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Victory Gardens

What is a Victory Garden?

A Victory Garden is a garden that produces fresh food during times when it isn’t readily available or affordable. The rich history of the Victory Garden began during World War I as a way for Americans to use the bountiful space of the country for growing their own food while the supply lines were re-directed to focus on keeping our troops overseas fed.  The uplifting name still bring us joy as we plant and grow today. From fresh green peas in the Spring to pumpkins in the Fall,  Westlake Ace associates are ready to help you get started with your own Victory Garden at home. This can be your Spring to have fresh salad, salsa and more.

But a Victory Garden isn’t just about growing a supply of fresh food. From the beginning, it was also a way to create interest in vegetables for building up your canned and pickled vegetable reserves, as well as a good supply of dried spices and herbs!

Victory Garden window hangings from the 1930s and 1940s that encouraged families to plant vegetables that they could harvest themselves in order to keep the food supply lines undisturbed for the American military overseas.

Victory Garden posters and magazine advertisements from the World War II era

History of the Victory Garden

Victory Gardens started as an idea over a hundred years ago. The program encouraged families to grow garden-fresh goods while lifting morale, especially through WW1 and WW2 and the Great Depression. The idea of Victory Gardens continued in the 1970s with the first gardening tv program in the United States based on this idea, which ran under a variety of names through 2015.

More recently, America is experiencing an increased interest in Victory Gardens as people spend more time at home with their families, while also making an effort to keep fresh food affordable and easily available. Creating a large vegetable garden in the backyard is a great way for a home owner to get their families out of the TV room and into the fresh air and sun, while putting their effort to something practical and useful.

Examples of posters and magazine advertisements for Victory Gardens from a collection curated by the State Historical Society of North Dakota

Why Should I Grow a Victory Garden?

There are lots of reasons, but let’s investigate the obvious answers first. For one thing, growing any kind of garden, whether herb garden, flower, rain and yes, a Victory Garden is a great way to stay active outdoors in the fresh air and sunshine for many months of the year. It’s low-impact exercise that people of every age can do while doing something productive, not just lifting dead weight or repetitive motion.

Another great reason that should be obvious: it yields wonderful fresh food, week after week! Garden-grown vegetables are more flavorful, and when you want something for that new recipe you’re trying, it’s just steps away from your kitchen.

What Do I Need to Get a Victory Garden Started?

To start, a sunny spot of flat land that’s accessible to a source of water. Depending on the type of vegetable or plant that you want to grow, you might need to build a raised bed garden in order to better control your soil quality and nutrients.
Then – depending on your skill as a gardener, lots live plants or lots of seed packets!  If you are new to gardening, the best way to success would be to start by putting small plants from our garden centers directly into your prepped soil. If you’re experienced with this sort of thing, and want to begin your project before the frost breaks, then shop for your seed packets early in the year.
The most common veggies planted in American Victory Gardens are:  Carrots, lettuce, kale, onion, peas, radishes, basil, beans (pole, bush, and lima), corn, cucumbers, eggplants, muskmelon, okra, peppers, and even pumpkins! To get the best results from your seeds, always follow the instructions on the packet. Don’t go crazy with watching lots of videos from a bunch of different sources about “gardening secrets” and other things. Using the instructions, along with careful and consistent methods are what works best.

What Should I Use to Keep My Victory Garden Healthy?

Before you do anything, you should make a garden plan. Get some grid paper that you can draw a simple sketch on that shows square feet and some depth. You should again consult seed packets or the brand’s website about how much space and water the mature vegetable plants require. Some reputable sources are
Once you figure out how much space you have to use, and which vegetables can go where, then you can start planning your dig. Find out the rest of the steps for a successful Victory Garden here at Scott’s Miracle Gro.

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