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During the great depression, families had no choice but to make do with very little. Families would start their own gardens to supplement the cost and small rations of food. Much like during the world wars people had to go back to their roots to care for their families. Now more and more families are following the wisdom of the depression era and supplementing their incomes with home gardens. You can take these simple Great Depression Tricks for Gardening to help provide your family with quality food on a budget.
Great Depression Tricks for Gardening
Carefully plan out your garden.
Each season your garden can flourish with different fruits and vegetables that your family loves. Start by making a list of produce your family willingly eats. Go down the list and find when and how each plant should be grown.
Research how many plants of each you need per family member. For instance, 10 to 20 green bean plants per family member will feed your family for a year.
Plan your menu plan around your gardens harvest.
Ensuring your garden harvest does not go to waste is vital to making your garden worth the time and money invested. During the great depression, the harvest from the garden was literally the difference between nutrition and hunger for many families.
Related: 13 Items They Made During the Great Depression (But We Pay for Now)
Use compost from your kitchen to feed your garden and help it flourish.
Eggshells, coffee grounds, and bits of produce trimmings and leftovers can all go into your compost and into your garden to help it flourish and provide your family with better nutrition than depleted unfed soil.
Keep small animals.
If you intend to keep animals small animals like rabbits and chickens make great fertilizer and provide you with food for your family as well. Chickens also make great pest control in the garden. They will eat bugs like hornworms that can wipe your garden out overnight.
Related: 22 Frugal Living Tips from the Great Depression
Reuse everything you can to provide your garden with everything it needs to flourish and grow. Old crib sides or box springs make great cheap trellises to support climbing plants.
Reuse items around the house for digging and planting. Laundry baskets are amazing for carrying your harvest into the house.
Save your seeds.
This year when you harvest makes a point to save seeds for next year. Even better set up a seed trading event locally to get a great variety of plants that have proven themselves to grow well in your area.
Related: 88 Great Depression Recipes
Learn to preserve your harvest.
From canning to drying you can really get the most out of your garden by knowing how to make the harvest last through the year. Learn to can, freeze, and dry foods. Simple skills everyone had during the depression era are worth learning now. New to canning? Check out Canning 101 & How to Start Canning and Save Money
Stagger your planting
Stagger your planting to help you keep up with and use your entire harvest. Plants like green beans do not take long to grow and can be staggered over several weeks to keep a constant harvest into the fall.
Read about the first and last planting dates of everything you plan to put in your garden so you can split what gets planned when.
Do you know any other Great Depression Tricks for Gardening? Please share in the comments below!
Thank you for sharing..not too many ads like the previous comment, 2 pop ups, otherwise very easy reading and helpful and informative
I don’t know about Great Depression, but inexpensive ideas for improving your soil include mulching.
I use leaves as my major mulch for on top of beds before the snow comes, around plants as they grow, over kitchen scraps when adding to an open compost, adding to paths, etc. I also use hay, wood chips, pine needles, pine cones, and compost, when I can get them for free.
Look up Hugelkultur for ideas to create a new bed, fill up new containers, and recycle yard waste.
I make my own fertilizers out of excess plants from my garden, of fish and shellfish Harvested for free.
Make your own fertilizer tea for feeding you garden plants.
DIY FERTILIZER TEA
Fill 5 gallon or larger container with anything from the list below. Use one or more. Different items have different benefits and can be harvested at different times of the year. Top your container with water. Close the lid. Wait at least two weeks, (you can continue to add to this container and continue to use every two weeks).
Dilute 10 to 1. That’s 10 parts water to one part “DIY Tea/Fertilizer”, and water garden. (A “part” refers to an amount with your measurements. A small to medium garden can use maybe 5 gallons of the diluted mix, so use ½ gallon concentrated solution and 5 gallons of water. You can measure with a cup or a quart or a gallon or more depending on how much area you’ll be fertilizing.)
A few possible ingredients:
Egg shells, finely crushed
Fish, whole or in part
Seafood shells, crushed (clams, mussels, crawdads, shrimp, crab, lobster, etc.)