What Is A Survival Garden? Best Plants To Grow This Spring

By James Barton โ€ข  Updated: 05/31/19 โ€ข  14 min read

A survival garden is a garden that has been grown to sustain the grower through an emergency situation where food may be difficult to obtain. This could include any number of disasters including disruptions in distribution due to weather, natural disaster, or man-made disruption of normal distribution channels.

The key aspect is producing enough of one’s own food so as to not have depended exclusively on buying groceries from outside sources. A survival garden can also help stave off depression by increasing self-sufficiency and self-respect which are part of the process of regaining personal control after a crisis.

If you are looking for ways to survive on limited resources this article will give some ideas about how you can do it with limited land space available while increasing your chances of eating healthier. Let’s get started with the best plants to grow in survival gardens.

survival garden

Best 15 Survival Gardening Plants To Grow

Spring is one of the trickiest seasons for most farmers, and most people find themselves baffled about the best plants to grow. Worse still; some farmers end up investing much in their gardens only for the crops to fail terribly. Does this sound familiar to you, or have you been there before? Worry not, as we are going to take you through the best survival gardening plants to grow this spring.

1. Potatoes


Potatoes can grow well during this time as well as during winter. They are good sources of energy, proteins, and vitamins. The good thing about planting sweet potatoes is that they do not require much attention. Better still; when stored properly, they can last you for long.

However, they are susceptible to frost. So if you stay in an icy place, you need to be cautious. You can consider visiting your local agro vet to know if you can get a quality pesticide to help combat the impact of temperature changes.

2. Grain Corn

survival garden corn

When planning on the survival plants that you can grow during spring, you also need to have grain corn in the list. Many people believe that grain corn is in the category of root vegetables which is wrong.

It is a grain and is used as a source of carbohydrates in many parts of the world. The plant can do well during spring because it does not require too much rain. Apart from carbohydrates, grain corn also contains fiber and proteins.

Planting grain corn also does not require high maintenance costs as compared to other plants. As a survival plant, it does not take long to be ready in the vegetable garden and is also easy to prepare as a meal. Many people love it as a result of its excellent taste and ability to provide more nutrients for the body.

3. Beets

garden beets

Beets do not take along duration to be ready, and this is a plus for anyone who needs plants that can be ready very fast.

They do not quickly go, so you do not have to worry about their storage. They are also rich in protein which can act as bodybuilding food and also act as energy reserves for the body to keep you going.

4. Green Beans

garden beens

Beans are not only survival gardening plants during spring but also help in maintaining your garden in good shape. Unlike other plants that require a lot of supplements to be able to do well, beans do not. For beans to do well, you do not have to provide a lot of supplements provided the conditions are favorable, you will be sure of a bumper harvest.

They are good rotation crops and always help in preparing the land to be used during the next season. Combining beans and other plants even make it better as they help is improving the quantity of your garden yield.

Beans also help in adding nitrogen into the soil so that once you rotate the plants, you grow during the next season; you will not need to add any nitrogenous fertilizer to the land. They take less than two months to be ready, which makes them a go-to plant for the spring season.

Another good thing about planting beans is that once you have harvested them, you can still prepare the remains to be used as animal feed to save on the cost of buying animal feed.

However, beans are of different kinds, and some species may take longer than two months. Always consider the climatic conditions around your area to make sure you go for the best. Some beans have more health benefits than others. For instance, black beans are great antioxidants for the body and also contain proteins to a high percentage that is useful for the body.

5. Peas

garden peas

Just like beans, peas have many advantages both to the soil as well as the body. Peas take a short duration, and the leaves can still be prepared and used as a vegetable just like the kales.

They are rich in vitamins and help improve the bodyโ€™s immune system. They also contain a lot of proteins that provide the body with energy reserves.

Planting peas also have added advantage to your garden as they are good rotational plants that help in adding nitrogen into the soil. You do not have to get worried about where to get nitrogen for your garden. Apart from the nutrients mentioned, it is also known that peas offer an excellent alternative for meat and a great pick for vegetarians.

6. Barley


It is one of the best survival garden crops along with other perennial plants. You can grow it in your own survival garden layout during its growing season. The raised beds of food crops are great.

It contains carbohydrates to a great extent and can be used to provide energy for the body when there are no other better means. The good thing with planting barley in your garden is that you do not have to worry about where you will get animal food. You can as well use it to feed your animals so that you cut on the cost of getting food for your animals. The plant is also rich in fiber, which is very important for digestion in the body.

7. Acorn squash

acorn squash

One of the longest-lasting plants that you can plant in your garden is the acorn squash. It contains a lot of carbohydrates for the body, and one can always be sure to have enough energy-giving food for the body.

They do not take a lot of time to be ready, which is one of the primary reasons why you should include them in your list of survival plants during this spring. They can offer a fast remedy, unlike the other plants that take a lot of time in the garden.

Another advantage of planting the acorn squash is that you do not have a lot of space to yield enough for your family. It is a cover crop and only requires a small amount of space, leaving you with enough space to use in planting other types of foods that you might need during this season.

Many people across the world also eat their leaves as a great source of vitamins. When you plant them, you will have access to carbohydrates as well as vitamins.

8. Berries


Not everyone needs plants that will provide them with a lot of proteins as some of them are on their weight loss journey. You only need to add berries to your diet and will be sure to save the money that you have been using to get the weight loss products. The berries take a short duration to be ready, and this also means that you will avoid the chemically produced products in the market while keeping your weight in check.

They also have a beauty aspect that will make your garden to look beautiful because you can plant them alongside other plants in the garden. Apart from helping in weight loss, one can also access more vitamin C and fiber.

You can either add them to a salad or decide to snack them the way they are.

9. Cabbages


A garden that does not contain enough vegetables might as well fail in providing the owner with alternatives to use as sources of vitamins. Cabbages contain a lot of calories, and even health experts always advise that one has to include it as a salad in their meals at least once a week if they wish to stay healthier.

They take a short time to be ready on the farm, and the planting procedure is just like that for kales, which many people are used to. The only problem that many people have with cabbages is the time they have to spend cooking them, but the good thing is that you can still take them raw. They contain more nutrients when taken fresh as none is lost during cooking.

A cup of shredded cabbages will give you up to 33 calories. It is better than the other vegetables because it can be stored.

However, cabbages will require you to use quality pesticides to keep them healthy until they are ready for harvest. But considering their health benefits, you cannot ignore including them in your list.

10. Carrots


Carrots are known to be good survival plants as they can last longer and do not require much attention. They contain fiber, which is good for your digestion. They also contain beta-carotene, antioxidants, and vitamins A, C, and K. you can opt to eat them raw or use them in your stews to taste and add more nutrients.

With proper storage, carrots will last long enough to provide the family with a great source of vitamins. In case you do not have adequate room for them in the house, you can choose to leave them in the garden as long as you keep the rodents away.

11. Tomatoes


One of the essential vegetables that are used in different meals is tomatoes. You cannot miss having them in the list of plants that you wish to plant in your garden during spring. Tomatoes take a very short time to be ready in the garden, a fact that makes them be preferred as a source of vitamins.

Instead of buying sauce and other supplements that you need to add to your stew to make it taste, you can use tomatoes, which will serve the purpose well. The only caution you have to take when growing vegetables is the issue with pests and diseases. They are very vulnerable to pests and diseases and you must, therefore, have ways of ensuring that you keep them well cared for from such infestations if you wish to have a good yield.

However, tomatoes are of different types, and some may take longer or may not do well under certain climatic conditions. Before planting, you can visit an expert to advise on the variety that is best for your soil so that you do not waste resources planting one that will not perform well.

As long as you have the best storage facilities, you can always be sure to store tomatoes for long enough to save you the best of buying products that would be more expensive.

12. Peanuts


As long as people continue to avoid fats in their meals, they still cannot afford to go without them. The body needs fats to be able to function well. The problem is that many people go for industrial fats which contain chemicals and might end up causing more harm to the body.

Even those who are on their weight loss journey can take a small number of healthy fats for the body. Healthy fats can be very expensive, and the only way one can be sure to afford them easily is by growing plants that have them.

Peanuts contain fats that can be used as alternative sources of energy for the body. They grow well in relatively high temperatures and can be stored to be used during the other season, which is the main reason why they are preferred for spring.

There are not many technical procedures involved in growing them, and one can always be sure to have a good harvest by just following the simple methods. Peanuts provide vitamin E, proteins, and antioxidants for the body apart from the healthy fats known to many people.

13. Plantain


Many people do not know that plantain which grows naturally can as well be used as food. In case you need a survival plant that will not incur a lot of costs to grow and maintain, then you can go for the plantains. In case you did not know that they can be used as food, then it is your chance to try them out and see if you can make good use of them during spring. They are most common during spring, and people do not eat them because they are not aware of the nutritional value they have. So you do not have to spend a lot of money trying to get nutrients that you can access freely from plants that are even grown in your backyards as a weed. You will enjoy free different vitamins that will keep you healthy. You can alternate it with other vegetables for the best results.

14. Basil


You may know this plant as a result of the name โ€œthe king of herbs.โ€ Though it might not have any healing effect like the natural herbs that you are used to, it is a plant that you have to include in your garden.

The general benefits of the plant include reducing inflammation and anti-aging effect. There is no need of going for the artificial methods of anti-aging when you can use natural plants that will still have the best results without any side effects on the user.

The plant can grow well during spring since it is a tropical plant. The conditions during spring favor its survival and also help in having a better yield compared to the other seasons.

Since it has also been known as a source of magnesium, it promotes blood flow in the body and keeps the body in good shape. It is also a source of vitamin A that is known for the improvement of eyesight. It is a plant that you will need to grow to enjoy the numerous benefits it has.

15. Garlic


When listing plants that you need for survival, you need others that will be used to add taste to your food. Garlic is delicious and will add flavor to most of the foods you cook. There is no need to spend money to get it from the market if you can grow it in your garden.

There are no hard procedures to follow, and once you harvest, it can last for an extended period to be used during the other seasons.

Apart from adding taste to food, it also has health benefits. It is a good antioxidant and helps in boosting the immune system. It can also be used to reduce high blood pressure and the level of cholesterol in the body.

Along with these options, you can also try sunflower seeds, fresh herbs, heirloom seeds, pole beans, other medicinal plants, along with wild plants. They will provide essential vitamins along with other benefits.

Wrapping it up

Choosing the best survival gardening plants to grow this spring should not be a challenge. Our piece covers the best plants which have proved to offer a bumper harvest to farmers. However, some may not apply in your area depending on the difference in altitude and other climatic conditions. Some plants will have different species which will take different times before they can be ready for harvest. To avoid any disappointments, always consider going for plant species that take a short time to be ready.

James Barton

James Barton

Hi, I'm James. I am the founder and main editor for The Survival Corps. I have been a part of the survival and prepping community since my mid 30's as I downsized and started to prepare to be self sufficient in a time of crisis.