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How Does My (Survival) Garden Grow?

Survival Garden

Watering Can by michaelaw on

I started my vegetable garden this year… or at least, I tried to. I tried to start some seeds indoors, but it’s been about a month since I planted them and so far there’s not so much as a single sprout. Part of the problem, or possibly THE problem, is that the only south-facing window that isn’t shaded from the sun is in my husband’s office, and by keeping them in there I keep forgetting to water them as regularly as I should. I also didn’t use heirloom seeds—I’ve read a lot about the importance of keeping heirloom seeds for your survival garden, but I’m not really clear as to why that’s important. But we didn’t find any at Home Depot when we went to stock up on seeds, and we decided to take our chances with some Burpee organic seeds instead.

Otherwise, I went by this planting chart for my zone, and planted peas, broccoli, arugula (I was going to plant kale, but I couldn’t find any seeds at Home Depot, so we decided to try arugula instead), spinach, red and green cabbage, and some herbs including chives, sweet basil, curled parsley and cilantro.

The herb seeds are a few years old—I bought this mini greenhouse herb garden starter kit when we first moved into our house and then never got around to planting it. So I thought I’d try using it to start my garden seeds this year, and try out the herb seeds that came with it as well. They’re old enough that I didn’t really expect them to grow, but I’m dismayed that none of the veggies are sprouting. I guess once they’re sure we’re not going to have another freeze I’ll try planting some outdoors instead (and come up with a system to make sure I remember to water them) and see if I have better luck. But this is a good reason as to why you should practice these things, and not just buy a can of “survival seeds” and assume you’ll be able to grow your own food in a disaster without ever having tried your hand at gardening.

I’m having better luck with growing some green onions on my kitchen windowsill. I saw a tip on Pinterest that said to cut the bulbs off of store-bought green onions and put them in water, and they’ll grow. I started trying this last week, and I’ve already got several onions sprouting new stalks. This way I’m going to have an endless supply of onions, at least. I also saw another tip that you could do the same with the stumps of celery and Romaine, so I’m going to try those next. If all else fails, maybe I can just use this method to grow my survival garden in my kitchen window.


  1. dana

    I’ve also tried the stump growth method with carrotts! It actually sprouted and got quite big, but I never harvested it…so not sure if a full carrot would be the result.
    I’ve also read that you can plant garlic cloves and harvest the green sprouts that come out of the top like chives.
    Good luck with your growing!

    • PrepperGirl

      Ooh, thanks for the tips! My little starter garden still hasn’t produced so much as a single sprout, so at this rate I’m starting to think my entire survival garden is going to be grown from stumps in my kitchen window.

  2. Carolyn

    Your site came up on my Google Alerts for survival gardening. Seed saving is the reason you want to go with heirloom or open-pollinated seed rather than hybrid. Seeds from hybrids will give you throw-backs to the parent plants that were crossed, which may not look like/taste like what you originally planted. And the seeds from those fruit will be even less.

    Heirlooms, on the other hand are true from seed of parent to seed of successive generations ad infinitum. That’s why they are so important for a survival situation.Heirlooms also make better “cents” as you are able to reduce your seed costs to $0. That’s what I like!

    Happy and Fruitful Gardening

    • PrepperGirl

      Okay, that makes sense. Thanks for the explanation.

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