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Seeding Your Security - How to Build the Best Survival Garden Layout

March 04, 2021 10 min read

survival garden layout

Do you know the best survival garden layout?

Do you even know what a survival garden is?

Odds are you’re missing out on a massive opportunity for you and your family.

Well, believe it or not, anyone looking to be completely self-reliant or prepared for anything - needs to create a survival garden.

To help you become 100% independent, I’m going through how to build the best survival garden layout and how you can quickly get started right away!

If you're in a hurry to start your garden, click here to check out our Survival Seed Kit which includes everything you need to get started!

What is a Survival Garden?

survival garden layout

In essence, a survival garden is a vegetable garden designed to provide enough food for you and your family to live off.

This garden needs to grow the food you and your family need to survive until the next growing season.

This seems straightforward, but when you start to break down how much you and your family need to survive for 270 days (outside of the growing season), you realize that careful planning and consideration are necessary.

You'll have to make sure you know the essential survival seeds you need and expand from there.

This garden will not be on the cover of Better Homes and Gardens, but it will keep you and your loved ones alive.

Benefits of a Survival Gardens

survival garden benefits

Health

Obviously, having a garden full of vegetables will help everyone be healthier as they are available and fresh.

We all know that eating more vegetables is a fantastic way to be healthy. But, having a survival garden can help your mental health as well.

According to a 2018 study by the Royal College of Physicians, exposure to plants and green space, mainly gardening, is beneficial to mental health and physical.

They also found that working with a garden can delay the symptoms of dementia!

A survival garden will not only make your body healthier but also your mind.

Money

Everyone loves money or wants more of it.

A survival garden can help you save a lot of money.

For example, a well-maintained garden typically yields ½ pound of product per square foot per growing season, according to The National Gardening Association.

The average American garden is around 600-square-feet, and the average spent on upkeep is $70 per year.

That will yield around $600 of produce annually!

Personally, I wish I had an extra $600 laying around.

Helping Others

While your survival garden’s goal is to keep your family safe, there are times when you will have extra produce than what you need.

This gives you an excellent opportunity to donate the surplus to a food band or a family in need.

Those extra potatoes and carrots could be how a family can feed their kids.

Survival Garden Layout Examples

Survival gardens have been around for a long time.

Historically, they have been used during times of war, famine, and economic uncertainty.

They have reassured families during hard times.

Over the years, several different survival garden layouts have been used and created.

Here are the best survival garden layout examples you have to choose from.

Victory Garden

survival gardens

Victory Gardens originated during the first world war and skyrocketed in popularity during the second world war.

This was a way to increase the number of rations used for our troops fighting for our freedom.

In recent years, the victory garden has become much more popular due to the uncertainty and ease of creation.

Victory gardens are designed to provide a family of two to four people everything they will need for much, if not all, of the year.

This garden type has a high reliance on beans, meaning drying and preservation will be crucial for maximizing this garden’s usefulness.

Square Foot Garden

square foot garden

Square foot gardening was initially devised to teach growing capabilities and capacities to people in underserved areas.

This survival garden layout can be made in any size or configuration.

This garden is perfect for someone looking to maximize the space available and eliminate any wasted space.

The same concept of efficiency applies to how the garden is physically built. The build is on a raised bed that is divided by some type of material.

These materials can include strings, twine, and wooden dowels.

This allows the cultivation of different amounts of produce in small areas depending on your needs.

Square foot gardens are very easy to maintain since they are on raised beds meaning less bending is needed.

Permaculture Garden

permaculture garden

This is one of the most exciting gardens you can plant as it isn’t one specific “garden.”

Instead, the plants and trees making up a permaculture garden are strategically scattered throughout an area.

This survival garden layout helps to take advantage of microclimates, giving your plants the optimal growing conditions.

A permaculture garden is best for someone with a larger area looking to plant an extraordinarily diverse and naturally productive garden.

The most significant advantage of a permaculture garden is that it promotes function stacking - every element of your garden (plants, animals, insects, fungi, water, etc.) serves multiple functions.

Keyhole Garden

keyhole garden

Keyhole gardens are the best survival garden layout for someone living in a scorching and dry climate.

This garden consists of an expansive round garden that is several feet deep and has a small radial arc or material removed from it.

This allows the gardener to stand in the center of the garden with produce at waist height.

Because of this, a keyhole garden may also be a good option for someone with a bad back as it allows you to reach every plant with little staring on your back.

The most significant benefit of a keyhole garden is that they are incredibly resistant to drought since they are so deep.

Cardboard layered into the soil also helps to prevent water loss through evaporation.

The center is preferred to be a compost bin with a base of rock at least the gravel size to facilitate drainage.

As the material in the bin composts and is watered into the surrounding soil, it helps feed the crops in the garden.

Keyhole gardens do not make exceptionally efficient use of space since they are often quite a bit deeper than simple raised beds, but they offer an extremely rich substrate to grow in.

Since they are fed by the compost and primarily watered from there, keyhole gardens are perfect for root vegetables like carrots, radishes, and beets and leafy vegetables like spinach lettuce, chard, and herbs.

Homestead Garden

A homestead garden incorporates fruit trees, perennials, animals, honey bees, and many other living things.

The concept is meant to be like a homestead - which is much larger than just a vegetable garden.

This is a perfect survival garden layout for someone with a massive yard in the country somewhere.

You can incorporate almost anything you want to making the grocery store completely unneeded.

What Should You Plant in Your Survival Garden Layout?

Now that you have picked the survival garden layout you would like, it’s time to pick the plants you want to use.

The best way of doing this is to start with the essential survival seeds and plants you need.

Basic Survival Garden Plants

Broccoli

broccoli

When to Plant Broccoli:

  • Broccoli can be planted in both the Spring and Fall. The seeds can germinate with temperatures as low as 40 degrees F.

How to Plant Broccoli:

  • Broccoli needs full sun and moist soil.
  • Slightly acidic soil is preferred - for soil testing, contact your local Agricultural Extension office.
  • Plant the seeds ½ inches deep in fertile soil.
  • If planting in rows, plant 12-24 inches apart with rows 36 inches apart.
  • Make sure to keep your broccoli plants watered, but take care not to develop broccoli heads wet while watering.
  • For Spring planting: sow seeds indoors 2-3 weeks before the last frost.
  • For Fall planting: sow seeds 85-100 days before the average Fall frost, during mid-to late-summer.

When to Harvest Broccoli:

  • Harvest your broccoli when you see that the buds of the head are firm.
  • Cut the main head’s stalk at a slant, and smaller side shoots will grow up from where you’ve cut.

If you live in a warmer climate, broccoli does best with a Fall planting.

If you fear that your soil will be too hot, a mulch layer will help ensure cooler soil temperatures.

Make sure to harvest your broccoli before the yellow flower petals start to show - those parts have a mealy texture.

Cabbage

cabbage

When to Plant Cabbage:

  • Cabbage seeds should be started inside around 6-8 weeks before the last frost in the Spring.
  • Harden them off and then transplant them outside 2-3 weeks before your last expected frost.

How to Plant Cabbage:

  • Place your transplants about 24 inches apart for larger heads or closer for smaller heads.

How to Harvest Cabbage:

  • You can harvest your cabbage as soon as the head is firm all the way through when you squeeze it.

Cabbage is a heavy feeder, so it takes more nutrients from the soil than usual.

Avoid planting cabbage with tomatoes, strawberries, and broccoli to ensure that they grow to their full potential.

Carrots

carrots

When to Plant Carrots:

  • Start your seeds in full sun to partial shade 3-5 weeks before your last frost.

How to Plant Carrots:

  • Plant your seeds 2 inches apart and ⅛ to ¼ inch deep.
  • When thinning, cut plants down.
  • Don’t pull up the excess carrots, or it may damage the root systems of neighboring carrots.

How to Harvest Carrots:

  • When carrots have reached maturity, simply pull them up by the tops.

Carrots do best in sandy, loose soil.

If your carrots are too short and ball-like, it means that the ground wasn’t loose enough to push through.

Carrots taste better after going through one or more frosts, so don’t worry if it freezes when they are in the ground!

Cucumbers

cucumbers

When to Plant Cucumbers:

  • Cucumbers should be directly sown 3-4 weeks after the last frost in the spring.
  • They can be started indoors 4-6 weeks before your last frost, using a grow light and seed starting soil mix.

How to Grow Cucumbers:

  • You can amend your soil with compost or aged manure before planting.
  • Preferably in the fall, so it will over-winter.
  • Plant ½ inch deep and about 1 inch apart.
  • Alternatively, you can create hills 4 – 6 feet apart, with 6-8 seeds per hill.
  • Cut the three weakest plants once seedlings emerge for this method.
  • Make sure to keep the soil moist, avoid letting the soil dry out completely.
  • Germination generally takes around ten days when temperatures are ~70 degrees.
  • They are vine plants, so setting up a trellis may be beneficial depending on your garden.

When to Harvest Cucumbers:

  • Harvest before they are fully mature; cucumbers tend to get seedy once they’re at their largest.
  • They grow very fast, so be sure to check often to see if it’s time to harvest.
  • Make sure to cut them off the vine, as pulling them off can damage or break the vine, preventing further production.

Kale

kale

When to Plant Kale:

  • Kale can be planted at any time, from early spring to early summer.
  • Be mindful, as hot weather makes kale bitter.
  • If planted late in the summer, you can harvest it from fall until the ground freezes.

How to Grow Kale:

  • Plant ¼ to ½ inch deep in an area with well-drained, loamy soil.
  • If planting in the cool season, select an area that will get full sun.
  • Choose partial shade if growing in the warm season.
  • Seeds will sprout best in the soil around 70 degrees F.
  • After two weeks, thin seedlings so are spaced 8 to 12 inches apart.
  • Water the plants regularly, but take care not to overwater.
  • Mulch the soil heavily after the first freeze.
  • The plants can sometimes produce leaves throughout the winter.

When to Harvest Kale:

  • Kale is ready to harvest when the leaves are about the size of your hands.
  • Avoid picking the terminal bud at the plant’s top center, which will keep the plant productive.
  • Only pick about a fistful of leaves per harvest.
  • Kale grows until it’s about 20 degrees F - a touch of frost sweetens the flavor.

Spinach

spinach

When to Plant Spinach:

  • Spinach is a cold-hardy, tender-leafed crop.
  • Direct sow in early Spring, as soon as the soil can be worked appropriately.
  • For a Fall harvest, plant again in late Summer, ensuring that soil temperatures are cool enough.

How to Plant Spinach:

  • Sow in a sunny location, in average, well-draining soil.
  • Sow about 12 seeds per foot in a row, or sprinkle over a wide row or bed.
  • Sow seeds ½ inch deep, compress gently into soil, and water lightly.
  • Seedlings emerge in about 7-14 days, depending on conditions.
  • Soil should stay below 70º F for good germination.
  • When seedlings are about 1 - 2 inches tall, thin them to be about 4 - 6 inches apart.
  • Please note, do not thin baby spinach.

When to Harvest Spinach:

  • Harvest once the outer leaves reach 3 inches in length or to your desired size.

You can harvest the whole plant all at once and cut at the base, or leaves can be picked off one layer at a time.

Don’t wait too long to harvest or wait for larger leaves, as the leaves can quickly become bitter after maturity.

Keep plants well-watered during dry periods to help promote growth.

Plants need about 1 inch of rain per week during the growing season.

If watering with overhead sprinklers, water early in the day, so the foliage has time to dry off before evening, to minimize disease problems.

Extra Plants for Your Survival Garden

From there, you can plant anything you want. Potatoes, beets, corn - literally anything can be added to your survival garden.

You can even include animals if you have the space for them.

Chickens are the easiest meat that you can raise in your “garden.”

You just need to pick the best survival garden layout for your needs.

Conclusion - How to Build the Best Survival Garden

With the ever-changing landscape of our country, building a survival garden is the best way you can ensure your family can survive and be completely independent.

First, you need to pick the best survival garden layout.

Then, you need to get the basic survival seeds to start planting.

The easiest way to get the seeds you need to start your garden is our Survival Seed Kit.

valley food storage survival seeds kit

Whether you are looking to supplement your long-term food storage, cultivate your garden, or have seeds in a warehouse just in case, The Survival Seed Kit is the perfect way to get a bulk variety of popular vegetable seeds that are easy to grow in almost any climate.

The Survival Seed Kit includes ten different heirloom and non-GMO seeds with a germination rate of 85%.

Use your sources right away, or freeze them for long-term storage.

The Survival Seed Kit includes:

  • Beans - Black Valentine
  • Beets - Early Wonder Top
  • Broccoli - Waltham 29
  • Cabbage - Pak Choi White Stem
  • Carrots - Scarlet Nantes
  • Corn - Golden Bantam
  • Cucumber - Boston Pickling
  • Kale - Vates Blue Scotch Curled
  • Spinach - Giant Nobles
  • Squash - Crookneck

It’s literally everything you need to start your survival garden.

On top of all of that, it’s at the lowest price you’ll find anywhere!

Click here to discover our Survival Seed Kit and get your survival garden started now!