Rural Lifestyle

Life in Rural America

Tag: garden

Difference Between GMO, Hybrid and Heirloom Seeds

Spring plants at a local outlet store.

What are the differences between genetically modified organisms (GMO) sometimes called GM, hybrid and heirloom seeds? Some people think hybrid and GMO are the same thing – they are not the same.

GMO – Genetically modified organisms. The seed has been modified on the genetic level. For example, a scientist may splice the gene from a fish into a corn seed. In nature that could never happen.

Hybrid – Cross pollination between two related species. For example, cross breed a horse and a donkey and you get a mule. A mule is a hybrid between two closely related species. In the plant kingdom, closely related plants can cross pollinate. If the seeds from a hybrid are saved, the seeds may be sterile. If the seeds do grow, the plant may not be like its parents.

Heirloom – Pollinated by its own species. Saved seeds will bear true to form. The seeds can be saved from this plant, and replanted over and over.

Why Won’t Your Garden Plants Produce?

Bushel of potatoes

You planted a garden, but it did not produce. The plants may have grown nice and large, but they did not produce anything. What could be wrong?

The simple answer is – Plants need certain certain types of fertilizer depending on what they produce. Using the wrong fertilizer may cause the plant to grow large, but may not produce.

What brought this topic up? I posted a video talking about how to pick out seed potatoes. Ethical Preparedness asked a question about growing potatoes..

If the reader does not subscribe to Ethical Preparedness YouTube channel, get over there and subscribe. He makes some excellent videos.

People prepping for a long term collapse, or just a backyard gardener should understand how certain nutrients affect the garden.

Everything written here is from memory.

Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potash

Crop Rotation

Rotation of crops economizes the natural plant food of the soil and also that which is applied in the form of manure and fertilizer. This is because:

Crops take food from the soil in different amounts and different proportions.

Crops differ in their feeding powers.

Crops differ in the extent and depth to which they send their roots into the soil in search of food and water.

Crops differ in the time of year at which they make their best growths.

Rotation helps to maintain or improve the texture of the soil because the amount of humus in the soil is maintained or increased by turning under green manure and cover crops which should occur in every well-planned rotation.

Tips On How to Feed a Family

SHTF Survival Garden

These days people are not only worried about this house note, or their electric bill, they are also worried about something much more basic – and that is food. There is hardly anything that grieves a mothers heart more, then to open a kitchen cabinet, and it be empty.

An economic report from February 2009 said that around 700,000 – 800,000 people lost their jobs in that one month. Less people have jobs, so less bills get paid. But the one thing that must be bought is food. But what if someone told you that you do not have to buy food? That you can grow your own.

Its true. Regardless of what people have been told for the past 30, 40 or 50 years, food does not come from a grocery store – it comes from the ground. At first I did not believe it. I honestly thought that the grocery stores used some kind of magic to make the food appear out of thin air.

We have been enslaved to the grocery store for decades. People have paid others to do their work for them. Its time to break those chains.

Benefits of a Fall Garden

Home grown onions

A fall garden should be a serious consideration for any survivalist. Spring and summer crops are one thing, but late season crops deserve special consideration.

Examples of cool weather and cold weather crops are – Cabbage, turnips, rutabagas, mustard greens and onions. Garlic should be a consideration as well.

Rutabagas: After world war 2, the rutabaga helped stop most of Germany from starving to death. Rutabagas seem to grow pretty good in cold weather. My ex-father in law grew a field of rutabagas in the middle of winter. I remember walking out into this field during the wet and cold middle of winter, and there was this green patch of Rutabaga tops. My first thought was – “wow, how can these things grow in the winter?”

When adding potting soil to your garden, avoid the cheap potting soil sold at places like wal-mart. This stuff has been know to have pieces of plastic and other trash in it. Sometimes you get what you pay for, and when you buy cheap potting soil, you get just that – cheap dirt.

How to Harvest Home Grown Potatoes

Bushel of potatoes

Once the tops of the potato plants start to die it is time to harvest the potatoes, Which is usually about 3 or 4 months after planting. To harvest the potatoes, pull the top of the potato plant up and then dig the dirt up around the plant.

The potatoes will be easy to damage, so dig up with care. Try not to use tools such as shovels as they can damage the potato.

Some people use cloth gardening gloves to help protect their hands from injury (from debris in the dirt) and to prevent getting dirt under their finger nails.

One way to quickly harvest the potatoes is to run a plow down the middle of the row. This will roll the dirt up and bring the potatoes to the surface.

After the potatoes have been Harvested, store them in a cool dry place. Some people will put down a bed of straw, layer of potatoes, layer of straw, layer of potatoes. When they need the potatoes, dig through the straw and dig some out.

Growing Zucchini As Part of a Survivalist Garden

Fresh zucchini from a backyard garden

Zucchini is a small summer squash and a member of the melon / gourd family. It has an outer skin that can harden if left on the plant for too long – kinda like a watermelon or pumpkin. The immature fruit are best when picked at about 6 inches in length. Zucchini can be yellow, green or light green. It can be compared to a cucumber is shape, with the Zucchini being a little slimmer then an average cucumber when ready to harvest.

When getting ready to plant the seeds, soak the seeds between two wet towels about about 3 – 5 days. The seeds that sprout should be planted, the seeds that have not sprouted can be discarded.

While the seeds are soaking, the ground should be worked and prepared for the seeds.

Fertilizer For Zucchini

Zucchini requires a balanced fertilizer such as 13-13-13. Try not to use straight nitrogen such as 21-0-0, as you might get a large plant that produces little food. For prolonged production, add some organic fertilizer to the mix, such as mulch, pot ash, compost or manure.

The Survivalist Garden and Cucumbers

cucumber survivalist garden

While planning a survival garden that will be used during a prolonged disaster, cucumbers might be an important consideration.

During outbreaks of the Bubonic Plague (The Black Death) during the middle 1300’s, starvation might have killed as many people as the disease. As farmers and merchants died off from The Black Death, those that were still alive were left to a slow death of starvation. It was recorded in the journals of the witnesses to The Black Death – the starving masses even turned to cannibalism.

To prevent this type of situation from befalling family members and loved ones, every survivalist should have a stock of seeds for a home garden.

The cucumber belongs to the same plant family as watermelon, zucchini and pumpkin. Sometimes this is called the “Gourd” or “melon” family. This is because the plants can grow a hard outer shell. The benefit of this hard outer shell, most insects can not penetrate it to eat the softer inner flesh. This makes the cucumber somewhat pest resistant, as compared to other garden plants – such as the tomato.

Modern man has grown the cucumber for at least 3,000 years in Western Asia. Estimates are that the cucumber was introduced to parts of Europe by the Romans. The exact year of European introduction in unknown. Written records dating back to the Roman empire exist noting how much the cucumber was eaten in ancient times. As an example, the Roman Emperor Tiberius (November 16, 42 BC – March 16, AD 37) ate cucumbers on an almost daily basis. To ensure that cucumbers were on the dinner plate during the winter months, the plants were grown in carts. The carts were wheeled into the sunlight during the day, and brought inside during the night.

Spinach For a SHTF Survival Garden

Spinach in a survivalist garden

Survivalist, are you looking for an easy crop to grow that is packed with nutrients? Look no further than spinach. Spinach is easy to grow, and easy to harvest.

Chances are seeds will be sold at the local farm supply store by the ounce. This provides the opportunity to stockpile seeds in bulk. Most of the spinach seeds in my stockpile are giant noble.

Several years ago I grew a crop of giant noble spinach in horse manure. Just a couple of pots kept us in a good supply for a couple of months. One of the nice things about stockpiling spinach seeds, they are small and do not take up a lot of room. This means thousands of seeds can be stockpiled in a small amount of space.

Planting Spinach

Spinach has to be replanted every year. This is also known as an annual plant. Even though Spinach may need to be replanted every year, it might survive over winter in temperate regions.

Spinach germinates best if the seeds are soaked in water, or between wet rags for at least 24 hours before planting. Best results for germination may occur if the seeds are soaked for 3 – 5 days, or until the seed starts to sprout.

Kevin Felts © 2008 - 2018