In uncertain times like the current public health crisis, there is a constant threat to life and livelihood. Learning how to start a home garden is a good way to live sustainably. (h/t to PreppersWill.com)
Start your journey to food independence with a survival garden
Preppers can help reduce the impact of rising food costs and scarcities by growing all or most of the food they consume.
Through intensive gardening, you can reduce your water and fertilizer usage. Compared to conventional gardening, intensive gardening uses only half to 1/16th the amount of water, 1/4th to 1/62nd the amount of fertilizer and 1/100th of the energy.
On the other hand, it yields at least 10 times as much as conventional gardening.
Challenges you may face with intensive gardening
Intensive gardening has some drawbacks, such as the work-intensive task of double-digging the beds. Uncompacted soil also drains rapidly, meaning the upper 1/2 inch to two inches of soil may dry out, especially if you use sandy soil.
Seedlings with shallow root systems may die from a lack of water.
After planting starts (juvenile plants) or sowing seeds, keep watch on the surface layer and water lightly. If it feels dry, put more organic content in the soil to increase its water-holding capacity and lessen the need for frequent watering.
Intensive gardening requires hard work
With intensive gardening, you will learn the systematic application of different techniques such as raised beds, loosening the topsoil and subsoil, planting in solid blocks, successional planting, use of starts and an integrated pest-management system.
Using some of these techniques can enhance your garden, but if you want to reap all the benefits, then use all of them.
For effective intensive gardening, use permanent raised beds that are at least 3-5 feet wide, 20-25 feet long and with soil raised 2-12 inches above the paths.
The soil in the beds must be loosened initially to a depth of 24 inches through double-digging, unlike the 4-8 inches when using conventional tilling methods.
Don't walk on the beds and practice occasional spading to keep the soil loose and uncomplicated.
Ensure that you have friable soil in double-dug beds that will provide optimal conditions for root development, which is important for strong, rapidly growing plants. Friable soil, often called loam, has a crumbly texture that's best for the underground activity that is the foundation of your success when gardening.