Sure, gardening may be fun today but once disaster hits, things are going to look way, way different. Post-collapse, food is going to worth more than gold and, if people find out you have it, either you or your garden could become a target.
In what follows I want to give you a few things to do to prepare for various SHTF scenarios. I’m assuming you’ll be bugging in, since bugging out means leaving your home for who knows how long. Still, even if you are planning to leave, you need to have a bug out location, such as a house in the woods and the space to start a garden, of course.
#1. Think About Hiding It
Moving your entire garden to a different place won’t necessarily be easy but might be needed. You just can’t afford everyone passing by your house to see it. The last thing you want is to tempt hungry neighbors and looters into jumping over your fence and taking your food, not because you wouldn’t want them to survive but because that food will help your family survive.
One way of protecting your garden is to create smaller mini-gardens that are easier to hide and protect. This way you don’t have to keep all your eggs in one basket. If a looter finds one, they’ll take everything but leave the others intact. Try to keep them less than 10 square feet in size each.
Next, make sure you camouflage them really well. Logs, mud, garbage containers, large rocks, sand, sheds, anything can conceal your garden in plain sight.
#2. Think about How You’ll Defend It
No matter how well you hide it, people might still find out about it. You can protect your garden the same way you would your house, for example by:
- installing fences and thorny bushes,
- getting one or two dogs,
- using big planters for your potted plants because they’re easier to steal,
- installing motion sensors
- and keeping it well-light so you ca easily spot anyone being there at night (though you have to make sure the light is not visible from the road or front door).
#3. Stockpile on Tools
Let’s think long-term here. You’ll need tools to work your garden but this doesn’t mean they’ll be readily available post-collapse. Even if they will, they might be pretty expensive for various economic reasons.
The other thing you can do is to make sure you have tools that don’t require electricity to run. If there’s an EMP or if the power grid goes down for whatever reason, things like electric chainsaws, hedge cutters and grass trimmers will need to be replaced with similar items that work only on man-power.
The smart thing to do is to stock up on them now while you can get them really cheap. This way, you’ll not only be covered in case they break but they’ll also make good bargaining chips.
What should you stockpile for bartering purposes? Literally anything but you may want to start with the items that are cheaper and take up less space (meaning you can store more of in places such as your attic). In time, you should aim for a variety of things because you never know which ones will be worth more post-collapse.
#4. Prepare For a Prolonged Drought
Think about installing a rainwater harvesting system. It’s pretty cheap, easy to set up and can save you money the moment it’s ready. Two things you need to do is check to see whether it’s legal to collect rainwater where you live and, if so, get the necessary permits.
Once installed, there’s no reason to pay to water your garden when you can get it for free.
#4. Prepare For Hail Storms
Protect your garden from hail storms. For example, you can make mini-hoop tunnels over your raised beds and, when the storm’s about to hit, just throw thick plastic covering over them. Another thing you can do is install a wire mesh screen to quickly cover your garden.
#5. Prepare For Floods
Dig ditches and drain points in case of heavy rain to allow for a faster drainage.
#6. Prepare For a Prolonged Drought
Consider investing in sun lamps to allow your plants to grow indoors, in the absence of natural light. This would work if you’re prepping for the Yellowstone super-volcano eruption, for instance.
#7. Consider Starting an Herb Garden
There are three main benefits to doing it. First, these herbs can heal a variety of medical conditions and, I don’t have to tell you that finding a doctor post-collapse might be risky. Second, they can actually HELP your veggies grow and third, they help hiding them in plain sight.
I hope by now you’re convinced that prepping your garden for Doomsday is a must. I also hope I’ve given enough actionable advice that you can implement starting today but, if case you have questions, you can leave them in the comments section below.
Dan F. Sullivan