Preparation is the key to surviving – and thriving – in any situation. Stockpiling essential food supplies can help. However, your food supplies are eventually going to run out on a long enough timeline.
Enter indoor gardening for survivalists: growing your own fresh produce in your own home to provide a reliable source of nutrients in any circumstance.
It doesn’t matter if you’re facing down the end of the world, a short-term crisis or just trying to enhance your self-sufficiency skills, indoor gardening offers a sustainable solution. Here are some techniques and plants for indoor gardening to get your started at ensuring you’re ready for whatever comes your way.
Why Should You Learn Indoor Gardening for Survivalists?
Depending solely on stockpiled food isn’t a long-term solution. Fresh produce from your indoor garden supplements your stockpile, offering vital nutrients, as well as diversifying your diet – no one wants to live on canned beans from now until the end of time.
In the meantime, Indoor gardening provides a consistent supply of fresh pesticide-free, organic vegetables, herbs, and fruits, regardless of the season or external conditions. It’s can be an enjoyable hobby, sure, but it’s also a practical means of enhancing your resilience.
What Should You Grow In Your Indoor Garden?
Choosing the right plants for your indoor garden is the first step to a thriving operation. Focus on plants that are not only easy to cultivate but also nutrient-dense and versatile. Some top choices include:
- Leafy Greens like spinach, kale, and lettuce thrive indoors, are packed with essential vitamins and minerals and work in salads, sandwiches, and cooked dishes.
- Herbs: Basil, mint, rosemary, and thyme add flavor to your meals, as well as offering medicinal properties. Herbs are also compact and require limited space.
- Dwarf Fruit Trees: Apple, fig and lemon trees come in dwarf version that thrive in confined spaces. This allows you to grow a source of fresh, vitamin-rich fruit for easy storage.
- Microgreens: Arugula, radish, and broccoli sprouts are ready for harvest within weeks and contain lots of nutrients.
Preparing the Ideal Indoor Garden Space
Your indoor garden must mimic outdoor conditions as closely as possible. Some of the key aspects you will need in your indoor garden include:
- Light: Plants obviously need light to grow. You can use artificial grow lights for as long as you have power, but after that you’re going to need the real thing – sunlight. A south-facing window is best for this.
- Temperature and Humidity: A consistent temperature between 60-75°F (15-24°C) is best for most plants.Humidity trays or humidifiers can help ensure the right moisture level.
- Ventilation: Mold and mildew are plant killers, so ensure proper air circulation with fans, which can create a steady airflow.
Soil and Fertilization
The right soil mix and fertilization techniques are essential for indoor gardening success. Without them, nothing is going to grow:
- Soil Mix: Choose a high-quality potting mix offering excellent drainage. You can enhance aeration and moisture retention by adding perlite or vermiculite.
- Fertilization: A balanced, water-soluble fertilizer should be applied every 2-4 weeks. Organic options like compost and worm castings support long-term growth.
- Watering Frequency: Feel the top inch of the soil. If it feels dry, it’s time to water. Overwatering can create problems like root rot, so don’t water too frequently.
- Watering Method: Awatering can or a gentle spray to prevent soil compaction. Watering directly at the base of the plants prevents splashing the leaves.
Pests and Disease Management
Even indoor gardens can become afflicted by pests and diseases. Here’s how to be prepared for pests and disease:
- Prevention: Regular inspection of your plants for signs of pests or diseases will help you to catch problems early. Isolation of any infected plants will prevent the spread.
- Natural Solutions: Beneficial insects like ladybugs can help to control pests. Neem oil and garlic spray deter common pests who will eat your crops before you do. Remove the infected leaves and prune the affected areas when necessary.
Harvesting and Preservation Of Indoor Gardens
Once your indoor garden flourishes, it’s time to harvest. When that’s done you might look at your crops and think “how am I going to eat all of this?” That’s where proper preservation techniques come into play.
Regular harvesting of your leafy greens and herbs to encourage new growth. You should use sharp scissors or gardening shears, because duller tools will damage your plants.
Excess crops can be preserved through freezing, drying, canning or other methods. Once you’ve properly preserved your crops, you’ll want to store it in a cool, dry place to ensure that it remains fresh for the long term.
Indoor gardening is more than a pastime for survivalists. It’s a crucial way to ensure a steady source of fresh, homegrown produce, no matter the circumstances.
Choose the right plants, provide the ideal growing conditions, and practice good pest management, and you’ll be well-prepared for any situation. Make the art of indoor gardening a part of your self-sufficiency strategy. This will help you to thrive in any situation, ensuring your family’s well-being in times of need.