Growing a garden in today’s world is pretty straightforward. You work the ground, you plant the seeds, you deal with weeds and pests, you harvest the food at the end of the season. A garden is meant to provide YOUR family with food and if you are willing to share a bit with your friends and neighbors so be it. If you or they are hungry or craving something, they can run to the store and buy it themselves.
After a collapse, your garden is going to be a very valuable commodity. We lock the doors to our houses in today’s world to protect our televisions, laptops and what not, but our gardens are not kept under lock and key. The only thieves stealing your food are the deer and other wild animals.
After a collapse, your garden is going to be a prime target for people who are hungry and don’t have their own source of food. A group of bandits could demolish your garden in a single night of thieving. You would be left with no food. With no stores to buy more, your family would be the ones starving and desperate to find another unsuspecting person’s garden.
Your garden needs to be guarded or hidden altogether. Your life depends on it. That pretty garden plot you have in the backyard is going to be an easy target.
The following tips about where to hide your garden and how to protect it will help you ensure your food source is safe and protected.
What to Grow
Before you start looking for the perfect place to start growing a hidden garden, you need to decide what you will grow. You want to use heirloom seeds. Heirloom plants will produce plants that will allow you to save and store the seeds for the garden the following year. If you only start out with a handful of seeds, you can end up with ten times that many for the following year.You could offer to sell your seeds. The more people that have their own gardens, the less people will be trying to take the food from yours.
Choose fruits and vegetables that are high yield. You want to get as much food out of a single plant as you can. Things like peas and beans are high yield and will produce for several weeks during the season.
Forests provide a great deal of cover. The soil in the forest will be fertile with the constant leaves and pine needles dropping to the ground every year and being composted into the ground. That means there will be plenty of earthworms as well. You can grow in several plots just in case one is discovered.
Plants that grow close to the ground, like spinach, lettuce and cabbage will blend in. Potatoes are an option, but you will need to make sure the soil is loose enough to support a root crop. The key to growing in an area that may be discovered is to make it look nothing like a garden. You don’t want rows of spinach neatly tended. A few plants mixed in and around natural foliage will give you a good disguise.
Next to Rivers and Streams
There is a ton of foliage that tends to grow alongside water. The moist earth is an excellent choice for almost anything you want to grow. Make sure you plant the fruits and veggies far enough from the edge that the seeds and plants won’t get washed away if the river or stream swells. Use natural foliage to hide your plants. Planting them next to a native bush will ensure someone walks right past.
Climbing a few hundred feet up a mountain has its merits, but it may not be feasible if there is no local water source to keep your plants hydrated. The soil at the highest points is not going to be very good. You also have to worry about altitude levels. Ideally, if you can keep your garden plots fairly close to your elevation, but hidden by trees and what not, you could use the mountains to your advantage.
- When you are making your plots in disguise, do what you can to plant several different plants in one plot. This ensures you still have a variety of food in case one or more of your other plots gets discovered. You are not only going to be hiding your plants from humans, but from the local wildlife as well.
- Make sure you don’t leave any obvious trails to your garden plots. Be careful to take different routes to avoid smashing down brush and accidentally creating a trail. Carefully weed around the plants, but be careful you don’t leave a clear area around your plants. This will make them stick out from the rest of the foliage.
- Hang pots in trees for things like cucumbers, strawberries and other plants that tend to spread out. Hiding the vines in the trees keeps them out of sight and prevents deer and other pests from getting to your harvest. Humans will not likely look up and study the trees, looking for something like a cucumber or melon.
- Use natural defense mechanisms like thorny bushes to secure your garden plots. This will protect it from humans and animals alike. Wild roses, blackberries and prickly weeds will act as a powerful fence.
- Set traps around an area if you suspect human intruders will try and take your food. Getting caught in a trap may be enough to scare them off.
- Do regular patrols around the garden area. When it comes close to harvesting the produce, it would be a good idea to have a 24-hour watch posted in the area. Make sure you are ready to defend yourself and your garden from human invaders. Fortunately, wildlife will generally run off if they see or smell you. It is the humans that are going to cause you problems.