Kicking It Old School: How To Grow A Victory Garden

Ever heard of a victory garden? It’s okay if you haven’t — they haven’t really been in vogue since WWII. But lately, with all the unsettling world news and pressure to stay home, now is the time to make victory gardens cool again! Gardening season is just about to kick off, and we’re offering curbside pickup or delivery for whatever plants and supplies you may need. Now before you get started, you’re probably wondering; what is a victory garden anyways?

Victory Gardens 101

During the war, when food rations were scarce and times were uncertain, the government started encouraging families — particularly men who had never tried it before — to roll up their sleeves and get into vegetable gardening. With less of a need to ship in more food, they could focus on shipping other valuable supplies to troops abroad. Pamphlets explaining the basics of gardening, the best vegetables to plant, and suggestions on garden layouts proved to be incredibly helpful for getting the movement started. Soon, families were better able to provide for themselves, and they saved a ton of money in the long run.

Credit: Library of Congress and University of North Texas

Victory Gardening in 2020

Now that we’re spending most of our time at home, and trips to the grocery store have become a bit overwhelming, the ability to grow your own food doesn’t just provide you with nourishment — it offers some peace of mind. Plus, a lot of folks are bored senseless from being cooped up in the house all day, so there’s never been a better time to get out in nature and take on a long-term project! If only we could grow hand sanitizer and toilet paper…

Tips for Starting a Victory Garden

It always helps to have some rough guidelines on how to execute a long-term project like a victory garden, so all that effort isn’t wasted. To ensure you are truly victorious in this endeavour, follow these basic tips:

Start some seeds now. It’s still way too cold to start planting outside here in the Edmonton area, but it’s the perfect time to get a head-start on crops that take a long time to mature. If you start veggies indoors like broccoli, tomatoes, and peppers now, you can start harvesting much sooner during the growing season.

Plant a mix of fast-growing and slow-growing crops. Lettuce greens and arugula are great because you can keep plucking away at them throughout the spring and summer, and they’ll keep growing back. Radishes are also fantastic because they can mature in as little as one month. More substantial veggies that take longer to develop are still worth planting, but it always helps to have a staggered schedule of harvest times, so you’ll never be without fresh produce. This also helps to avoid unnecessary waste, because if everything is ready to go at the same time, you’ll have way too much food to get through in a small window of time. 

Try to make the best of the space you have. If you’re limited to a small balcony or patio, you can still set up a pretty sweet container garden with some smaller vegetables and herbs. Alternatively, if you have lots of yard space and can dig up a big garden bed, then you should milk that for all it’s worth! If you’re lost on how to arrange your chosen plants, a quick Google search should provide you with some expert-approved layouts. 

Don’t forget to plant some flowers. These aren’t just for show! Flowers help attract pollinators like bees, butterflies and birds, and they’ll have a significant impact on the success of your garden. Without pollinators, our food gardens aren’t likely to produce much food—and that’s kind of the whole point, right?

Add some good organic material into your soil. Fertilizer or manure will go a long way in helping your vegetable plants grow faster and healthier. Better yet, if you make your own compost, you can reduce your household waste and save money, and it will deliver a steady stream of rich nutrients to your plants.

Want to get started on your 2020 victory garden? Call us at the greenhouse, or use our mobile video concierge, so we can gather up everything you need and bring it out to your car, or to your home! The year 2020 has barely started, and it’s already been such a whirlwind, so all of us at Salisbury are happy to help in any way we can.

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