Prepped Garden: Top 5 Plants for Sustainability, Nutrition, and Calories
Creating a prepped garden is an excellent way to ensure your long-term sustainability and nutrition in case of a crisis situation. With the right selection of plants, you can grow a variety of foods that provide essential nutrients and calories to keep you and your loved ones healthy and well-fed. In this article, we will guide you through the top 5 plants for sustainability, nutrition, and calories when prepping your garden.
Potatoes are a staple crop and an excellent source of carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. They are relatively easy to grow and can be stored for an extended period, making them an ideal plant for preppers. To grow potatoes, start by selecting a variety suitable for your climate and soil conditions. Plant them in well-draining soil that receives plenty of sunlight.
When planting potatoes, make sure to space them adequately to allow for their growth. As they grow, cover the potato stems with soil to encourage more tuber formation. Harvest potatoes when the foliage begins to die back, and store them in a cool, dark place for long-term use.
TIP: To increase your potato yield, consider using a potato tower or grow bags. These methods allow for vertical growth, saving space and maximizing production.
Beans are not only a great source of protein but also a nitrogen-fixing plant that helps improve the soil. There are various types of beans you can grow, including bush beans, pole beans, and snap beans. Choose the variety that suits your preferences and growing conditions.
When planting beans, make sure to provide them with support if you choose pole beans. They require a trellis or stake for climbing. Bush beans, on the other hand, grow more compactly and do not require support.
Harvest beans when they are young and tender. Regular harvesting helps to promote continuous production. Beans can be dried and stored for long-term use or enjoyed fresh and canned.
TIP: To maximize the space in your prepped garden, consider planting fast-growing crops such as radishes or lettuce between the rows of beans. This intercropping method allows you to utilize the space effectively and harvest multiple crops simultaneously.
Kale is a leafy green vegetable that is packed with essential nutrients, including vitamins A, C, and K. It is also rich in antioxidants and fiber. Kale is extremely hardy and can withstand cooler temperatures, making it a great option for year-round cultivation.
When planting kale, choose a sunny spot with well-draining soil. Start by sowing the seeds directly in the ground or in containers. Water the plants regularly, keeping the soil evenly moist but not waterlogged.
You can harvest kale leaves when they reach a size of about 6 to 8 inches. Start by picking the outer leaves, allowing the inner leaves to continue growing. This way, you can enjoy a continuous supply of fresh kale throughout the growing season.
TIP: To keep pests away from your kale plants, consider companion planting with herbs such as dill or chamomile. These herbs act as natural repellents for common kale pests like aphids or cabbage worms.
4. Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of complex carbohydrates, fiber, and vitamins. They are also easy to grow and store well in suitable conditions. Sweet potatoes require a longer growing season, so it’s essential to plan accordingly.
To grow sweet potatoes, start by selecting healthy sweet potato slips or vine cuttings. Plant them in loose, well-draining soil that has been enriched with compost or organic matter. Ensure that the plants receive plenty of sunlight and warmth.
As the plants grow, remember to regularly remove any weeds and gently mound the soil around the base of the vines. This encourages the development of additional tubers. Harvest sweet potatoes when the foliage turns yellow and dies back. Cure them in a warm, dry place for a few weeks before storing them in a cool, dark location.
TIP: You can grow sweet potatoes in containers or raised beds if you have limited space in your prepped garden. Just make sure the container or bed is deep enough to accommodate the root growth.
Tomatoes are not only delicious but also an excellent source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. There are various tomato varieties available, including determinate and indeterminate types. Determinate tomatoes are more compact and bush-like, making them suitable for smaller spaces.
When planting tomatoes, choose a sunny spot with well-draining soil. Provide support for indeterminate varieties by using stakes or cages. Water the plants regularly, keeping the soil evenly moist but not saturated.
Harvest tomatoes when they are ripe but firm. Avoid leaving overripe tomatoes on the vine as they can attract pests and diseases. If you have a surplus of ripe tomatoes, consider canning or making homemade tomato sauce for future use.
TIP: To protect your tomatoes from common pests like aphids or tomato hornworms, consider planting companion plants such as marigolds or basil. These plants help repel pests and attract beneficial insects that prey on them.
By including these top 5 plants in your prepped garden, you can ensure a sustained source of nutrition and calories in times of crisis. Remember to plan and rotate your crops to maintain soil health and maximize production. With a well-stocked garden, you can have peace of mind knowing that you are prepared for any situation that may arise.
My 2 Cents
When it comes to prepping, having a sustainable source of food is crucial. By growing these top 5 plants in your prepped garden, you can ensure a well-rounded diet that provides essential nutrients and calories. Potatoes and sweet potatoes offer carbohydrates and vitamins, while beans provide protein and help improve the soil. Leafy greens like kale are packed with vital nutrients, and tomatoes add flavor along with vitamins and antioxidants.
Remember to plan your garden based on your climate and growing conditions. Companion planting can help deter pests and improve overall plant health. Consider using alternative gardening methods, such as vertical gardening for potatoes or intercropping to maximize space.
Lastly, don’t forget the importance of storing your harvested crops properly. Proper curing and storage techniques will ensure that your hard work pays off in the long run. So, roll up your sleeves, gear up your prepped garden, and enjoy the fruits of your labor!