How To Grow Lamb's Quarters!
I consider this plant probably one of the most important plants you need to know about when confronted with a armageddon type scenerio. And here is why! We have a section here on how to grow various traditional garden crops such as tomatoes. We also have a section on plants that grow wild that are edible such as black berries. Well we all know that garden crops often produce some of the best tasting and volume producing edibles, but we also know that garden crops can be very tempermental. Often requiring tender loving care and not very forgiving when conditions are perfect.
To bad we can't combine both wild traits such as ease of propegation and hardiness with a crop you can grow in a garden. Well you can and first on that list is Lamb's Quarters. I am not going to get into its identification here or what and how you eat it, that is available here in the wild edibles section.
How to grow lamb's quarters in a garden. First thing you need to know is that this is an annual. Meaning the plant grows, puts out seed then dies. The plant does not live from one year to the next. All propegation is from seeds. One plant can produce thousands of seeds. Both of these traits make raising it in a garden easy. Since the seed isn't what you eat there isn't any issue with eating some seed and saving some for next season. You don't even need to save any. Just let them fall to the ground and they will come back next season even more numerous that before. And being an annual you get your food that first year and don't need to propogate some for more than a year as a few plants require before they go to seed.
Saving some seed is still a good idea because you never know when you will have to move to another location or if only you want to start a garden in another location. And if your lamb's garden for some reason doesn't come back you can use the saved seed to get it going again.
The lamb's quarters loves disturbed soil. So till up the soil and see if that gets the plants coming up again. often you will get new plants every time you till the soil.
Another great feature of this plant is that even though it is a weed (although some people and cultures do grow it in a garden) it grows taller than most of the others weeds that will be competing with it for sunlight. You will still want to do a little weed control but lamb's quarters can grow as tall as you so if and when more pressing survival matters that take your time the lamb's quarters will still produce food for you.
Another aspect of this plant that the seeds are available for free! You simply have to find a wild growing lamb's quarter plant and it will provide you with all the seed you need. This is huge! If the collapse of society happens quickly and finds you unprepared (no garden seed saved) you aren't doomed to never have it available again because it grows wild. Contrast that with corn or bell peppers. If you have a total crop failure or are forced to relocate at the drop of a hat you may have no way to replace your lost plants and seed ever again.
Another of the great traits of lamb's foot is that it is wild and therefore not as susceptable to insects and disease like most modern day garden crops. So although you won't want to totally abandon other crops this one is a welcome addition that should be in everyone's survival garden.
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