Have you heard of the term victory garden and are wondering what it means? Well, this tradition is for any gardening level, and worth keeping patriotic morale booster alive.
In this article we will cover the definition, what can be planted in a victory garden and how to set one up.
When you ready about the history of a victory garden you can’t help but be inspired by what out ancestors did to boost morale during lean times. Hopefully you can walk away with some a skip in your step after reading 🙂
Why we need to keep the traditions of victory gardens alive
Sometimes the best method to learn something new, is to look at the past. All to often we get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the fast paced world we call 2021.
Old things have been new as more households are going back to homesteading traditions like farm raised meat or beekeeping. Farm raised anything is growing in popularity because it offers a way for individuals to be more involved in the ethical or eco-friendly methods used.
I’m sure you are wondering how this relates, well you see before I can explain the what, I feel like the need should be addressed. The need for a victory garden throughout history rises in times of economic hardship.
Times like the great depression or WWII gave opportunity in the lean times for households to come together as a community for a common goal.
What is a Victory Garden?
Sometime called the war garden, a victory garden is the idea of growing your own supply of food during a difficult time in history. This definition of a victory garden may sound pretty generic, but whenever times of war and a decline of resources arise, the road is paved for these patriotic gardens.
A victory garden is an actionable step anyone can use when economic shifts cause potential food shortages.
Each American during times of war would plant a garden out of necessity for their household to eat but also any extras were sent to troops overseas or for the local soup kitchen.
This tradition is a wonderful example of how you can shift the focus from worry about having enough, to taking action to ensure your food supply is replenished.
No only were families fed, but also morale.
Ready to get started with your garden? You’ll need a garden planner and how CUTE is this one?!?! Here’s the link to buy this Garden Planner and Journal for under $10.00. That’s less than one meal in the drive-thru!
Ready to shop for your garden planner? Try this Watercolor Pastel Garden Planner out on my Etsy shop.
History of a WWII garden
Victory gardens have been around since WWII (that is 1942) but are certainly not a gardening method to leave in the past. If you are wondering what is a victory garden, I am here to walk you through the definition but also why it’s relevant today.
If you want to know more on the history of a victory garden the history channel and surprisingly, Wikipedia had a very elaborate timeline of these “war gardens” that aided families during historic times.
The History channel published a great article “place to sow the seeds of victory” for America’s Patriotic Victory Garden accordion to History.com.
The definition of a victory garden
The concept of a victory garden came during a time of war and lack of resources. (sound familiar) But it was a project to get American’s involved in doing something to make a difference. Households were encouraged to plant gardens, also known as War gardens, to grow fruit, vegetables and herbs not only for on soil Americans, but also for deployed troops.
What is planted in a victory garden?
Anything you can get your hands on! For some the initial buy in for seeds or plants can be expensive. And when budgets are always tight, it can feel impossible to spend your hard earned money on yet another expense. But-there are some easy ways to acquire seeds to get your garden started on a budget.
- Use seeds from produce you buy/have bought at the store
- Plant dry beans like pinto, navy or kidney
- Use ends of lettuce to regrow
- Ask around for neighbors who have a seed supply and swap trades or skills
- Look for wild blueberry, raspberry or blackberry vines to harvest and bring home to cultivate
A victory garden can also have quick growing veggies to ensure a fast turnaround since the idea is you need the food options NOW. Some quick growing veggies that are ready in under 45 days include: greens like lettuce, spinach or mustard greens.
You can read more on quick growing vegetables in this article. Arugula, radishes, microgreens. Some types of summer squash or zucchini. Seedsnow has a whole section devoted to the “mature in under 45 days” section.
Planting simple to grow veggies, that is to say ones that require less special attention. The best way to ensure a harvest is to plant what grows well in your area.
Sounds like a no brainer I know, but working with your planting zones superstars you can put food on your table much quicker.
For example, Georgia heat loving plants like okra are super easy to grow. Whereas tomatoes can be tricky to keep from splitting with water fluctuations.
So if I were planting a victory garden, I would opt for heat loving/drought resistant.
How to make a victory garden
Traditionally these gardens were grown in personal residences but also a local community garden. The idea was if you had an abundance of something, plant what you need at home but share what you could spare in the community garden.
That way if somebody didn’t have access to a seed supply they could work in exchange and the community garden. They could be weeding and watering and tending to the garden.
A community garden is also a place for locals with no space to have access to a soil plot. Again their work in tending the soil, weeding and water is how communities could work together for a goal. The idea that we are all in this together, and we can make it through this time of war by pulling together as a community.
Conclusion: Growing a victory garden ensures a sustainable living access to food when times get hard.
Points covered: What is a victory garden? The definition of a victory garden. History of a WWII victory garden. Victory garden plans. What is planted in a victory garden. How to make a victory garden
Ready to get started? Here is a guide to quick growing vegetables for your small space!