Guerilla Gardening

Alison Posts: 179 ✭✭✭

Has anyone tried Guerilla Gardening?

We are in our 3rd year of what many are saying is the worst drought in living memory. We've had less than 1ml of rain in the past month; and that was accompanied by gale force winds.

Due to that I am looking at various ways to produce enough food in the most practical and efficient way.

One of those ways is Guerilla Gardening...finding a suitable spot on 'common ground/ land' and simply planting some seeds.

Today I went to a place that I've walked to with my 2yr grandson reasonably frequently. I found around 8 sites and dug a small hole. I planted one of two varieties of pumpkin seeds in each hole.

What I found was the soil looked for the most part very fertile. Even without rainfall almost all the sites I dug in were nice and moist. I have a lot of hope that the seeds will germinate in due course.

The area isn't in a spot where there is frequent foot traffic by people, yet wombats seem to have trails through there, and I noticed wombat poo scattered about...actually, as I had taken my gloves, in one site I put some over one of the seed beds....

On my walk home I noticed a few more overgrown areas that seemed fertile and unkempt. These were a little closer, so I am considering putting some vegetable spaghetti in there also. If people happen upon them and pick them I am not necessarily worse off as I am using seed saved from other harvests, and that I have an abundance of. I don't have any intention of watering or tending to the seeds, simply going on our regular walks and wishfully watching to see what results come to pass.

Whether rabbits, wombats, other people, or we have a harvest, I believe it will be an interesting and valuable gardening and life lesson.

Happy Gardening and Experimenting!


  • shllnzl
    shllnzl Posts: 1,820 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Good luck. Let us know how things turn out.

  • Obiora E
    Obiora E Posts: 517 ✭✭✭✭

    I did some Guerilla gardening about 13 years ago and have only done it a few times in the past six years. I was given some seed bombs the first few times that I did it and just threw them out in a public spot to allow them to germinate and do their thing. In the past six years I primarily broadcasted native seeds in the Winter (on top of snow) and also during a hard freeze so that the seeds could be stratified and would germinate when the time is right.

    RICHARD Posts: 22 ✭✭✭

    I'm a fan of "seed bombs" for many things. Mostly flowers, but I have been known to include a few sneaky food items into the mix. The hiking group at my church will spread seed bombs that include native wildflowers and nitrogen fixing plants. Not great in terms of harvest, but at least the bees get a chance to eat safely. You might want to consider "SPIN" gardening. Small Plot INtensive using someone else's property in exchange for a share of the harvest.

  • Alison
    Alison Posts: 179 ✭✭✭

    SPIN gardening sounds interesting. I have full time care of my 2 1/2 yr grandson, so time to go elsewhere and needing to take him is also a challenge.

    Not tried seed bombs but have heard of them. Due to drought I've been more focused on sustaining productivity re: food harvest. Sounds like a child friendly activity for when my grandson is a little older though.

  • Alison
    Alison Posts: 179 ✭✭✭

    After an extremely hot summer that most around the world know involved catastrophic fires for NSW Australia, I thought I'd give a brief update on how my guerilla gardening test went.

    Unfortunately it was a complete failure.

    Though the areas appeared to stay somewhat cooler and more moist than regions in my garden and surrounding areas, none of the seeds I either planted or tossed about sprouted. I saw NO evidence of any of the seeds having grown at all. I had gone to a range of sites so was rather surprised that there was zero productivity.

    I have a couple of thoughts.

    One is that local wildlife dug up and ate the seeds - rabbits in particular.

    My other thought was that if some did sprout that either rabbits and/ or wombats could have then eaten the freshly shooted plants.

    Either way, my guerilla gardening attempt didn't work.

    I plan on organising a post shortly to provide some information on what happened garden wise during these extreme conditions within the boundaries of my own property.

    If anyone else has had an experience with guerilla gardening, productive or not, I'd be interested to hear about it.

    Have a great day in the garden! 🦋

  • dottile46
    dottile46 Posts: 437 ✭✭✭

    @Alison when I first started reading your post my thoughts went to Paul Gautschi's Garden of Eden.

    There is a very good likelihood that a wild critter harvested your seedlings. They would have been such a delicacy given the conditions. My dear, I don't think it was a failure. 😀

  • I am trying a guerilla fruit garden. the place were I have my bees I propped about 10 to 20 black and red currant cuttings in the ground. black rasperries are growing there naturally.

    Maybe I should put in some squash too after reading the posts.

  • Obiora E
    Obiora E Posts: 517 ✭✭✭✭
    edited February 2020

    @Alison Don't wouldn't beat yourself up...plants will germinate when they are ready. And each seed may germinate at different times even though it's the same type of plant, so be patient, and wait some more time. Also put out more seeds.

    When my brother and I first started growing on our family farm in 2013 we were discouraged to not see growth that first year, but for the most part, many, if not more of the seeds that we have put out have germinated and grown. My father had good advice for us when we started doubting ourselves: keep putting seeds out and transplanting trees. They will grow just be patient. (or something to that extent)

  • jjocean
    jjocean Posts: 31 ✭✭✭

    I had a "friend" that used to plant fruit trees at night on a maintained highway median and shoulder with a variety of trees (mostly oaks etc) that were watered by the highway department. At night he would plant a tree in a suitable spot, stake it like the others and sure enough the watering crew was different than the planting crew and the trees were watered regularly and grew into bearing. No one the wiser and fruit on the shoulder for picking. Just saying.....

  • Alison
    Alison Posts: 179 ✭✭✭

    Your "friend" sounds very wise and creative jjocean.

    We don't have a watering crew in our area, but if I were close enough, had time and weren't in a horrific drought I'd do the same too. I've seen some other people do the same online. We also have a HUGE array of wild birds that will eat anything that is not completely netted. So a fruit tree along the road may well thrive, but the likelihood a person will benefit from it is much less likely.

    As a follow up on the progress for this season's attempt at guerrilla gardening the outcome was that there was no evidence that any of the seeds germinated. I have gone back around 4 times over the season and found nothing. I am still glad I tried, as the saying goes: nothing ventured, nothing gained.

    In my garden however, after we got some rain about 6 weeks ago, the plants I had been tending to daily with a watering can, have had an explosion in growth. I am hoping we have a late frost so they have a chance to grow to maturity.

    I might consider guerrilla gardening again, though at this stage with seeds being in high demand and many stores [online and otherwise], being out of stock, I'd be very mindful of the quantity of seeds I have; and could potentially replace that year through seed saving, before putting them into a public arena.

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,640 admin

    The last time we were in Whitehorse (Yukon, Canada), we noticed a lot of edible landscaping. The city was doing it as well as a lot of the businesses. The hotel we stayed at had tomatoes and carrots in their planters. We saw fruiting currants and other berry bushes in parks. This is an idea that should be spreading like wildfire.

    This is a link to a project that the Whitehorse library started. An Edible Library. So cool!

  • Alison
    Alison Posts: 179 ✭✭✭

    It would be exceptional if local authorities would plant more edibles, or at least encouraged it.

    I know that for our area they discourage it! I tried to get approval to cover my entire food forest area in a properly build anti bird aviary as we have a HUGE amount of cockatoos, rosellas, magpies...a LONG list of birds that will forever feast on and destroy any crop outside of a net. BUT, the dept head said not to bother putting in the application as he would knock it back..reason: everyone would want to do it!

    The great thing is the current circumstances has inspired many to begin growing food. Maybe peoples hearts and minds around garden design and local areas will change also.