The Ultimate Survival Garden Guide: Grow Food in Any Crisis

Are you tired of running to the pharmacy whenever you or a family member falls ill? Have you ever considered that the solution to most common health problems might be growing in your backyard? A survival garden pharmacy is a fantastic way to access natural remedies year-round. In this article, we will guide you through building your garden pharmacy. 

A survival garden pharmacy is essential because it provides an excellent opportunity for self-sufficiency. You can save money by growing medicinal plants at home instead of buying expensive synthetic medications. 

Additionally, growing herbal plants in your garden ensures they are fresh and free of harmful chemicals typically found in commercial medicines. A survival garden pharmacy will also help improve your mental and physical well-being by providing access to fresh air, sunshine, exercise, and a connection with nature.

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The Benefits of Growing Medicinal Plants in Your Survival Garden

There are numerous benefits associated with having a survival garden pharmacy in your backyard. One significant benefit is growing plants with powerful therapeutic properties without entirely depending on pharmaceutical companies. Medicinal plants have been used for centuries as natural remedies for ailments such as colds, flu, headaches, arthritis, digestive issues, and cancer. 

When choosing the right plants for your garden pharmacy, it’s essential to consider the different types of medicinal plants and their uses. Some plants are excellent for treating respiratory issues like coughs and colds, while others are better suited for soothing skin irritations or digestive problems. One popular plant to grow is echinacea, known for its immune-boosting properties.

Echinacea can be used in teas or tinctures to help fight off infections and reduce symptoms of illness. Another great option is peppermint, which is easy to grow and can be used internally and externally. 

Peppermint oil can be applied topically to relieve headaches, while a tea made with fresh peppermint leaves can aid digestion and soothe stomach discomfort. For those just starting, plenty of easy-to-grow medicinal plants are perfect for beginners. 

Calendula is a beautiful flower that doubles as an anti-inflammatory herb when infused in oil or salve. Lemon balm is another easy-to-grow option that can be a calming herb in teas or tinctures. 

How to Choose the Right Medicinal Plants for Your Survival Garden

When selecting which medicinal plants to grow in your garden pharmacy, you’ll want to consider several factors, such as your climate zone, the amount of space available, and what health concerns you or your family may have. For example, if you live in a more relaxed climate zone with shorter growing seasons, avoid tropical herbs requiring warmth and humidity. 

Instead, opt for herbs like chamomile that thrive in cooler temperatures. Another thing to consider when choosing medicinal plants is how much space they take up. 

Some herbs like comfrey root can spread quickly and take over large areas if not appropriately contained. In contrast, echinacea tends only to litter new seeds slowly but can grow quite tall. 

Knowing what health concerns you want to address is crucial when choosing medicinal plants. If you are prone to respiratory issues, consider planting herbs like thyme or sage, traditionally used for their respiratory benefits. 

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Medicinal Plant List

Here’s a list of some easy-to-grow medicinal plants that are ideal for beginners and can be used to treat a variety of health concerns: 

  1. Echinacea – immune-boosting and helps fight off infections
  2. Peppermint – soothes digestive issues and relieves headaches 
  3. Calendula – anti-inflammatory herb often used in oil or salved form 
  4. Lemon balm – calming herb often used in teas or tinctures 
  5. Thyme – respiratory herb used to treat coughs, colds, and bronchitis 
  6. Sage – a respiratory herb with anti-inflammatory properties 
  7. Lavender – relaxing aroma with stress-relieving properties. 

By growing these herbs and using them to create homemade remedies like teas or tinctures, you’ll have a fully stocked garden pharmacy right outside your door!

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Preparing Your Garden Bed for Your Survival Garden

The first thing you need to do when building a survival garden pharmacy is to choose the right location for your garden bed. You’ll want to pick a spot with plenty of sunlight and good drainage. You can try to find a place close to your house to access it in an emergency easily.

When picking a location, you also need to consider the type of soil you have. Ideally, you want soil rich in nutrients and good drainage. If your soil could be of better quality, you must amend it before planting. You can do this by adding compost or other organic matter. 

Another thing to remember when choosing a location is protection from wind and frost. A sheltered spot near a fence or wall can help protect your plants from strong winds and ice, which can damage or kill them. 

Soil Preparation, Composting, and Fertilization Techniques

Once you have chosen the perfect location for your garden bed, it’s time to prepare the soil. You can start by removing any weeds or debris from the area where you plan on planting. 

Next, loosen the soil using a spade or fork. The next step is composting, which will improve your soil quality by adding nutrients and beneficial microorganisms. 

To make compost at home, start by collecting organic waste material such as kitchen scraps, leaves, grass clippings, and animal manure, then pile them up in layers until they decompose into dark brown crumbly matter. Once it’s ready, could you spread it over your prepared garden bed? 

Additionally, fertilizers can be used if needed, but it need to be natural ones like bone meal or wood ash, which will not harm the soil. Inorganic fertilizers are not recommended as they can cause more harm than good. 

With your garden bed well prepared, you can move on to the exciting part of planting your medicinal plants. Proper preparation of the garden bed is crucial in ensuring that your plants grow healthy and robust, providing ample first aid right in your backyard when you need it most. 

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Planting and Caring for Plants in Your Survival Garden

Planting medicinal plants is easier than it may sound. However, proper planning and preparation will ensure your plants have the best chance of thriving.

It is worth noting that different medicinal plants may have additional planting requirements, so it is essential to follow the instructions specific to each plant. 

First, plan where you will plant your medicinal plants. Most herbs prefer a sunny position with well-drained soil. Select a location that receives at least six hours of direct sunlight daily and has good drainage.

Next, prepare the soil in your chosen area by digging over grass or weeds and removing rocks or other debris that may impede root growth. Mix some organic matter, such as compost or well-rotted manure, to improve soil fertility. 

Once your soil is prepared, it’s time to start planting! Dig holes for each plant about twice the size of their root ball and carefully place them into the hole. 

Fill around the roots with soil and gently firm down around each plant. Remember not to compact the soil too much, which can restrict root growth. 

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Caring for Your Medicinal Plants Throughout Their Growth Cycle

Caring for medicinal plants involves providing optimal growing conditions while protecting them from pests, diseases, and harsh weather conditions. Here are some tips on how to care for your medicinal plants throughout their growth cycle: 

  • Watering: It’s essential to keep a regular watering schedule for your medicinal plants; however, water requirements vary between different herbs. Ensure you water profoundly but infrequently rather than shallowly more often. 
  • Fertilizing: Regular fertilization is critical for maintaining healthy growth cycles of medicinal plants. You can use organic or chemical fertilizers, depending on what works best. 
  • Pruning: Pruning your medicinal plants is essential to promote healthy growth and prevent overcrowding. Regular pruning will help remove dead, damaged, or diseased branches and shoots. 
  • Pest Control: Natural pest control is always best before turning to chemical options. Biological pest control can include companion planting, physical barriers, and organic insecticides. 

Proper care of your medicinal plants is necessary for them to reach their full potential regarding herbal remedies. By taking the appropriate steps when planting and caring for your herbs, you will be rewarded with healthy plants thriving well throughout their growth cycle.  

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Harvesting and Storing Medicinal Plants from Your Survival Garden

Harvesting your medicinal plants at the right time is crucial for optimal potency and effectiveness. The best time to reap is typically in the morning after any dew has evaporated but before the sun is too hot. For most plants, it’s best to harvest when they are in their flowering stage, as this is when they contain the highest amount of active constituents.

However, there are exceptions to this rule. For example, roots should be harvested in the fall after the plant has died and gone dormant for winter. Leaves can be harvested throughout the growing season but are generally most potent just before flowering. 

It’s also important to consider weather conditions when harvesting your plants. Avoid harvesting during or immediately after a rainstorm or if there has been heavy dew on the leaves, as excess moisture can lead to mold growth. 

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Properly Drying, Storing, and Preserving Your Medicinal Plants

Drying your medicinal plants is essential for preserving their potency and preventing spoilage. To dry your herbs, hang them upside down in a warm, dry location away from direct sunlight. This allows air circulation around all parts of the plant, preventing moisture buildup that could lead to mold or rot. 

A good rule of thumb for drying herbs is that they should be brittle enough to crumble easily between your fingers but not so dry that they turn brown or lose their aroma entirely. Once dried, store your medicinal plants in airtight containers such as glass jars with tight-fitting lids or resealable plastic bags. 

Be sure to label each container with the plant’s name, harvest date, and relevant information about its use or dosage. Store your herbs in a cool, dark place away from direct sunlight and moisture to preserve their potency for as long as possible. 

If you have excess medicinal herbs, consider freezing them in ice cube trays with water or oil. This allows you to add them to teas or recipes throughout the year quickly and preserves their medicinal qualities. 

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Making Herbal Remedies from Your Survival Garden

Now that your medicinal plants are growing in your garden pharmacy, it’s time to learn how to turn them into valuable remedies. There are various methods for making herbal remedies, including teas, tinctures, salves, and more. Each method has advantages and disadvantages, so it’s essential to experiment with different techniques to find what works best for you. 

Making Herbal Teas

Making herbal teas is one of the easiest ways to use medicinal plants from your garden pharmacy. All you need is a few dried leaves or flowers and hot water. You can use fresh herbs too! 

Herbal tea can be sipped alone or used as the base for other remedies, such as tincture or syrup. To make herbal tea from fresh leaves or flowers: 

  • Harvest about 1/4 cup of plant material – Rinse the plant material with cold water 
  • Boil 2 cups of water – Remove the water from heat and add the plant material directly into the water 
  • Cover and steep for 10 minutes (or longer if desired) – Strain off the plant material using a fine mesh strainer 

Making Herbal Tinctures

Tinctures are alcohol-based extracts that preserve the active compounds found in medicinal plants. They’re convenient because they can last up to two years when stored properly. 

To make a tincture: 

  • Harvest enough plant material (leaves or flowers) to fill a jar about halfway. 
  • Chop up your herb finely. – Place chopped herbs into a clean glass jar until half full. 
  • Pour 80-proof vodka over herbs until wholly covered (use high-quality alcohol).
  • Shake daily for at least four weeks before filtering through cheesecloth. 

Making Salves

Salves are another way to use medicinal plants topically. They’re beneficial for skin irritations, cuts, and bruises. 

To make a salve: 

  • Melt 1 cup of beeswax over low heat 
  • Add 1 cup of coconut oil or olive oil to the melted wax 
  • Add about 1/4 cup of dried plant material to the mixture 
  • Stir until everything is well combined
  • Pour the mixture into jars and let it cool before using. 

Survival Garden Conclusion

Making herbal remedies from your garden pharmacy is a rewarding way to care for yourself and your family. You have many options for creating home remedies, so experiment with different techniques to find what works best for you. Remember that herbal medicine can be powerful, so constantly research new herbs or remedies before using them. 

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