large garden and teach them a bit about tilling the dirt, planting seeds and weeding and thinning seedlings. Sometimes they get bored and wander away, but that is okay. They are learning.

And this year is pretty good. Much rain. The plants are growing huge. No, I don't have pics to show, yet. My corn patch is as tall as me and the tassles on top have yet to show themselves. This is going to be a good year for corn! We've had two very windy storms that knocked over the corn plants, but we went into the garden and straightend them out and fixed the problems with exposed roots.

I've got a hothouse, which I call English cucumber plant that has about 20 blossoms on it right now. More to come later. Yum. Lots of cucumbers with vinegar and cucumber and cheese sandwiches to come.

My daughter enjoys canned vegetables. Yuck! I can eat them, but I told her, we want to pick the vegies early, when they are tender and young, especially the green beans, and give them a quick boil and then freeze them.

My daughter had an idea that we could grow okra. I am the only one who likes okra and I was surprised. But she informed me that she wasn't thinking about my desires, instead she was thinking about how she could dry the okra and then use them in craft projects.

I said, thank you for sort of thinking about me. lol. I will pick a bit of the okra and cut them and bread them and fry them and to hell with you, too. lol.

This is great. All are involved in some way or another. We even have neighbor kids coming over and weeding the garden so they can partake of the peas, eaten fresh out of the pod in the garden.

Ain't nature grand??!!!

posted on Jun, 30 2009 @ 02:37 AM
Nice planning, great garden in the works. I also have some garden space. Tried those drip hoses that are made of recycled tires. They don't work well. I have used drip irrigation off and on since 1977, and like the 1/4 in plastic line with the ready-made emitters in them. Just picked up 300 ft last wk. If you get the filter, and put it on a double line, mound the row, and use a weed protector film, you can do great. For example, planted a 50 ft row of Sequoia strawberries double row 79 plants, had more than I could handle. The filter is useful for fertilizing. Just put some Miracle Gro crystals in the filter, and whenever the watering occurs, the crystals dissolve and fertilize all the plants. Of course, everything goes on automatic watering. Drip lines are great for asparagus, too. Use bricks for weed control.

[atsimg][/atsimg] This pic was taken Dec 14, 2008. The strawberries are done bearing for awhile, and are about 2 ft tall.

Planning for use is the biggest problem, so you don't have too much at a time. Best solution I have found is to make a 3/4 pvc, put bubblers on every few feet, and hook up to hose. Use the bubbler where you need it, and turn off the other ones. Trench as needed. Great for rows of things like watermelon, corn, etc. For example, you may have green beans staged in a single row. Plant 20 about 2 months apart. When the first 20 plants are going fine, you don't have the bubblers on in the next 20 ft of row. With drip irrigation, you have to change pipe lengths. Also, pvc is harder for gophers to ruin. You can see one of these pvc lines to the right in the photo.

Weed control is the biggest problem. With weed cloth, and careful placement, you can wipe out about 90 to 95% of the problem. Then, it's just about replanting and harvesting.

Plants on the right are thornless boysenberries. Had thornless blackberries, but got rid of them...too sour. The boysens were great, made 13 jars of jam, and ate a pie. Not that many plants. Top the stems so they branch out. Keep 'em watered. Stems come up this time of year for next year's production. Stems are nearly an inch thick this time.

[edit on 30-6-2009 by Jim Scott]

posted on Jun, 30 2009 @ 02:43 AM
I'm here from the gov't and here to confiscate all your unlicensed food that you've produced in violation of new gov't regulations banning food consumption for untaxed and unregulated food production facilities(backyard gardens). We're also seizing your house because it was used in furtherance of this crime as an unlicensed food storage facility. You used rainwater to illegally produce unlicensed non-terminator seeds in direct violation of the Feinstein Act make all water use subject to strict gov't control. CPS will come to take your children to rehabilitate them from their false state of health and well-being and reeducate them to follow all state local and federal laws without question and hesitiation!

After an prolonged Interview at our 'domestic terrorist' intake unit, you'll be given the option of closely monitored electronic prison sentence at our licensed food production facility(prison farm) or if the marshall law tribunal feels your crimes are severe enough, you'll be placed in a medical coma until your organs can harvested for a 'deserving citizen'.

And you want to advertise your garden?

posted on Jun, 30 2009 @ 03:04 AM
reply to post by JipStix

Nice garden, great pics, thanks for sharing with us.

I'm in an apartment in the city, and i have a limited amount of space for my veggies, so i plant what i use the most. My favorite, tomatoes ! There is nothing beeter in this world then a fresh home grown tomato
I eat em straight of the plant like an apple or something, i LOVE them

I hate when the weather turns cold and i have to buy tomatoes from the store

Anyway i have seven tomato plants (i think) 4 different varieties. Unfortunately the landlord was here last week cleaning gutters and one of his workers broke one of my plants that was already flowering
i don't think it's gonna make it. I have 3 broccoli plants, doing very well. And 3-4 sweet green bell peppers, 2 sweet red peppers, and 1 sweet yellow banana pepper plants, all seem to be doing pretty good. Some marigolds to keep the aphids away.

The only real problem i had was the cucumbers, i lost them all. My son lost all of his too, for some reason they just keep dying off this year. It seems as though the plants are growing very slow this year, we have had a ton of rain, but until last week the temperatures were unseasonably cool.

I still have to get some containers for my basil, parsley, and chives. I also want to see if i can get some special lights so that i can grow a couple plants inside during the winter.

Tomorrow i'll take some pictures and if i can figure out how to post them, i'll post them here.

I'm lucky enough to live on a block where we all have respect for each other and look out for each other, so i have no worries about anyone stealing form my garden. It's never happened in the 19 years that i've lived here, and they all know they are wlecome to share my harvest as i always offer.

Oh forgot to mention, anyone that tried to steal would have to get through my dogs first, they love their tomatoes and often beat me to them

posted on Jun, 30 2009 @ 03:05 AM
The garden looks great jipstix, have just tomatoes and peppers going as i do not have much of a yard but i love my salsa

My question is how much do you actually expect to yeild and once TSHTF how do you expect to sustain yourself from herbs and spices and the other produce you have growing once your food has run dry? I understand you could always go hunting but once every American figures that out there isn't going to be much game to go around..This is too small for a survival garden but it's a great start!

posted on Jun, 30 2009 @ 03:21 AM

Originally posted by crgintx
I'm here from the gov't and here to confiscate all your unlicensed food that you've produced in violation of new gov't regulations banning food consumption for untaxed and unregulated food production facilities(backyard gardens). We're also seizing your house because it was used in furtherance of this crime as an unlicensed food storage facility. You used rainwater to illegally produce unlicensed non-terminator seeds in direct violation of the Feinstein Act make all water use subject to strict gov't control. CPS will come to take your children to rehabilitate them from their false state of health and well-being and reeducate them to follow all state local and federal laws without question and hesitiation!

After an prolonged Interview at our 'domestic terrorist' intake unit, you'll be given the option of closely monitored electronic prison sentence at our licensed food production facility(prison farm) or if the marshall law tribunal feels your crimes are severe enough, you'll be placed in a medical coma until your organs can harvested for a 'deserving citizen'.

And you want to advertise your garden?

Dear Evil Government Representative,

It has come to our attention that you have decided to ban the useage of our private lands and residences for the production of food.

Considering that the overall economy is declining...

Considering that The dollar is tanking...

Considering that other Nations are reducing, (Soon to halt) the financeing of The US Government.

We have summarily decided to completely ignore you.

Thank you for your warning, but it is unlikely that enforcement of legislation as widespread and all canvasing as the ones that you are stating will be logistically possible, considering the area that you have to cover, the complete surveillance that you can no longer finance, and the personnel required to execute your directives whose salary that you can no longer maintain in any economic sense.

Thank you for your concern... But WE will keep our gardens, and you can kindly stay out of our business if you wish to avoid being hunted for food.



posted on Jun, 30 2009 @ 11:49 AM
I was thinking home made hydroponics, mabe even solar powered grow lights (No I am not growing pot). Mabe even trying to recycle a little of the power that goes into pumping water.

posted on Jun, 30 2009 @ 12:37 PM

Originally posted by The_Smokeing_Gun
I was thinking home made hydroponics, mabe even solar powered grow lights (No I am not growing pot). Mabe even trying to recycle a little of the power that goes into pumping water.

dude/dudette? what is your sig pic from? that is friggin awesome!

posted on Jun, 30 2009 @ 12:46 PM
My garden isnt' doing so hot.

I dont' know what the heck my broccoli is doing. First time growing it. The carrots seem pretty resilient and are doing well, they always do. My peppers never came up. And the brussel sprouts are taking foreever. And my green beans do not like where I planted them. So I have radishes and carrots. Anyone got a salad recipe? XD and one corn stalk. All of a sudden,water melon decided to pop up.

this is my thirdyear of gardening. it is a major learning curve. It gives me a new appreciation for the people of Jamestown, and how they ever made it. I don't use pesticides, but I see now how they came about. Squash bugs took out my pumpkins and squash in two days flat. Evil, vile insects.

posted on Jun, 30 2009 @ 12:55 PM
Aside form the topic I wish to compliment you on a very nice garden!

Warning though in case you did not know Terragon spreads like crazy, in a few years it can overwhelm a bed.

Enjoy your hard work and the wonderful fruits of said labor!

If you ever want to talk casual gardening just u2u me

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