Is It Really An Easy Survival Food To Grow?
If you’ve ever planted a summer garden then you know how big and fast zucchinis can grow.
But most people haven’t had the luxury or the experience of growing zucchini which is why I wanted to take a few moments to talk about them here.
First things first…zucchinis are one of the most interesting garden plants to grow.
Because they grow fast and into an enormous size. Some gardeners actually joke about their growth rate, they say “the only time we lock our doors around here is during zucchini season.”
In the next few minutes I’m going to show you both the health reason as well as the practical reasons for growing zucchini.
Check them out below.
The Health Benefits That Make An Easy Survival Food To Grow Perfect For Your Garden
A good survival food is one that’s going to be able to add a substantial amount of nutrition to your diet.
Go figure a vegetable like zucchini is going to be a winner in this category.
Here are a few reasons zucchini is a leader in the survival food category.
- It’s high in antioxidants. If you didn’t already know, antioxidants are great at helping fight cancer. While not as powerful as some foods it still ranks high on the list. These antioxidants go around the body looking for cancer causing agents called free radicals and neutralize them so they can’t do your body any more harm. Think about how helpful that is in a survival situation where there are loads of toxins and chemicals out and about.
- It contains natural fiber. Fiber’s important for a number of reasons. It’s helpful at keeping your bowel movements regular, it can help keep your heart healthy, and it also helps you keep excess weight off. If your diet consists of foods high in fiber there’s considerable research out there to show that you’re going to be quite healthy.
- It contains folates. Folates are an important vitamin that are useful in cell division and DNA synthesis, both of which are necessary for healthy living. With a lack of folate in your diet you’re likely to experience sub par health. Conditions that result from low folate levels can result in weakness, excessive fatigue, trouble concentrating, irritability, headache, shortness of breath, and more. Plus pregnant women without folate in their diet often have children with severe health complications.
- Zucchini is rich in potassium. Potassium’s an important mineral that a lot of people don’t get enough of. It helps with heart health as well as blood pressure and helps to resist the effects of too much sodium in the diet.
- It’s rich in all kinds of vitamins and minerals. You’ll find Vitamin A, Vitamin C, B-complex vitamins, Vitamin B-5, along with iron, manganese, phosphorous, zinc, and more. There’s simply no way to argue against the idea a zucchini isn’t a great plant to include for survival use.
And when it comes to ensuring you’ve got a ton of zucchini at your disposal during a crisis I’m going to show you just how easy it is to grow this incredible vegetable.
How To Grow Zucchini
Like I mentioned above, zucchinis grow quickly and they grow to be a pretty decent size.
If you’re looking for an easy way to grow them then just follow these directions.
Please keep in mind you can grow zucchinis indoors but you need a great deal of space. So with that being said take a look at these simple instructions.
Step 1 – Planting: Because zucchinis have large root systems a lot of people like to plant them first inside and then move them outside later. That’s what makes them an easy survival food to grow and this ensures each plant can grow in an isolated environment, which means it will take well to the garden it’s going to be moved to.
First start them inside about 2 weeks before your last expected frost. Place the seed in loosely packed soil about 1 inch below the surface. You’ll want to start it inside of a small pot or container with a relatively deep basin. This gives the roots the opportunity to grow and spread without restriction for the later transplant.
Once planted in the container place it either underneath a growing light or in direct sunlight. Then you’ll be ready to transplant.
(You can also plant the seeds outside provided it’s done after your last expected frost date.)
Step 2 – Transplant: After your last frost and after the zucchini has germinated you can then transplant it into your garden.
In terms of where you’re going to plant the zucchini opt for a sunnier side of the garden. Zucchinis love the heat and the sun and will thrive there.
Take the soil where you plan to plant the zucchini, break it up about 6 -10 inches deep (depending on the size of the seedling), and then mix in manure or compost with the soil and plant.
Be careful when you’re planting the zucchini because the root system is quite large and fragile at this point.
Also if you plan on planting more than one plant be aware they grow out and that means you want to afford your plant as much space as possible. Plants grown on the ground need around 3 feet of space on all sides so they don’t overtake other plants and so they can flourish.
Step 3 – Keep Them Growing: Zucchinis love water. If you’re in a crisis situation you can use water from a stream or a pond as unfiltered water isn’t going to bother them. Just make sure to wash the zucchini before you eat it. Also, never use water that’s been contaminated with chemicals as those chemicals will end up in your food.
If you know the water you’re using is polluted you can use advanced water filtration systems to remove the particulate and then water the plants with that.
You should water them well anywhere from once to twice a week, making sure to give them several gallons to drink. Make sure to water directly at the root as water on the leaves can produce unwanted mildew or fungus.
You’ll also want to add some kind of fertilizer during its growing period. This can be in the form of compost, and if you have it leftover, manmade fertilizer products. Make a mound around the base of the roots and then pour the water over the top of the fertilizer to ensure the nutrients make it down to the roots.
If you’d like you can control the amount of fruit you get from each vine by picking the extra blossoms off once a few zucchinis have begun to form. If left to themselves, a zucchini vine will keep on producing all through the summer until the weather gets too cold. The blossoms don’t have to go to waste either. Add them to a summer salad for some color. They’re edible and tasty.
Step 4 – Keep Them Safe: Unfortunately any time you grow a plant like zucchini you’ve got to bare in mind there’s going to be things working against the growth of that plant.
There are several insect types that love zucchinis. Striped Cucumber Beetles and Squash Vine Borers love them and you’ve got to do everything you can to keep that at bay.
One of the things you can do is pick the beetles off by hand. And while that’s effective it’s a bit time intensive. So another option you have is using organic pesticides or plants to keep bugs away.
The borers on the other hand are a bit more difficult to deal with because they actually bury themselves into the plant.
The vine borers are hard to deal with because they dig into the stalk, making them very hard to detect until your plant is already dying. You can cut into the stalk (along the length, not across) and pick out the insects, which may or may not kill the plant anyway. If you bury the cut portion, it may heal and even grow new roots.
For diseases, you need to watch for wilt and powdery mildew. Bacterial wilt can be spread by cucumber beetles, which is another reason to control those insect pests. If your plants develop wilt, there is little you can do. The leaves will turn yellow, and wilt right to the ground. It can happen practically overnight. Pull up the plants before others get infected.
The other threat is powdery mildew, which looks like powdery dust on the leaves of the plants. It thrives in humidity, so do your best not to wet the leaves during watering. Also, water the plants early in the morning so any water on the leaves can dry before nightfall. You can spray the plants with a fungicide as soon as you see the powdery spots. The effected leaves will eventually yellow and drop off.
All in all you can see it’s really not that hard to get zucchinis growing now is it?
Now while I always recommend doing whatever you can to grow your own food there might be some circumstances where growing food isn’t even an option.
These would include if you live in an apartment or if the crisis situation you’re facing renders the environment unsuitable for growing plants.
This of course is why I recommend food storage.
One of the best food storages around is our Survival Cave Canned Meat.
It’s one of our most popular and for good reason. Click here to see more about it.