Cultivating a vegetable garden is an important part of becoming self-sufficient. When a disaster strikes, the food grown in that garden can literally make the difference between life and death for the family.
That’s why starting a garden now, before a crisis can hit, is essential for preparing your family. Not only will it help you build your food stockpile, but it will allow you the time you need to have, in order to learn the necessary skills, before you have to use them.
Gardening has its limitations, though; at least, it does for most people. Few are as fortunate as I am, living in a climate that is warm enough that you can grow produce outdoors in your garden year-round. However, you don’t need a warm climate in order to grow produce year round. With a few steps of preparation, you can grow year-round in pretty much any climate.
There are a couple of keys that we need to consider here. First of all, many plants will continue to grow up until the first frost. That first frost kills most plants, ending the growing season. However, if it doesn’t get down to freezing, the plant, and the fruit growing on it, still continue growing. The second is that other than freezing temperatures, the important temperature for plants is the soil temperature, not the air temperature. Growing zones for plants are all based upon soil temperatures.
Adjusting Soil Temperature
It’s actually quite easy to adjust soil temperature. Anyone who has done composting knows that the process of breaking down the compost generates a lot of heat. So, adding a layer of compost to your plant beds will increase the temperature, allowing warmer climate plants to be grown in a cooler climate, as well as extending the growing season.
Keep in mind that this won’t overcome the problem of the air temperature freezing the plants and fruit and killing them. Plant circulation is not as fast as animal circulation, so it does nothing to help the plant overcome freezing temperatures.