During the Great Depression, people grew food for their families, even in small suburban lots. Many dubbed these vegetable-producing patches Depression gardens or Recession gardens. The term Victory Garden was popular in WWII. What ever the name, all these gardens have one thing in common, promoting growing food in your backyard to help with the budget and to supply healthier food for your family. Even if you think you have limited space you can grow a garden!
Now that a recession is underway and many say we are heading into a depression: It’s time to start up the backyard gardens again. It’s a great way to improve your economic stability and that of the nation. You also can have fresh chemical free vegetables and fruits. No more worry about illegally used chemical sprays that have made the news over the last few years and many very ill.
How to Grow a Recession Garden
Make a list of vegetables and fruits to include in your depression garden. Choose vegetables that provide a good amount of nutrition and bulk. I recommend potatoes, onions, tomatoes, carrots, cabbage, lettuce and beans. Cucumbers are very good for you but are a bit more challenging to the beginning gardener. Strawberries, peppers, melons and herbs are also great choices for a garden. If you have a large backyard the addition of fruit trees or bushes are beneficial.
Purchase your seeds, seed potatoes and seed onions as early as possible to get the best selection. This also applies to purchasing fruit trees, berry bushes and strawberry plants. If you wait too long to select your seeds the best varieties may be sold out. This is particularly true for onion sets.
If you are a beginning gardener you will want to purchase you pepper and tomato plants. If you have had a garden before you may want to try starting your own plants. Tomatoes, peppers, eggplant and herbs should be started in late winter. A few weeks later you can start seed broccoli, cantaloupe, spinach and lettuce. Peas, corn and potatoes will do best planted directly in the ground outdoors. Just make sure you wait to plant until after the last frost date. This information is available online or form you local Extension Office. .
Prepare the soil in your garden. You can either turn over the soil, adding compost and well-composted manure in small quantities or you can use one of the no dig methods. Straw bale gardening also works well. If you have small animals in you backyard you may want to fence your garden area.
You can also plant some of your garden in containers, on the windowsill or on the patio or balcony if you have limited space. An herb container garden in pots by the kitchen door is convenient and can be very decorative. I also like to grow tomatoes in hanging baskets on the porch or deck. A garden will thrive anywhere as long as you have healthy soil and sunlight.
Creative Organic Gardening methods (no chemicals and better use of gardening space) are best used in the recession garden.
If you have additional produce you may decide to freeze or can it. You can also trade the neighbors for produce that you do not grow. The Recession garden will help your income during these tough times ahead. It also provides exercise and time to spend with the family