What Are Survivalist Gardens?

One of the Royal Horticultural Society’s top gardening trends for 2024 is the concept of the survivalist garden, with interest apparently being driven by hiccups seen last year in the vegetable supply chain, as well as climate breakdown, encouraging people to grow more independently.

Survivalist gardens themselves aren’t entirely new, however, and people have long turned to their homes and gardens to help them out through times of trouble. 

In the 1940s, for example, food imports were affected by the sinking of merchant ships in the Atlantic, which meant rationing was soon necessary. In response, the Dig For Victory campaign was launched to encourage people to dig up their lawns so the land could be used for food production instead.

While a survival garden is naturally similar in nature to any typical vegetable patch, it takes it one step further by ensuring that you have enough food to survive if something happens without having to rely on external sources like supermarkets. These gardens also prioritise calorie intake and nutrition, as well as seed saving, food preservation and biodiversity.

As well as giving you what you need to survive in an emergency, these gardens deliver all sorts of other benefits as well. For example, you’re sure to find growing your own food very rewarding and there’s nothing quite like putting produce on your plate that you’ve tended to and harvested yourself. There’s a huge amount of satisfaction to be reaped in doing so.

It also helps you lead a more sustainable lifestyle, which is fast becoming a top priority for many of us out there. By growing your own, you’ll support pollinators and local biodiversity, improve soil health, reduce the carbon footprint of your diet and drive down the amount of waste you create.

Even if you don’t have a huge amount of space, you should be able to create a plot on which you can grow your own produce. Check out this blog on the Epic Gardening site for a few hints and tips on how to get started.