One seriously unintended result of Coronavirus and all this Covid-19 drama is the worldwide boom of survival gardening, likely inspired by the Victory Garden boom from World War II. Worldwide people are flocking to their gardens for entertainment and a hedge against possible collapse of the food supply while the world is more or less shut down.
If you’ve always wanted a vegetable garden, these are now unprecedented times in terms of garden growth worldwide which is leading to the spread of people learning to garden. Thanks to social media, there’s plenty of information to get started out there for newbies who have never gardened before, as well as seasoned veterans just looking for hacks to survive these unique times.
Before we move on it’s worth mentioning that everyone should still try and maintain proper social distancing while gardening. If you’re lucky enough to have your own private yard, go nuts. If you have access to community garden that could be an option, too, especially if you have your own plot.
However if you’re stuck in apartment housing or without any private outside area, the best place to do so is indoors, in containers. Never fear though, there’s a surprising amount of food you can grow on a balcony or in house in containers. The nice thing is should you need extra light, it’s fairly cheap to set up an indoor grow setup with CFL bulbs. Check out the Container Gardening Bible for tips with getting started indoors!
More On Container Gardening From the Homestead Guru:
- How to Choose the Best Pot for Your Container Garden(Opens in a new browser tab)
- No Yard? No Problem. How to Garden in a Small Space(Opens in a new browser tab)
- How to Enjoy Fresh Flavors Year Round + 5 Easy Indoor Herbs(Opens in a new browser tab)
Start Your Survival Garden
Generally speaking getting started is easy but there are some considerations specific to the quarantine times that are worth mentioning. At least in the United States there are restrictions on what you can buy. At this time seeds are considered non-essential. There is however a loophole to this as you can order seeds and plants online still. Be aware the stock still may be reduced due to regulations.
- UN Report Says Small-Scale Organic Farming Only Way To Feed The World(Opens in a new browser tab)
- The End of Toxic Agriculture – How Prairie Land & Animal Farming Can Save the Environment(Opens in a new browser tab)
For those who can’t get access to seeds the best source is the produce section or contacting friends with garden to barter for seeds. Buy ripe veggies like peppers, potatoes, tomatoes and really anything that contains a seed and sprout those after using the veggie in food. Zucchini along with other cucerbits may have underdeveloped seeds that will not sprout. Dried beans from the store are an excellent source of seeds. You can also use potatoes from the store to start growing those either in container or in garden bed. There’s lots of tutorials out there on regrowing food like celery, onions and lettuce too.
Children and Gardening
With children home from school until further notice, now is the perfect time to help grow an interest in gardening. You can help them get involved in your garden or even give them their own space and plants to explore with your guidance. If you don’t have space to garden, a house plant to take care of is just as good of a learning experience.
Gardening is actually a really important part of childhood education, here at the Homestead Guru we feel strongly kids should be learning from the world around them – we have several articles you can explore here:
- Innovative Preschool Combines Urban Farming and Nursery Education
- Road Schooling: Ditch the Classroom and Learn from the World(Opens in a new browser tab)
- Unschooling and “Child-Led Learning” Defined(Opens in a new browser tab)
- Studies Reveal Children Should Be Outside 4-6 Hours Per Day(Opens in a new browser tab)
Chickens During Quarantine
Tractor Supply and other stores in the US are reporting shortages of chicks for the 2020 farming season. People are flocking to those stores and panic buying chickens. This can be a good strategy for those who have experience farming chickens. For those new to farming chickens, extensive research is needed as well as a strong shelter place for the animals.
If you don’t have experience with any of this I recommend holding back on buying chicks because there are a lot of complications you can run into that you don’t expect, including sickness. Leave the birds for those who have livestock experience. However if you are still determined to make it happen chickens are a great source of food and fertilizer.
Our founding mother here at the Homestead Guru actually wrote a very simple book about raising chickens, you can find it on Amazon here.
Survival Garden Activities
- Trimming, Pruning, WeedingThis is the perfect time of year to give your trees, shrubs and hedges shape. Cut off anything dead to allow for new growth. Fertilize these plants also if you can. Weed intended garden areas. As far as plant waste is concerned, be aware that eco-centers are currently shut down due to the crisis. You’ll have to process your own waste with composting or fermented fertilizer teas.
- Houseplants and Quarantine GardeningNow is the perfect time to re-pot and fertilize house plants. Some may require a more or less sunny spot than where they usually are. As mentioned above, you can start supplementing light to expand your garden or just help it thrive more indoors. If you don’t have soil to re-pot with, try a quick compost recipe combined with local soil.
- Renovating LawnsIf you have a lawn, now is an incredible time to start fresh with a vegetable garden in it’s place. Make sure you can do so legally in your area as some areas have been known to have gardening restrictions that say things like “no front yard gardens”.
The surge in gardening has likely been one of the most inspiring parts of all of this crisis that is Coronavirus. The quarantine has given many the time and opportunity to get started on projects they may not have had time for. Gardening is perfect because if you get everything set up correctly now, when the quarantine lifts the garden won’t need much maintenance other than watering and picking of food. It only usually takes one successful garden to start a tradition! Let 2020 be the year for gardening, not the year for Coronavirus!