Plant a Victory Garden

Victory gardens have often been popular in times of adversity, whether it is wartime, economic depressions, or other strenuous periods. Most common during World War I and World War II, these at-home plots have served many purposes, and they can be just as helpful now.

What Is a Victory Garden?

There are no hard-and-fast rules about the size or style of a victory garden, or what it must grow. Different gardens may yield different harvests of fruits, vegetables, herbs, and flowers. Initially, wartime victory gardens were promoted to help supplement rations, promote patriotism, and boost morale with feelings of self-sufficiency and community contribution.
A modern victory garden could be as simple as a windowsill herb garden or a container garden of salad greens, or it may be as complex as a large, detailed plot with a wide variety of crops. Raised garden beds and window boxes can be popular for victory gardens, or it is easy to convert a flowerbed or patch of lawn in any part of the yard to serve as a victory garden. A garden in the front yard can even inspire neighbors to join in the effort and spread victory throughout the community.

Benefits of a Victory Garden

Now, a victory garden can…

  • Provide easy exercise from digging, weeding, watering, and other garden chores
  • Keep individuals outside in fresh air, lightening mood and improving mental health
  • Increase mental stimulation with planning, gardening tasks, harvesting, etc.
  • Stretch the food budget with at-home vegetable and fruit supplies
  • Improve diets and steer away from junk food by adding fresh foods to the menu
  • Offer opportunities for homeschool lessons about gardens, insects, plants, and more
  • Minimize screen time and exposure to news sources that can lead to information overload
  • Improve social distancing by minimizing trips to the grocery store

Even a small garden can create these benefits, and every gardener can realize a wide range of positive results no matter what they grow or how much they harvest.

Starting a Victory Garden

It doesn’t have to be difficult to plan a victory garden, but some care must be taken in order to yield the best results. If you already have a garden and know the basics, you only need to expand your plot to expand your benefits. If you’re new to gardening, it may be best to start small as you learn how best to garden in your area. To make the most of your victory garden…

  • Study the best gardening techniques for your region and climate. Use online videos, local social media gardening groups, websites, and other resources to learn the gardening basics.
  • Choose the best spot on your property to position your garden. Ideally, the garden should get at least six hours of sun per day, and should not be in an area that floods.
  • Contact your local garden center or nursery for their opening hours (many of these businesses are considered essential), and go during off-peak periods to buy your gardening supplies.
  • Consider using online shopping or curbside pickup options to get fertilizer, garden soil, seeds, seedlings, gardening tools, and other materials to build your victory garden.
  • Choose foods that your family will actually eat, but don’t be afraid to try some new fruits or vegetables to enjoy experimenting with new tastes and textures.
  • Add flowers to your victory garden for a burst of color and beauty that will lift your mood and brighten every moment you spend in your garden.

What to Plant in Your Garden

You have many options for delicious produce to plant in your victory garden. First, choose foods that are already popular with your family, because you and your family members will be more willing to put in the effort necessary to raise a tasty crop if you are looking forward to the results. You must also consider your garden’s size, soil type, and sunlight levels to choose crops that will thrive. Take note of the water and fertilizer requirements of each plant and group plants with similar needs together to make caring for them easier. Some of the most popular plants for victory gardens include…

  • Spring Gardens – carrots, lettuce, peas, radishes, kale, onions, strawberries
  • Summer Gardens – beans, corn, cucumbers, tomatoes, watermelons, eggplant
  • Fall Gardens – beets, broccoli, carrots, turnips, spinach, lettuce, Swiss chard, collards

If you have a greenhouse setup or want to plant an indoor victory garden in containers, you can be more flexible with what to plant and when to plant it. Planting can also vary depending on whether you are starting with seeds or seedlings, and how mature the plants are when you’re ready to plant them.

Victory Gardens Throughout Life

Your gardening efforts can help you declare victory over many of life’s obstacles, such as battling other health concerns or diseases such as cancer. Having financial difficulties during economic downturns, lost jobs, or paying for expensive colleges? A victory garden can help you be a winner over financial struggles. You can even turn victory gardens into a winning strategy to combat personal difficulties, mental upsets, and other challenges. Regardless of the difficulties, your victory garden can be a winning project.