Guerrilla Gardening

GuerrillaGardening.orgby Catherine Haug, March 14, 2013

(photo from

Wikipedia defines Guerrilla Gardening as: “gardening on land that … is an abandoned site or area not cared for by anyone.”

Want to be a Guerrilla Gardener? Check out the TED video: Ron Finley: A guerilla gardener in South Central LA

Where to plant?

Choose land, preferably public, that is being abused or neglected. Land that could benefit our environment by nurturing deep-rooted carbon sequestering crops, or benefit our hungry by providing fresh food for your local food bank.

Look for unloved public space with neglected flower beds, planters that collect litter and weeds, or bare plots of mud.

What to plant?

One excellent application of guerrilla gardening is to plant native plants or seeds on abandoned/unused land. Especially consider those plants that are threatened, or those that serve as food for threatened animals that may be in the area.

Consider nourishing fruits or vegetables that you would donate to a local food bank; especially those that can store well such as winter squash, cabbage, and root vegetables.

Flowering herbs and shrubs that benefit wild bees are an excellent choice.

From “Think hardy – resistant to water shortages and the cold, and in some locations pedestrian trampling! These plants need to look after themselves a lot of the time. Think impactful – colour, ever green foliage, scale. These plants need to really make a difference, for as much of the year as possible.”

Nurturing your garden

In addition to preparing the soil with aged manure and other natural fertilizers, you will need to provide water to your chosen space. Start collecting containers you can use to haul water, or choose a space close to available water.

If there is suitable space, create a compost heap and encourage residents of the neighborhood to contribute kitchen scraps.

See also Wiki-How: How to Start Guerilla Gardening (with photos); and (a blog).

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