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Identify what you need to put aside – pt 5 – Plants

The next article in our series ‘Identify what you need to put aside‘ is Plants.

Last article we dealt with survival seeds. Seeds being nature’s way of reproducing. However, using seeds is not always viable as for some crops it just takes too long to get to a harvest or the growth from seed is just too fragile for the UK. So we are forced to turn to other methods. Direct propagation from plants. This means unfortunately that we actually have to have a living breathing plant in our possession for us to do so. Plants however are quite bulky as trees and bushes are not small.

What type of plants are you looking for?
Well we should only look for plants that are useful to us. Plants we can eat or plants that can be used for something useful and hopefully with a view to having both. We should also be looking for plants that thrive in the UK climate but should consider those that will simply survive outside but will do well in a greenhouse. Bearing in mind that we may not have a greenhouse straight away but could later on acquire or build one.

What plants?
The plants we should be looking for include;

  • Apples
  • Apricots
  • Bamboo
  • Blackberries
  • Blackcurrants
  • Blueberries
  • Cherry
  • Cobnuts
  • Cranberry
  • Damsons
  • Figs
  • Filberts
  • Garlic
  • Gages
  • Goji Berry
  • Gooseberries
  • Grape
  • Jostaberry
  • Medlars
  • Mulberries
  • Nectarines
  • Onions
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Plums
  • Potatoes
  • Quince
  • Raspberries
  • Redcurrants
  • Rhubarb
  • Strawberries
  • Walnuts
  • Whitecurrants

Add what you want from these to your supplies list. You may have other choices or likes then add them too. Again there are several different varieties. Chose the ones you like based on output or taste.

Wild Plants
There are several wild plants in the UK that we can harvest and the best thing is that most will thrive and do well even when we are trying to kill them. They are the plant equivalent of us. The ones I know are;

  • Acorn
  • Brambles
  • Chestnut
  • Chickweed
  • Comfrey
  • Dandelion
  • Horseradish
  • Mushrooms
  • Nettles
  • Plantain
  • Rosehips
  • Sorrel
  • Thistles

There are many more which a good book on wild plants will point out with names I cannot even pronounce. It will be well worth having hard copies and some suggestions are in the Must Have Paper Books List.

Looking after the plants
All of the plants in the list will survive quite well planted in the ground with no special attention. Alternatively, all will survive planted into appropriate tubs or troughs as long as you remember that these will dry out quicker and will need to be monitored and watered when required. Tubs will also limit the growth and restrict the spread of the plants. In some cases this is a good thing. Bamboo for example grows fast enough to be seen by the naked eye.

All the plants can be propagated by one of three ways.

  • Splitting a root and potting it elsewhere.
  • Taking a cutting from the plant and potting it elsewhere.
  • Taking a branch or vine and layering it

These can be done by unskilled gardeners and most, if not all, of the plants will survive and grow.

The only real area of concern here is security. By this I mean the actually physical security of the plants. The fruits are available to anyone who knows where they are if they are in the ground and the pots can be subject to theft because they are portable. Some people will find that the environment will make keeping plants difficult.

Next up is part 6 in the series, Livestock.

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