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.
Onions: Some types of onions are resistant to cold. The 10-15Y’s are cold resistant, shrugged off temps in the 20’s like it was nothing.
Garlic: Its slow to grow and takes a whole year, but it handles cold weather. If you leave the garlic in the ground, it will sprout the next year.
The first number:
Nitrogen – Large leaf development. The higher this number is, the bigger the leaves and stalks will get. This is good for greens, spinach, anything with a large leaf, stalk or vine.
Over usage – can result in nitrogen burn, or very large plants that do not produce. The tomato plant might be 6 feet tall and not produce a single tomato.
The Second Number:
Phosphoric acid / Phosphorus – This is for Tubor or root development. This type of fertilizer is good for potatoes, turnips or anything with an underground root.
Over usage – Can make the soil too acidic. After all, its name is Phosphoric Acid. Too much of this fertilizer can kill certain plants.
The third and last number:
Potassium / Pot Ash – This is for pod development. Plants such as peas like this fertilizer.
Over usage – I really do not know the answer to this, so its being left blank. Maybe someone else can post some information on over usage of Potassium / Pot Ash.
1. Tomatoes will bear a pod / tomato and has a tall stalk. So for this type of plant we use a balanced fertilizer such as 10-10-10 or 13-13-13.
2. Potato plants have a large under ground root. So for this plant we would use something like a 10-20-10.
3. Greens with no root – 16-6-12 or 21-0-0. The higher nitrogen content will promote large green leaves. While the 16-6-12 will provide other nutrients. If you are using organic fertilizer, a little 21-0-0 will help kick start the plant. The organic fertilizer will help provide vitamins and minerals.
4. Peas require a larger 3rd number, so maybe something like a 0-10-20, or a balanced fertilizer such as 13-13-13. Fertilizer such as 21-0-0 or 16-6-12 should not be used on peas.
Before planting anything, take the time to read what kinds of nutrients the plant needs. Use organic slow release fertilizer when ever possible.