Victory gardens helped during a time of need for more food and it’s time we bring them back. It’s a great way to help your finances and the environment. Coupons.com is a big fan of gardens as well and is sponsoring this post.
What is a Victory Garden?
While home vegetable gardens are now fairly uncommon it was once seen as a patriotic act to have a home garden.
Just weeks before the United States entered World War I, Charles Lathrop Pack organized the National War Garden Commission to encourage Americans to start their own victory gardens.
It allowed more of America’s food to be exported to Europe to help our allies that faced severe food storage.
Citizens not only started gardens in their backyards but also on any idle land that could be used. This included schools, company grounds, parks, and more.
Shortly after the United States entered into the Second World War, victory gardens began to make a comeback.
Food was once again was needed overseas and these gardens again helped keep food on American tables while helping our allies.
Even First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt started a victory garden on the White House lawn.
Although the government’s encouragement of victory gardens ended with World War II we are seeing a comeback of victory gardens because they still offer many benefits.
Growing your own food can save you money and is great for the environment. Plus fresh food is always the best.
Victory Garden Tips
I looked through my collection of vintage magazines from the 1940s and 1950s and other resources to find some gardening tips from true retro housewives and retro garden experts. I found some good ones.
- When possible, prepare your garden in the fall. This will help give you a good headstart before it’s time to plant.
- Use a plot that has at least 6 hours of full sun, drains quickly, has topsoil at least seven inches deep, and no hedge or tree roots to compete with the vegetables.
- Prepare your garden with good compost. (Learn How to Compost)
- No garden is too small. You can start a garden anywhere, even on a small patio with a few pots.
- All gardens should be well planned. Do your research.
- It’s easier to start small and add more later.
- Soil is ready for planting when it holds its shape when pressed but easily crumbles.
- Fences are critical for keeping out veggie-loving animals.
- Look for varieties of vegetables that are resistant to common disease in your area.
- Add crushed eggshells to your garden to add calcium to the soil.
- If you have children, let them have a small garden of their own. This will help teach them the joy of gardening and why it’s important.
- And of course, have a plan to preserve and store your yield so you can enjoy your hard work all year long.
While I don’t currently have a vegetable garden it is something I have had at times and would like to have again. It’s such a great way to reduce your family’s food costs and encourage more eating of healthy foods.
One thing I do even without a vegetable garden is compost. It’s a great way to reduce food waste and improve your soil, even if you only grow flowers and other non-edible plants. You can click here to learn how to compost.
Get a Free Garden Planner
A good plan is of course essential for a good victory garden. Many articles from WWII talk about planning out your garden and staying organized.
Notebooks were likely used by many to plan their gardens but now you can use a garden planner instead. And you can even get one for free which helps keep your victory garden frugal.
Simply fill out the form below and you will get your free printable garden planner sent to your inbox. You can print as many pages as you’d like and skip any that aren’t useful for your garden. The planner is undated so you’ll be able to use it year after year.