12 Easiest Crops for New Survival Gardeners

Growing your own food is a crucial aspect of preparedness, but starting a survival garden can seem daunting, especially for beginners.

Fear not! This comprehensive guide will unveil the 12 easiest crops for new survival gardeners, ensuring a bountiful harvest with minimal effort.

Key Takeaways

  • Discover the hardiest and most productive crops ideal for survival gardens
  • Learn essential tips for cultivating easy crops for new survival gardeners like these
  • Gain valuable insights on maximizing your garden’s yield while minimizing maintenance

Whether you’re a seasoned prepper or just starting your journey towards self-sufficiency, this article will equip you with the knowledge and strategies to establish a thriving survival garden, providing a reliable source of fresh produce in any situation.

Spuds: The Survival Gardener’s Best Friend

Potatoes are a survival gardener’s dream crop.

They produce high yields, store well, and offer a range of culinary uses. This section explores the versatility and growing requirements of potatoes.

For an in-depth look at growing potatoes for survival, check out this guide.

Versatility and Nutrition

Potatoes are a nutrient-dense food, rich in carbohydrates, vitamin C, potassium, and fiber.

Their versatility in cooking makes them a staple in any survival pantry. Boiled, baked, fried, or mashed, potatoes can be the base of countless meals.

Growing Conditions and Maintenance

Potatoes thrive in well-draining soil and full sun exposure.

Here are some key points for successful potato cultivation:

  • Plant seed potatoes or potato eyes in early spring or fall
  • Hill soil around the plants as they grow to encourage more tuber production
  • Water consistently, ensuring the soil remains moist but not waterlogged
  • Harvest when the plant’s foliage dies back

Consult this article to avoid common mistakes when growing potatoes.

NutrientAmount (per 100g)
Calories77
Protein2g
Vitamin C19% DV
Potassium620mg

Beans: Protein-Packed Powerhouses

Beans are an excellent source of plant-based protein, making them invaluable in a survival garden.

They come in various types, each with unique flavors and nutritional profiles.

Varieties and Nutritional Benefits

Common bean varieties for survival gardens include:

  • Green beans: Rich in vitamins A, C, and K, as well as fiber.
  • Pinto beans: High in protein, iron, and folate.
  • Black beans: Packed with antioxidants and a good source of fiber.

Cultivation and Care

Beans are relatively easy to grow and maintain. Here are some key points:

  • Plant seeds directly in the garden after the last frost
  • Provide support for climbing varieties with a trellis or poles
  • Water regularly, ensuring the soil remains moist but not waterlogged
  • Harvest when the pods are plump and the seeds are fully formed

For those with limited space, check out these tips for growing beans in containers or small gardens.

See also  12 Highest Calorie Crops Essential for Your Survival Garden
NutrientAmount (per 100g, cooked)
Calories127
Protein8g
Fiber7g
Iron17% DV

Tomatoes: The Quintessential Survival Crop

Tomatoes are a staple in any survival garden.

They are versatile, nutritious, and can be preserved for later use. For a comprehensive guide on growing tomatoes, check out this article.

Nutritional Advantages

Tomatoes are an excellent source of vitamins C and K, as well as potassium and folate. They also contain lycopene, an antioxidant that may have various health benefits.

Planting and Maintenance Tips

Tomatoes require the following care:

  • Start seeds indoors 6-8 weeks before the last frost
  • Transplant seedlings into well-draining soil and full sun exposure
  • Provide support with cages or stakes as the plants grow
  • Water regularly, ensuring the soil remains consistently moist
  • Harvest when the tomatoes are fully colored and slightly soft to the touch

For those interested in growing tomatoes indoors, this guide provides helpful tips.

NutrientAmount (per 100g)
Calories18
Vitamin C16% DV
Vitamin K5% DV
Potassium237mg

Squash: Prolific Producers for the Survival Garden

Squash is a highly productive crop that comes in a variety of types, including summer and winter squashes.

These versatile vegetables are a valuable addition to any survival garden.

Varieties and Nutritional Value

Common squash varieties include:

  • Zucchini: A summer squash high in vitamins C and A, as well as potassium and fiber.
  • Butternut squash: A winter squash rich in vitamins A and C, as well as fiber and potassium.
  • Acorn squash: Another winter squash packed with vitamins A and C, fiber, and manganese.

Growing Requirements and Care

Squash plants have the following growing requirements:

  • Plant seeds or transplants after the last frost, in well-draining soil and full sun exposure
  • Provide adequate spacing between plants, as they can spread significantly
  • Water regularly, ensuring the soil remains consistently moist
  • Harvest summer squash when the fruits are young and tender
  • Harvest winter squash when the stems begin to dry and the rinds are hard

For those interested in growing squash in containers, this guide provides valuable insights.

NutrientAmount (per 100g, cooked butternut squash)
Calories45
Vitamin A457% DV
Vitamin C37% DV
Fiber2g

Radishes: Quick and Easy Root Crops

Radishes are a fast-growing root crop that can provide a valuable source of nutrients in a survival garden.

They are easy to cultivate and can be harvested in as little as three weeks.

For more tips on growing radishes and other fast-growing vegetables, check out this article.

Nutritional Highlights

Radishes are a good source of vitamin C, fiber, and potassium.

They also contain compounds that may have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

Planting and Harvesting

Radishes have simple growing requirements:

  • Sow seeds directly in the garden in early spring or late fall
  • Provide well-draining soil and full sun exposure
  • Water regularly, ensuring the soil remains consistently moist
  • Harvest when the radish tops emerge from the soil, typically within 3-4 weeks
NutrientAmount (per 100g)
Calories16
Vitamin C29% DV
Fiber1.6g
Potassium233mg

Carrots: Underground Wonders for Survival Gardens

Carrots are a hardy root crop that can thrive in various conditions, making them an excellent choice for survival gardens.

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For tips on maintaining healthy soil for carrots and other crops, check out this guide.

Nutritional Benefits

Carrots are an excellent source of vitamin A, thanks to their high beta-carotene content. They are also a good source of fiber, vitamin K, and potassium.

Soil Requirements and Care

Carrots have specific soil requirements for optimal growth:

  • Plant seeds directly in the garden in early spring or late fall
  • Prepare well-draining, loose soil to allow for proper root development
  • Water regularly, ensuring the soil remains consistently moist
  • Thin seedlings to allow for proper spacing as they grow
  • Harvest when the carrots reach the desired size, typically within 2-3 months

Avoid common gardening mistakes that can impact carrot growth and yield.

NutrientAmount (per 100g)
Calories41
Vitamin A428% DV
Vitamin K16% DV
Fiber2.8g

Leafy Greens: Nutrient-Dense Survival Staples

Leafy greens are a versatile group of crops that can provide a wealth of nutrients to a survival garden.

From spinach to kale, these greens are packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Check out this guide for more information on growing nutrient-rich plants.

Varieties and Nutritional Profiles

Common leafy greens for survival gardens include:

  • Spinach: Rich in vitamins A, C, and K, as well as folate and iron.
  • Kale: An excellent source of vitamins A, C, and K, as well as calcium and antioxidants.
  • Collard greens: Packed with vitamins A, C, and K, as well as fiber and calcium.

Growing Conditions and Maintenance

Leafy greens have relatively simple growing requirements:

  • Plant seeds or transplants in early spring or fall for a cool-weather crop
  • Provide well-draining soil and partial shade to prevent bolting
  • Water regularly, ensuring the soil remains consistently moist
  • Harvest outer leaves as needed, allowing the plant to continue producing

For tips on attracting beneficial insects to your garden, which can help pollinate and protect your leafy greens, check out this article.

NutrientAmount (per 100g, cooked spinach)
Calories23
Vitamin A457% DV
Vitamin C28% DV
Vitamin K604% DV
Iron15% DV

Herbs: Flavorful and Medicinal Survival Companions

Herbs are a valuable addition to any survival garden, providing both culinary and medicinal benefits.

These versatile plants can thrive in various conditions and add flavor and aroma to meals. For a comprehensive guide on growing herbs in buckets, check out this article.

Culinary and Medicinal Uses

Common herbs for survival gardens include:

  • Basil: Used in various cuisines and may have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
  • Rosemary: Adds flavor to dishes and has been used traditionally for its potential medicinal benefits.
  • Thyme: A culinary staple with potential antimicrobial and antioxidant properties.

Cultivation and Harvesting

Herbs are generally easy to grow and maintain:

  • Plant seeds or transplants in well-draining soil and full sun exposure
  • Water regularly, allowing the soil to dry slightly between waterings
  • Harvest leaves as needed, encouraging bushier growth
  • Preserve excess herbs by drying or freezing for later use
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For those interested in growing herbs indoors or in small spaces, this guide offers valuable tips.

Corn: A Versatile Survival Crop for Calories and Feed

Corn is a staple crop that can provide both food and animal feed in a survival situation.

It is a versatile and productive crop that can be grown in various climates.

For a comprehensive look at high-calorie survival crops, check out this article.

Nutritional Value and Yield

Corn is a good source of carbohydrates, fiber, and various vitamins and minerals. It can also be used for animal feed, making it a valuable crop for both human and livestock sustenance.

Planting and Care Requirements

Corn has specific growing requirements:

  • Plant seeds directly in the garden after the last frost, in well-draining soil and full sun exposure
  • Provide adequate spacing between plants and hills for proper pollination
  • Water regularly, ensuring the soil remains consistently moist during the growing season
  • Harvest when the ears are fully developed and the kernels are plump and juicy

To maximize your corn yield, consider implementing these soil hacks for better nutrient absorption and moisture retention.

NutrientAmount (per 100g, cooked)
Calories86
Fiber2.7g
Vitamin C6% DV
Folate19% DV

Beets: Nutritious Root Crops for Survival Gardens

Beets are a hardy root crop that can thrive in various conditions, making them an excellent choice for survival gardens.

They are nutrient-dense and can be enjoyed both fresh and preserved.

For more information on preserving your harvest, check out this guide on guerrilla gardening techniques.

Nutritional Highlights

Beets are an excellent source of folate, manganese, and potassium. They also contain betalains, which are potent antioxidants and have been linked to various health benefits.

Growing Conditions and Maintenance

Beets have the following growing requirements:

  • Plant seeds directly in the garden in early spring or late fall
  • Provide well-draining soil and full sun exposure
  • Water regularly, ensuring the soil remains consistently moist
  • Thin seedlings to allow for proper spacing as they grow
  • Harvest when the beet tops emerge from the soil, typically within 2-3 months

For those interested in extending their growing season, check out these winter gardening techniques.

NutrientAmount (per 100g, cooked)
Calories44
Folate20% DV
Manganese16% DV
Potassium288mg

Onions and Garlic: Flavorful and Medicinal Survival Allies

Onions and garlic are essential crops for any survival garden, providing both culinary and medicinal benefits.

These pungent bulbs can add flavor to dishes and have been used for centuries for their potential health-promoting properties.

For more information on their potential medicinal uses, check out this article.

Nutritional Benefits

Onions and garlic are good sources of various vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, vitamin B6, and manganese.

They also contain compounds like allicin, which may have antimicrobial and antioxidant properties.

Planting and Care

Onions and garlic have similar growing requirements:

  • Plant bulbs or sets in well-draining soil and full sun exposure
  • Water regularly, ensuring the soil remains consistently moist
  • Harvest onions when the tops begin to fall over
  • Harvest garlic when the tops have turned brown and fallen over

For those interested in growing onions and garlic in containers, this guide provides valuable insights.

NutrientAmount (per 100g, raw onion)Amount (per 100g, raw garlic)
Calories40149
Vitamin C12% DV31% DV
Vitamin B65% DV23% DV
Manganese10% DV23% DV

Conclusion

Incorporating these 12 easy-to-grow crops into your survival garden can provide a reliable source of essential nutrients and sustenance.

From calorie-dense root crops like potatoes and carrots to nutrient-packed greens and herbs, these plants offer a diverse range of benefits for new survival gardeners.

Remember, successful gardening requires patience, dedication, and attention to detail.

By following the growing guidelines and maintenance tips outlined in this article, you can increase your chances of a bountiful harvest and ensure a steady supply of fresh produce in even the most challenging situations.

To further enhance your gardening skills and knowledge, consider exploring additional resources such as this guide on essential survival crops and these tips for avoiding rookie gardening mistakes.

Next Steps

For those interested in expanding their gardening efforts beyond traditional crops, consider exploring perennial fruits and vegetables or guerrilla gardening techniques to maximize your food production potential.

Remember, the path to self-sufficiency is paved with determination, knowledge, and a willingness to learn and adapt.

Embrace the joy of gardening, and let these 12 easy-to-grow crops be the foundation of your journey towards a more sustainable and resilient way of life.

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