Survival Gardening in the Heat: Appreciate and utilize the plants that are difficult to get rid of; because they can survive anything!

My first thought, before I watched the video, was mulch mulch mulch! My permie housemate Jim has just completed a massive job with a borrowed chipper (from our gift circle) and I think he chipped/mulched every single stick that fell, broke or was stacked somewhere for the past ten years. All these new mulch piles went on the GANG garden beds.

Thanks to both Corbin and Rhonda for pointer to this video.

From my notes: first of all, old timers in Texas plant in March, and got everything done, including harvesting and preserving, by mid-June. But: if we do need to grow food in intense heat and drought, try these three: sweet potatoes (grows bigger tubers when stressed), okra, black eyed peas.

And four more: lamb’s quarters (high in calcium, a good green), nut sedge (has little nuts), canna lily (roots and rhizomes edible!), bamboo (little shoots are edible, cooked).

We already have lambs’ quarters, canna lily, and bamboo  in the GANG garden or at my house. YES! And I have definitely noticed how drought-hardy they all are. BTW: we harvest mature bamboo for garden structures, like trellises, tomato cages, teepees for beans and peas. 

I’ve also noticed that the Indiana state tree, the tulip poplar, is stressed this year, due to its shallow roots; also the sycamore, which likes to grow near water.

This is a time when the first principle of permaculture, Observe and Interact, becomes crucial.

About Ann Kreilkamp

I'm a Ph.D. philosopher, author, magazine founder and editor, and consulting astrologer who took the Permaculture Design Course in 2007. In 2009 I deepened my committment to both "above" and "below" by starting to attend UFO conferences and founding a neighborhood permaculture garden ( See for bio, etc.
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3 Responses to Survival Gardening in the Heat: Appreciate and utilize the plants that are difficult to get rid of; because they can survive anything!

  1. Susan McElroy says:

    Ann, how is your Garden Tower doing in the heat? Mine is producing well, and it is easy to catch any water runoff from it when I water, and pour that water back onto it and onto other plants. The compact nature of the Tower seems to make it water efficient, yes?

  2. laurabruno says:

    Thanks for the great info. One note: do be careful with the lambs quarters. They are very high in oxalic acid. I was using tons of them last summer in smoothies and salads. Fabulous! And….they gave me a kidney stone. :( I uninvited them in this year’s garden. They’re very tasty and nutritious, but they need to be cooked if eaten in abundance. Think of them like mega spinach. Cheers for mulch. We use leaf mulch, as it helps fix the nitrogen in the soil for veggies and is readily available.

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