It’s a harsh world we’ve created.
Everywhere we walk in the urban spaces, it’s sidewalks, buildings, and roads we find.
Whatever happened to the lush green plants, trees, and gardens that used to exist you wonder.
Will there ever be a renaissance where we can have a greener world in our urban spaces?
Is there something you can do? Something that would make the world a beautiful place to live in?
If you think like this, guerilla gardening may be the answer you’re looking for.
What is guerrilla gardening?
Guerrilla gardening is growing plants in empty spaces such as vacant public or private property.
This could be neglected land that is on the street, in between buildings, or vacant plots.
The idea is to use the patch of land and make it beautiful growing flowers, fruits, and vegetables.
You can grow the plants either in secret or in the open based on your preferences. Maybe you don’t want to attract attention and just want to beautify the place. Or maybe you want to gather a community that can work together.
Why should you use guerrilla gardening?
The main reason people use guerrilla gardening is that they want to improve neglected spaces.
But you’re reason could be any from the below.
Maybe you want to make a political statement about land rights. Maybe you’re a student or flat-dweller who doesn’t have a garden and wants to grow plants.
It could be that you want to teach people to be self-sufficient and grow their own food. Or maybe you want to reclaim urban land for public use.
Guerrilla garden can help you learn food-growing skills and restoring plant life in the urban areas.
It can help you create a community of like-minded people who enjoy beautifying places and growing plants together.
Or maybe you just want to have fun trying something exciting and new. And what better way than guerrilla gardening.
How can you start guerrilla gardening?
There are some steps that can help you start your journey of guerrilla gardening.
Find a place to grow plants
You need a place to grow and that’s the first thing you need to figure out.
This could be a patch of land in unloved public space. It could be flower beds, planters, or plots that have been neglected for a while.
It’s best to choose a spot that is close to your home, work, or shop so you can get the time to take care of it.
You can check the sidewalks, overpasses, freeways, and the space between the buildings to see if you can grow plants there.
You can ask around near workplaces and schools to see if they have some vacant plot of land you can use.
Even if you cannot find an empty space on the ground, don’t lose hope. You can make use of containers that attach to posts and railings. Vertical gardening can help you grow where space is at a premium.
Plan how you’re going to plant
Once you know where you’re going to place, it’s time to decide when you’re going to plant.
You could go in the evening where no one is around and plant in secrecy. Or you could go when you have the free time if you don’t care about being watched.
You can get the help of family and friends if they are interested in guerrilla gardening.
Decide with whom you can work on the garden and the kinds of tools you’ll need to do the same.
Choose the right plants for your garden
Your guerrilla garden is going to be in a public place. This means the plants are going to be impacted by cold, heat, and trampling.
They might not get as much water as the plants in your garden. And they’re going to have competition from weeds for the resources.
That’s why it’s best to choose plants that are hardy for your location. They can survive with less water, trampling, bad weather, and weeds.
Use native plants as much as possible because they’re hardy and can adapt to the native weather conditions.
It’s best to choose plants that are green and bright. And plants that can attract birds and beneficial insects like bees and butterflies.
Figure out where to get the plants
You’re going to grow plants in public places. That’s why it’s best to choose plants that are inexpensive so it does not matter if something happens to them.
You can find such plants in DIY stores, supermarkets, and wholesalers. If you’ve friends with their own garden, you can ask them for plants or seeds they could give you.
If you’ve your own garden then it’s going to be quite easy to get the plants. You could start your own seeds and use the plants for your guerrilla garden.
Gather materials required for your garden
You’re going to need some materials and tools for your guerrilla gardening activities.
You’ve already thought about the plants you need and where you can get them. You can also buy or make seed bombs. They are useful when you want to grow plants in inaccessible areas or don’t want to dig in the soil.
Some tools that are useful are rakes, hoes, shovels, gloves, pruners, and watering cans.
To water the guerrilla garden, you’ll need to carry water from your house. You can use gasoline cans filled with water.
If you want your guerilla garden to grow well, you may need organic fertilizer that helps enrich the soil. If you can make your own compost, that’s even better for the garden.
You’ll need trash bags or plastic bags to carry the trash, weeds, and waste from the plot.
And it’s good to have a car that can help carry all this material and plants to the plot if it’s far from the house.
Plant your guerrilla garden
Once you’ve planned your garden and got the right plants for it, it’s time to start your guerrilla garden.
You can do this by cleaning the plot and removing any waste, trash, and weeds from it.
If the soil condition is not good, consider using compost that can enrich organic material and encourage plant growth.
Plant the seedlings or seeds in the plot and water them well.
If there’s any trash or waste, make sure to take it with you before leaving the garden.
Keep plastic bags handy
Once you’ve decided on the plot to grow your plants, you’re going to have to clean it up.
This means you’ll end up with weeds, dirt, and trash that needs to be disposed off.
Having plastic bags and bin liners will help you collect such material and carry it away.
If you’ve gentle work you can use wind blow carrier bags. But for heavy work, you’ll need to use compost bags. They’re much stronger and easy to carry.
You can also use trash bags to remove the trash, weeds, and waste.
Maintain your guerrilla garden
Once you’ve planted the guerrilla garden, you’ll need to maintain it so it can develop.
Water can be scarce in many parts of the urban areas. You’ll need to carry water in petrol canisters or water bottles for your plants.
You’ll need to remove the weeds that crop up in the garden and prune the plants when required. If you find that the plants are not getting the right nutrition, you may need to add fertilizer as well.
I hope you’re ready to become the change this world needs.
Guerrilla gardening can be the right choice when you want to beautify the world with plants and trees.
Take that first step to setting up your garden. Take a look around your house, workplace, or grocery store.
Figure out a small space that’s empty and can do with a collection of beautiful plants.
The world needs a soldier like you. Not to fight but to make it a better place.
Here are some of my favorite container gardening tools
Thank you for reading this post. I hope it helps you with your gardening needs. I’ve listed some tools below that can help you with container gardening. These are affiliate links so I’ll earn a commission if you use them.
Gardening Gloves – I find the Pine Tree Tools Bamboo Gardening Gloves really good for both men and women. It’s made from bamboo so helps absorb perspiration. They are also comfortable and fit very well.
Containers – You know picking the right container is crucial for your container gardening. I’ve written a detailed post on the best containers you can choose from. If you’re happy with a plastic container, you can check out the Bloem Saturn Planter.
Watering Can – This is a must-have tool when you’re growing plants in pots or grow bags. It helps to water the potting soil without splashing on the foliage. The Kensington Watering Can is stylish, strong, and can provide precision when watering potted plants.
Trowel – Garden Guru Trowel is my favorite because it’s durable and comfortable to use. My gardening friends really love having a trowel because they use it for digging soil, mixing fertilizer, moving seeds, leveling out the soil, mixing compost or mulch, and also dividing tubers
Bypass Pruner – I really like the Corona Bypass Pruner because it’s durable and gives a clean cut that helps plants recover faster. If you’re looking for something cheap, get the Fiskars Bypass Pruner that is really good as well.
To see an extensive list of the best container gardening tools gardeners recommend, check out this resource that I made for you.
Kevin is the founder of Gardening Mentor, a website that aims to teach people to grow their own food in a limited space. As a self-taught gardener, Kevin has spent several years growing plants and creating gardening content on the website. He is certified in Home Horticulture and Organic Gardening by expert gardeners from Oregon State University.