> TEOTWAWKI Blog: Veggie gardens



Veggie gardens

My small, scale, completely non-survivalist approved and totally not cost effective veggie garden is actually coming along pretty well.

Historically, we haven't been big gardeners. I know little/nothing about it, my wife might know less.

New place we moved into last fall has a little 4 foot by about 8 foot bed the previous owners had built up, but which had been mostly over grown with weeds.

Originally, we weren't planning on planting anything this year. Just too much going on to try to juggle...and the wife is historically bad at remembering to water plants.

But, I had to clean up the garden bed, so I figured what the heck. Bought up some plants from the hardware store, stuck 'em in the ground and have been taking care of them since. I think I spent about $30 on the plants - 3 tomato plants, jalapeno plants, a bell pepper plant or two, cilantro and a water melon because my 5 year old really wanted to grow a water melon.

Figured, worse case is that it's a learning experience.

Surprisingly, a month or so in, they aren't dead, and it looks like we'll at least get some nice produce from the tomato plants.

If I were doing this the 'survival' way, these would have been non-hybrid plants, sprouted from my own seeds. I won't be saving these seeds and re-planting them next summer. If the apocalypse rolls around, Lowe's won't be open to buy plants from, either.

Financially, with the amount of money/maintenance time going into the garden, I'm doubtful that it'll make much sense. Just figuring the $50 or so in 'parts'...that'd buy a lot of veggies at the supermarket.

But, the first-hand experience and mild amusement I'm getting out of it are valuable, too.

Yep, you can (and should) do it larger scale, cheaper and smarter than I am, and I'm sure many of you are. If this year doesn't turn into a total disaster, I'll do things a bit differently.

I'm sure many of you have some serious veggie gardens going on and years of experience under your belts. Got a picture of your veggie garden and a quick blurb - the how/what/why of what you're growing - that you'd like to share with the tribe? Shoot it to us at teotwawki.blog@gmail.com.


  1. First off, I enjoy your blog and have been following it for over a year. This is my first post on your website. I enjoy growing my own tomatoes as I think they taste better than the ones in the market. The key is direct sunlight, if your garden plot is not getting 6+ hours direct light consider putting your tomatoes in pots and putting them where you have the most light.

    1. AnonymousJune 04, 2014

      Before you say "direct sunlight",think of the area! In Arizona,direct sunlight will give you dead plants! My best are in the shade.6 hours will make even a great weather hardy plant wilt.

    2. These guys definitely get a healthy serving of sunlight every day. Most of our yard is very shaded (think forest), but this garden has a little southern-facing, good sunlit spot.

  2. This year I my first year of gardening by myself. I have done garden (big ones) with my dad before And we get some pretty good produce. Sometimes more than we can handle. We have had years before of 500 lbs of potatoes, corn running out our ears (pardon the pun) and squash and tomatoes and peppers every where. We ran out of storage space and couldn't process all of it. We had to give it away. all this on about a quarter acre. This year I did my own small (6 tomato, 6 pepper, 6 corn, 3 peas, 3 squash plants) with compost instead of commercial fertilizer (that stuff has gotten expensive!). It is all experimental but it is doing well. nothing has died yet and I don't water it (I let the rain do that).
    If you really get into it, invest in a small tiller. You can plant and weed your garden with one if you space your rows right. It also mixes you fertilizer in evenly and "fluffs" the dirt. We use ours to plant everything but our potatoes, which we use a tractor for.
    P.S. Your picture makes me want fried green tomatoes!

    1. 500 pounds of potatoes! That's a lotta french fries!

  3. exactly just like the way you put a learning experince thats how my little garden started out now it is consumeing half my backyard the potatoes and corn i grow back every year along with nearly all my herbs mints,dill oregano etc . not going to lie i save alot of the seeds and sometimes have mixed sucess with a good heriloom but im a sucker the ocassinal hybrid .

    do i honestly think i could grow enough to feed myself come the end probaly that being said each year i learn more and probaly have more garden knowledge than my neighbors .

  4. AnonymousJune 05, 2014

    It won't be long and you'll be hooked. It's hard to remain a casual tomato grower. Tomatoes are only a gateway vegetable. This site might even morph into the Teotwawki Garden Blog !! I can see it now: the bomb rider sitting on a tractor with a hoe raised in the air...:-)

  5. In our tribe we have fought back and forth as to who was in charge and of what. Finally the wife said its all yours, you take care of it. So this year it is my baby. In our 12 by 12 foot raised garden bed I have over a dozen sweet corn stalks, 4 bell peppers, 6 tomatoes, and just like you the token watermelon. I do however have a few fruit trees that are showing promise this year, we harvested about a gallon of bing cherries that didn't last two days in our house. White peaches will be ready in about two weeks. We also have some random peach trees that I started from peach pits two years ago that look really good. Apples are a wash (some sort of fungus/bug gets them every year and my pear trees look like I am going to actually get some thing, so that's cool.
    Two years ago our peach tree produced so many peaches that we canned most of em, and about a month ago we ate the last jar, so its time for more. My garden I have on a timer to water twice a day for ten minutes and as suggested earlier I have a small mantis tiller that has been one of the greatest investments for our garden. To fertilize I use rabbit poo! works great and adds the necessary nitrogen to give veggies a good taste!