During WWII (when the government was not afraid to say - Be Prepared) they encouraged everyone to turn over their front yards and plant Liberty Gardens. A liberty garden can provide an option for those (even city dwellers) whom are seeking a long term solution for their food supply.
Most root vegetables and squashes will yield at least ½ lbs per square foot of garden space? A 2000 square feet garden can provide a family with 1000 lbs of easily stored produce. Last year I grew about 10,000 lbs of root vegetables and squash on about a ½ acre of ground.
Did you know that even in cold and snowy climates, Brussel sprouts and Kale will stay green and good in the garden, well into January.
A man or woman with a shovel, hoe and garden rake can turn over and prepare approx. 1000 square feet of garden space in a day. Following are some helpful hints for planting a 2000 sq. ft. garden..
Tools - Shovel, hoe, garden rake. Turn over soil, bust up clods and use rake to remove vegetation and smooth.
Fertilizer - After planting, top dress 50 lbs of 10-20-20 (available at feed store). If not available 200 lbs of wood ashes will do, but only apply ½ at planting - the other half 2 months later.
Potatoes - 1000 sq. ft - Use 25 lbs of seed potatoes or other sprouting potatoes. Cut up seed potatoes so there is 2 (1 to 3) eyes for each piece. Plant 2" deep, 8 to 10" apart, on rows 32" apart. When plants are about 8 to 10 inches high, use dirt from between the rows to hill the plants up so that only the tips of the leaves are sticking up (this is necessary to support the plant and allow room for new tubers, all of which will grow above the seed tuber). Several weeks after planting, check plants daily for the Colorado Potato Beetle (1/3 to ½ inch long - brown striped). Pick off plants and crush. A couple of weeks after the beetles show up, check plants daily for small slimy brown larvae and remove (if you don't, you'll only have stalks for plants later on). About a month after the plants flower, they should begin to die. When the plants are all dead, dig out potatoes. Leave them to dry in garden for at least 24 hours, before gathering them for storage. Store in basement in cool, dark location that won't freeze. Yield - about 500 to 600 lbs.
Carrots - 4, 50' rows - Use 6 packs of seeds. Plant 1/4" deep, ½" apart, on 16" rows. When plants are about 2 to 3" tall, thin to one inch apart. Harvest anytime before ground freezes solid. Pack in sand in boxes and store in basement. Should stay crisp and good all winter. Yield - 100 to 150 lbs.
Turnips - 3, 50' rows - Use six packs of seeds (purple tops are good). Plant 1/2" deep, 1 1/2" apart, on 16" rows. When plants are 2 to 3" tall, thin to 3" apart. Harvest anytime before ground freezes solid. Pack in sand in boxes and store in basement. Should stay crisp and good all winter. Yield - about 150 lbs. (Steamed greens are also good)
Beets - 1, 50' rows - Use two packs of seeds. Plant 1/2" deep, 1 1/2" apart, on 16" rows. When plants are 2 to 3" tall, thin to 3" apart. Harvest anytime before ground freezes solid. Pack in sand in boxes and store in basement. Should stay crisp and good all winter. Yield - about 50 lbs. (Steamed greens are also good).
Butternut Squash - Buy two squash, eat them and dry and save the seeds. Make hills - 6" high, 1 foot across, leaving 40" of space to either side of hills, hills 5 feet apart. Plant 6 seeds per hill, ½ inch deep. After plants emerge, thin to 3 plants per hill. After plants flower, keep an eye out for 1/2" long gray bugs (squash bugs). Remove these as you find them. Harvest after squashes turn nice tan color. Store in pantry or basement - these squash keep very well all winter. 6 hills should yield about 200 lbs of squash.
Kale - One 25' row. 2 packs of seeds, plant 1/4" deep, 1" apart, 32" row. When plants are 2 to 3" tall, thin to every 4 inches. Greens are great steamed or raw. Plant will stay good in garden for about half the winter. Taste even better after first frost.
Brussel Sprouts - One 25' row. 1 pack of seeds. Start plants inside, 6 weeks before last frost date. Transplant 18" apart on 32" row. Plants stay good well into winter.
WEEDING - As soon as weeds come into garden, remove them by hoeing or pulling. It's a lot easier when you catch them young. Good luck. Bob