Growing a Victory Garden

Category Growing Food
Although the original Victory Garden originated in England and the United States during WWII, you can still enjoy the benefits derived from these early family gardens. This is a page about growing a Victory Garden.


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With all the extra time spent at home and uncertainty with COVID-19, now is the perfect time to be planting a victory garden.

Victory gardens were dug during World War I and World War II as a way to supplement rations and to raise morale among citizens. It was a way to feel like you were contributing to society during the uneasy time of the war. You can find old war posters encouraging people to grow food with sayings like "Sow the seeds of victory! Plant and raise your own vegetables."

The COVID-19 pandemic has put a lot of people in difficult positions whether they have been laid off, have to homeschool their children while working from home, or having to work in the stressful environment of a frontline job. People are stressed out. Spending time with your hands in some dirt is a great way to relieve stress for many people.


It can be so satisfying to grow your own food even if it is just one easy crop. If you are new to growing food, start with just a couple things. You can grow things in pots, in a 4x4 ft bed or, of course just straight in the ground. If you live in apartment you can grow food in containers. If you don't even have room for that, you can grow sprouts on your kitchen counter!

As many of us here on Thriftyfun know, growing your own food can help cut your food budget tremendously, especially if you know how to preserve your crop by canning, freezing, or drying.

Uprising Seeds has a program called Grow It Forward that allows people with a little extra money to buy seeds for someone who doesn't. This link to were you can get a bundle of 5 seed packets for free (actually they have to charge you $1 as required by their shipping service).

I have started planting my garden and have gotten my kids involved with helping in the yard. It is a great way to get out of the house and away from the screens. Who else is growing a victory garden this year? What are you growing?

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March 1, 2007

One of our members mentioned that she now considers her patio garden a Victory Garden. Victory gardens, also called war gardens or food gardens for defense, were vegetable, fruit, and herb gardens planted at private residences in the United States, Canada, and United Kingdom during World War I and World War II to reduce the pressure on the public food supply brought on by the war effort. In addition to indirectly aiding the war effort these gardens were also considered a civil "morale booster" - in that gardeners could feel empowered by their contribution of labor and rewarded by the produce grown. (Source: wikipedia)


What would you plant in your Victory Garden? Here are some ideas from the ThriftyFun community for edible landscaping and things you can grow in a small space that provide food you would normally have to buy? Start planning your spring garden today and post your own ideas below.

Lettuce Around Flowers

One year I planted lettuce around my flowers. You can not only pick and eat it but makes a real nice pretty border. You could also, which I plan on doing, is planting carrots in my terracotta pots. I know some have planted potatoes in tires, which could be painted to match your decor. I have not tried this yet. Mind you, we live upstairs in an apartment so there are ways to do this. You might be grateful, later, that you did. Beans can also be grown on poles staked in pots.

By JSRS443

Growing Vegetables and Flowers

My husband and I always can tomatoes every year. This year we have 110 jars and will do salsa this week. This isn't exactly a tip but it shows what can be done. I planted 2 packages of mixed flower seeds in my terrace garden and amongst the 'flowers' that came up were 8 huge carrots, 3 radishes, and several tomato plants! How they got in sealed flower packets, I don't know. But I do know the tomatoes lived and thrived amongst the flowers. They turned out to be Roma tomatoes, so we are going to make the salsa from free-bee plants! Try vegetables among your flowers. They add nice green color and edibles too.

Square Foot Gardening

I plant peas along the fence of my vegetable garden in spring and fall. Also you can plant the new container sized plants for peppers, squash, tomatoes, eggplant. Herbs, lettuce and spinach always go well in planter boxes. And you can mix edible flowers like nasturtiums and herbs, with edible crops. Tomatoes and herbs can be frozen (whole or sliced) for later processing just by rinsing and sticking in freezer bags.

Then there are the Native American three sisters to plant together. Plant the corn, then a week or 2 later, the beans (to climb the corn) and the pumpkins to grow in between. Square foot gardening utilizes planting closely together with compatible plants which saves effort, space and water.

By Britathrt

Good Container Varieties

Here are a few of the varieties that work well in limited space (even containers).

Also keeping whatever you can growing into the fall and winter is good by protecting the plants so they produce longer. There is a good article online about stretching your gardening season (link below.)


Stretching The Garden Season

Co-op Garden Plots and Container Gardening

I was fortunate enough to live in an apartment that was situated on about 5 acres of land. Every spring, they allowed us to have garden plots. We paid a fee to rent the space, but they supplied all of the tools and water. I planted everything from tomatoes to lettuce, broccoli, peppers, peas, herbs, flowers and more.

Victory gardens were designed to be a source of food for people during WWII. My husband and I now live in an apartment in Texas where we don't have the kind of space that I had in Iowa. We have a patio now. Another variety of tomatoes that works well in containers in Window Box Romas. Tiny Tom is another variety of cherry type tomatoes. Tomatoes like nitrogen rich fertilizers. The Indians used to fertilize their tomatoes with fish heads. Now it is possible to buy fish emulsion in garden supply stores.

Many herbs grow well in containers. Tomatoes do particularly well when planted with basil, nasturtiums and marigolds. Leaf lettuces probably do better in containers.

As for corn, I seriously doubt that corn would work in a container mainly because in order for it to work, you have to plant five parallel rows so that they can cross pollinate one another. That is, if you are wanting to grow sweet corn; seed corn (used for animal feed) shouldn't cross pollinate, and in order to prevent that from happening, the crop has to be detassled. Corn requires copious amounts of space, as do cucumbers, zucchini, pumpkins, melons and squash. They tend to spread and need space in which to spread.

Strawberries have been known to grow in containers, but they usually don't bear fruit until the second year.

By Susan K. Beal

Connecting With the Earth

Anyone today can plant a small garden in which they will receive so much more for their efforts, than just the veggies. They actually reconnect with the Earth with these gardens. To plant a seed, to nurture it and watch it grow. Even if you never get one tomato from your plant, you will see how much our Earth does for us each day.

My Garden? A few tomato and bell pepper plants along with about 6 large sunflowers, for the birds. I wish you all a learning time with our Earth. Plant on!

By Michael Ruger


If it were just a small space that also had to look somewhat attractive, I'd probably focus on herbs and other things that are pricey in the supermarket and can also be preserved: basil, cilantro, lettuce and other fancy greens, hot peppers, maybe a tub of tomatoes for drying; and flowers for cutting, which feed the soul.

By Kathryn

Stocking Up For Winter

I would plant foods that I could save the extras for the winter months and also would plant herbs wherever I could not plant other items.

By Jackie Schlageter

Making The Most Out Of A School Garden Plot

I planted in a triangle of dirt the school gave me and in the middle of it was a small tree. I had one of my grand dads make me a teepee trellis over the tree. We planted 3 tomato plants, which have green tomatoes on it, 3 peppers, nasturtiums around under the tree. Also, radishes, green beans, zinnias, red morning glories growing up one teepee, sweet peas growing up the other two. If you plan, you can do a lot with so very little

By gail caldwell

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Kelly Ann Butterbaugh
June 23, 2008

During WWII, Britain and the United States pushed their citizens to plant "victory gardens." These gardens were marketed to help the war effort by reducing the demand for food on the country (people grew their own instead of purchasing it), thus reducing the cost of food for the troops.

What's a Victory Garden?

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