The Survivalist’s Instant Garden

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I can’t take credit for this idea I had about making an instant survival garden. I once read about this topsoil bag gardening method in a magazine, the name of which I can’t remember. But I do remember that I found it very interesting and filed it away in the back of my mind as something I wanted to try. Well, recently I realized that it’s almost May and I never got around to planting a herb garden. I’ve never been a herb gardener and I always wanted to try and raise my own and start practicing a few herbal remedies I’ve been researching.

Well, anyway this is what I did to build my instant herb garden. By the way, when I read the article in the magazine, the author was using it as a vegetable garden, so I guess it will work for this as well.

I went down and bought several bags of top soil and garden soil. I can hear you asking “What’s the difference between garden soil and top soil?” Most garden soil is mixed with compost, peat moss and/or fertilizer. I also bought a few bags of potting soil because I wanted to experiment on which would be better for this method.

Next, I bought several potted herb plants. These included Basil, Thyme, Rosemary, Sage, Dill, Chives, Mint and others.

Once I got home, I laid down a 4 x 8 foot sheet of black plastic. I then laid the bags of soil down and leveled them. Once leveled and arranged I wanted them, I cut out the side of the bag that was on top. I left a few inches around the sides to hold the soil in.

On the bags of Garden soil, I felt like there was too much organic material and pulled about half out and replaced it with top soil and mixed it together. I then planted the herb plants in these bags of soil laying flat.

Keep in mind that some herbs don’t get along with others. Sage and Rosemary come to mind, so keep these away from the others. You can Google “Companion planting for herbs” to find a list of others.

While this wouldn’t be my first way of planting a garden, I’m doing it here because I ran out of time to build a spot for herbs and I wanted to experiment with this technique. I prefer the square foot gardening method as I have less than 1/2 acre. As of now, I have 8 4×8 raised beds that I practice the square foot gardening method and it’s absolutely amazing how much food we get from those raised beds! Last year it was the second best way of obtaining food for long term food storage!

If you haven’t tried it, I’d highly recommend it to anyone that has a small space. I’m not sure I wouldn’t use it even if I had more space because it makes gardening, especially weeding and mulching, so much easier. Plus it’s easier to work the soil and add nutrients such as compost.

Anyway, here is what my finished instant survivalist garden (or topsoil bag garden if you like) looks like, with the plants in place. I’ll keep everyone informed as the growing season progresses.

The places where you see no plants in the bags, that’s where I planted some seeds of my favorite herbs. I can’t wait to see how these grow during the Summer months.

I also put in two strawberry plants in a bag of ordinary top soil. Just to see how they would do!

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