Victory Gardens (war gardens) are gardens promoted in 1941 shortly after the US entered WWII due to a food shortage. Food was prioritized to be sent to the military and allies so civilians were encouraged to grow-their-own. Folks grew everything from vegetables to fruit and herbs!
Victory gardens and why you need them.
I’ve always loved the idea of victory gardens. Every time I grow something it’s my victory garden (I’m not always that great of a gardener). That’s beside the fact, though.
In this time of a global health crisis, there are a few great reasons to consider planting a victory garden. For beginners, we’re going to get through this crisis. What better way to celebrate than with fresh vegetables or herbs from your garden?
It’s so important to get outside during the current days of COVID-19 quarantines. We’ll all be surprised how depressing it can be to sit inside all day long. Folks might not realize the lack of Vitamin D can be detrimental to your mental health and happiness.
Getting your hands deep in the soil is a great way to get a good dose of VitD. It’s also a great want to take a mental break from COVID-19/coronavirus. Now grab your garden tools and let’s get planting!
What should I plant in my victory garden?
Good question! You can plant whatever you like! For crops that typically mature within 3 months or so, consider these:
- Green onions
- Bok choy
- Cucumber (you’ll need a trellis)
- Bush Beans
- Tomatoes (don’t forget your trellis!)
For easy-to-grow vegetables:
If you’re new to gardening, it could be a better idea to start with a few crops that will be the easiest to grow. Easy crops for your victory garden can be bush beans, zucchini, summer squash, radishes, kales, arugula, and cucumbers.
The perk of most of these vegetables is they are hot weather veggies. With any luck, this global crisis will be behind us by the end of the summer and you’ll be harvesting delicious, fresh vegetables!
NOTE: I’m not telling you this will be behind us by the end of the summer and have no scientific evidence of it. I’m just trying to keep a little hope!
What to consider before starting
Where will you be putting your garden and how will you be growing your crops. If you have a little land, you can do a simple raised garden bed to grow your crops.
On the other hand, if you’re in a smaller apartment you can always use container gardening! When you choose to container garden, keep in mind what you’re planting and in what.
Most balcony planters need shallow-rooted plants like arugula, kale, and other salad veggies. You can also plant great herbs such as mint, oregano, thyme, etc. in your containers!
Most plants need a certain number of hours of sunlight per day. Make sure your victory garden positioned in the sun for a few hours a day. Most salad crops (lettuce, arugula, spinach, kale, etc.) can thrive in partial sunlight.
If you have a little more land, but no shade, you can consider putting hoop frames on your garden beds as I do.
Where to get seeds and soil
Since COVID-19 has shut down many outlets for seed shopping, you can always start within your home. Did you buy tomatoes, peppers, or cucumbers to snack on while practicing self-distancing? Save those seeds and plant them!
In my county, our local feed stores are still open and selling seeds! You can also call on your neighbors and libraries, who sometimes have seed storage.
There are also a few vegetables you can use to start your next crops such as lettuce or celery. You’ll cut the “butts” off the bottom of these crops and put them in a shallow dish with water and wait!
There are other vegetables that might be in your kitchen that’ll help you bypass using seeds. For example, to grow garlic you plant cloves of garlic in the ground! This same method applies to turmeric and ginger. Grow pineapple by cutting the top off and planting in fertile soil! For garlic, turmeric, and ginger you’ll need a deeper planter such as one like this.
For soil, if you’re in a fertile area you can use the soil right from the ground! Outside of that, look to your open stores for bags of black kow manure, compost, and topsoil. You can also start your own compost pile!
If it’s chilly in your area and you know you’ll need to start seeds inside, pick up a few of these great seed starter trays. Some folks like to use supplemental lights for seed starting, especially when they don’t have a convenient window.
These light are is similar to the lights I’ve used to sprout fodder and they worked great. I’ve also read about using heating mats, but I can’t speak to them personally as I haven’t used them yet.
Victory garden success and pictures
If you do start a victory garden (or a simple victory planter) feel free to post to Instagram and tag me so I can smile about it! I plan to add solar path lights to my garden space when it’s done to add a little beauty in the evening.
Since my last hammock broke, I’ve also had my eyes on these rope chair swings. We grow gardens every year but I have a feeling these next gardens will be even more special than the ones before. Are you growing a victory garden?
Pin for later:
Gurneys have great deals going on now. I have bought from them and territorial seed company for years. If you want to save seeds territorial seed company has heirloom seeds. You save seeds from the vegetables that you have harvested. Share your seeds like a great neighbor.
Good morning Debbie! You are absolutely right. I plan to start learning to save seeds this year so I can share them amongst my friends and neighbors, also! My mom has given me seeds she saved right from her gardens and it was so special for me to grow the same crops she did. I’ll check out Gurney’s – Thanks for the recommendation! I hope you’re feeling well. Thanks for stopping by and I hope to hear from you again. Cheers. -Chelsea
This is my first year with my own house & I want to start a garden so badly, I just have no idea how or where to start! I’m thinking maybe it’ll be easiest to start with a few containers…any suggestions on which vegetables or herbs would be easiest for me to try first in a container?
Hi Jess! I’m so excited that you’re interested in gardening! A container is a wonderful place to start – you’ll be surprised how much you can actually grow in containers! I find that the easiest vegetables to grow are kale, bush beans, zucchini, cucumbers, and arugula. I have friends who say growing radishes is easy, which I plan to try! Tomatoes can be easy, you just have to keep an eye on pests. As far as herbs, in my opinion, the easiest herbs to grow are parsley, cilantro, basil, and mint. Protip: be careful with mint because it will totally spread and take over your garden! All you need are some containers (5-gallon buckets work when on a budget), soil/compost and seeds! With a little time and a lot of love, you’ll have beautiful crops to enjoy. There are some awesome DIY ideas on Pinterest if you want to get creative with your gardening (verticle gardening is fun!). Again, I’m thrilled you’re entering this wonderful world of growing-your-own and I do hope you keep me updated on your progress! Good luck to you and stay healthy. Thanks for sharing with me!
Definitely still learning and I’ve had a raised bed for several years. This year’s victory garden is getting an early start with a cold frame. We have spinach, radish, onion, chives, parsley and thyme outside. Inside I’m starting peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers and lettuce. As for containers we have grown and plan to grow potatoes, jalapeños and herbs success. Love providing food this way!
Oh, Sara, I think we are all learning all the time! Gardening isn’t always easy, especially with the weather constantly changing as it is. I think the cold frame sounds like a great idea. I’ll also be trying to grow peppers this season! I haven’t had success yet, sadly. I love planting in containers and think everyone should have a few container gardens! So much fun. Thank you sincerely for stopping by to share with me. I love hearing from the folks that end up on my page. Feel free to come back and let me know how your crop is progressing! Stay healthy!
I have my garden up and going this year. I agree that it has definitely made me feel more at ease knowing I will have fresh veggies on hand that I don’t need to wash with soap and water for fear of contamination with COVID 19. It is good to keep busy too and I have two girls that are learning a lot about gardening. Hoping to get a good harvest! Good luck with yours
Yes Laura, you are so right about not needing to worry about infected veggies! I love that your two girls are not only learning about gardening, but WILLING to learn about gardening. It’s such a special activity to bond over. I hope your harvest is the best you’ve ever had and thank you so much for sharing with me today.
Hi so we are not new to gardening been doing it for a couple of years now. Still learning thou. I liked very much your tips. I’ll take some pictures and tag you. I’m starting cucumbers, zuchinis, and butternut squash inside. Hope it is a good harvest.
Hi Thalia! I think when it comes to gardening, we’re all still learning. BUT I find that to be they beauty of it! I’m so glad my tips were helpful and I look forward to seeing your pictures! Good luck to you and I, too, hope you have a bountiful harvest. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment for me! – Chelsea