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Grow a Victory Garden



Victory Garden

Photo © Erin Huffstetler

Victory gardens emerged during World Wars I and II as a way to minimize demand on an overburdened public food system. Citizens were encouraged to grow their own fruits and vegetables, so that more of the foods coming out of factories could be shipped overseas to soldiers.

Now, years later, victory gardens are once again becoming popular – but this time the goal is different. The new victory garden is all about self-reliance. It's about growing your own food, so that you have control over how it is grown and how much you pay for it. It's about getting back to real food.

Ready to plant your own victory garden?

Here's How:

  1. Decide where you'll plant your garden. A sunny patch in the backyard is an obvious choice, but it's not the only option. Window boxes, containers and even rooftops can be utilized with great success. Short on space? Consider working edibles in around your existing flowers and shrubs. Stuck with a shady backyard? Then, think about planting your victory garden in the front yard. Many fruit and vegetable plants are actually quite attractive, so there's no need to give up curb appeal.

  2. Determine your zone. This will allow you to choose plants that are suited to your specific growing conditions and increase your chance of success.

  3. Pick your plants. Focus on the fruits, vegetables and herbs that you eat regularly to make the biggest impact on your grocery bill. New to gardening? Then, start with plants that are easy to grow. Like to keep things low-maintenance? Then, include lots of perennial foods, and you'll have less to plant next year.

  4. Shop for supplies. Catalog companies are usually the cheapest source for seeds and plants. Place your order early, and they'll ship everything out when it's time to get things in the ground.

  5. Read up. While you're waiting for spring to arrive, pick up some gardening books from the library, and learn everything you can about gardening.


  1. Start your seeds inside to get a jump on the season
  2. No space to garden? See if there are any community gardens in your town, or ask a friend if you can garden on their land in exchange for a cut of the harvest

What You Need:

  • A space to garden
  • Plants or seeds
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