Garden is well under way………

I love gardening – preparing the soil, planting the seeds, and watching my hard work grow and produce nourishment. Not only have I found gardening to be very rewarding  – it is a valuable skill to have for future troubled times.

Shortly after planting.

Over the past 8 years I have made many, many mistakes. I have also learned from these mistakes and have become a better gardener for it.

Crops I have planted this year are:

  • Cucumbers
  • Crookneck Summer Squash
  • Zucchini
  • Tomato
  • Lettuce
  • Corn
  • Radish
  • Garlic
  • Sweet Potato
  • Pepper
  • Red Potato
  • Yukon Gold Potato
  • Onions
  • Beans
  • Strawberries
  • Broccoli
  • Blackberries
  • Blueberries
  • Brussel Sprouts


New this year..........strawberry's

I am challenged from a space perspective. I do not have the luxury of having acres of fertile farmland. With this in mind – I have tried to be creative and utilize the space I do have the best I can. My main garden is approx 25 x 40 feet. I have (for now) 3 raised beds – one for blueberry’s/blackberry’s, one for beans or whatever, and one for misc crops such as tomato’s and lettuce.


Beans, beans and more beans.

I have approx 30 buckets or so of potato’s growing. I love that. I track each bucket/container as far as the type of potato, soil mix-type, and planting date. I pretty much have found that potatoes are super easy to grow.


Raised beds can be used for a variety of crops.

It had taken many years to get my soil to where it is today – and it is not how I want it yet. This is where raised beds have a big advantage – total control over the soil mix.


Homemade Topsy-Turvey

The upside-down tomato grower is interesting. Last year I made this bucket and the tomato plant I grew was very successful. We’ll see what happens this year. There are a lot of drawbacks to this form of growing. The biggest for me is the requirements of daily watter – sometimes more than daily. The roots only have so much soil area which to pull moisture from.


Potato's - this is my tallest container

After TSHTF – or whatever the situation may require – gardening can be a huge assistance to providing your family with food on the table. Gardening is also a way to make your food storage go further. Got 6 months supply of food stored? Get a gardening system going to extend that 6 months into 7+.

It almost goes without saying that you need to stock seeds now while you still can. Check out The Emergency Seed Bank as a quick one-stop source to stockpile seeds.

Take care all –


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  1. Rourke, Man the garden looks really nice. Everything seems to be going well. I sure think those raised beds look nice. You are right about gardening being a vital skill set. Without those skills survival is pretty much a moot point. At some time in the future all of your stored prep’s will be gone and the garden will be all that you have. Your ability to know how to grow will be front and center. I like the post and the pictures are great. I also suggest that you get your kids involved in it too so that they have the correct knowledge when the time comes.

    • Badvoodoodady –

      Thanks for the comments on the garden.

      My youngest helps me quite a bit.

      Take care – Rourke

  2. Rourke,

    How are you doing the potatoes in the buckets? Are you double bucketing for a self watering container? I am very interested in trying this type of container this year.


    Surprise, AZ

  3. I’m admittedly on the more earthy and granola side of things, but I’d replace the pressure treated lumber and non-food grade buckets with pickle buckets, cedar and rock.

    • Hi Ranger Man –

      Thanks for the advice. I am trying to source some cheap food-grade buckets but the local grocery stores want an arm (and a leg). My recent raised bed for blueberries and blackberries was built with non-treated wood.

      Thanks – Rourke

  4. I may have to try out the homemade Topsy-Turvy! I have a minuscule yard to work with, so I have 3 really small raised beds and have to do container-gardening for any additional growing. The one brand-name Topsy-Turvy planter I started with 2 years ago was a big success, grew lots of tomatoes and it was super-easy. You are quite right about the daily watering, though! I learned the hard way, with tomatoes splitting until I got consistent about watering.

    Last summer was such a rainy, bad year in my area; we didn’t get the consistently-sunny weather required for decent tomatoes, and all my squash & cukes got terminal powdery mildew. This year I’m optimistic, trying out 2 brand-name Topsy-Turvy planters and 2 more “high-tech” versions from Gardener’s Supply. Also my potatoes didn’t work out last year (my first year trying to grow them, in 33-gal cans) but I’m trying grow-bags designed specifically for potatoes this year.

    I used to joke about having a black thumb but I grew plenty of “easy” crops (spinach, radishes, mint) just fine, so that proved to me that it’s all about education and applying what you learn, more than any kind of “green thumb magic”!

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