Ten Gardening Skills for the Survivalist

There are two skills I constantly write on this site, debt and gardening.  I think between the two it will relieve about 90% of your preparedness problems.  With spring upon us I want to give some more gardening tips to help you have a successful garden this year.

The ten things are

  • Succession planting
  • Composting
  • Companion planting
  • Container gardening
  • Mulching
  • Guerrilla gardening
  • Water harvesting
  • Wildlife identification
  • Trellising
  • Seed starting

Succession Planting

Succession planting is planting one plant after another in the same spot.  We plant lettuce in the spring and tomatoes in the summer than spinach in the fall.  Succession planting allows us to grow more crops in the same space.   Combining in succession varieties of plants allows us to maintain soil fertility.  If we plant legumes last we will get some nitrogen back in the soil.


Using our food waste as garden material is a something we can all do for a variety of reasons.  I do it so I won’t have as much garbage to haul out to the curb.  Composting creates new soil.  If you haven’t started one you can do it just like I did by putting my clipping in the corner and letting nature take its course.  There is a science some use.  I prefer to just let nature do it all by herself and then at the beginning of the year I take last years compost and put it on the garden.

Companion planting

Some plants compliment each other.  Basil and tomatoes. Cucumbers and corn.  One plant may have a deep tap root and the other will give shade.  One may fix nitrogen while the other is a heavy nitrogen user.

Container gardening

Container gardening will allow you to grow things you might not be able to grow otherwise.  Think blueberries.  If you have alkaline soil it is hard to grow blueberries since they like acidic soil.  What to do?  Put them into a container.  Can’t grow citrus where you are?  Put them in a container and when it gets cold outside and you have a nice sunny spot inside put them there.  If you live in a condo or apartment, containers allow you to grow where there is no dirt.


Mulching helps you save on water and cuts down on weeds.  It makes gardening easier.  With continuous mulch weeds are kept at bay and you are supplying new soil all the time.

Guerrilla gardening

This is a stealth type of gardening.  You plant where there typically is not a garden.  Usually perennial seeds are put into a ball of dirt and this ball of seeds is placed in and empty lot, public park, canal dirt road, in a forest.  You are allowing nature to produce more food.   This is a great way to have a bigger garden without you actually having a garden of your own.  These spots then become places where you can continue to cultivate.

Water harvesting

Since water is essential to all living things, gathering and retaining water is a great skill to have.  Just retaining the water from your roof will water your garden all year.  With water wars springing up all over the arid western states, having a method of harvesting the water on your own lot may prove valuable

Wildlife identification

Knowing what is eating you tomatoes is important.  Knowing what to plant to attract the animal that eats the thing eating your tomato is even more important.  Make it part of your continuing education to learn about the wildlife in your yard.  What attracts bees?  What eats cutworms?  All of your gardening questions should have an answer not containing the word ending in ‘cide’.


Trellising is the method of allowing your plants to grow upward.  This saves on space and makes it easier on your back.  Cucumbers, grapes, beans, melons can all be trellised.

Seed starting

The benefits to seed starting are almost too many to write down.  The main one for me is season extension.  I am able to start earlier in the spring and continue in the fall.  By starting indoors in the spring, I can plant when ready rather than direct sowing when ready.  Same goes for the fall.  It is hard to start lettuce with the hot soil of the summer, but if I start indoors I can plant in the fall when the days are not quite as warm and my lettuce flourishes.


Any skills I forgot?  Email at prepping101@gmail.com

Prepping 101

Making Life’s Road a Little Smoother


6 responses to “Ten Gardening Skills for the Survivalist

  1. Thanks for the gardening skills reminder. The only one I do not practice and did not know is the guerrilla gardening.
    Totally agree with the sentence: “All of your gardening questions should have an answer not containing the word ending in ‘cide’.”

  2. Just found the site, definitely will follow 🙂

  3. Pingback: A Dirty Little Experiment..thought provoking..health inducing « Sand and Shovel Homefarm Tales

  4. Pingback: Playing in the Dirt: My Garden of Heavenly Delights | Go Fish Ministries, Inc

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