Guerilla Gardening?

Discussion in 'Gardening and Agriculture' started by GatorDude, Sep 25, 2009.

  1. GatorDude

    GatorDude Well-Known Member

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    I live in an apartment and don't really have a place to grow a garden. Is it possible to simply plant a few things on public land (side of the road, power line right of way, in a vacant lot, etc.)?

    I wouldn't want to cause an ecological disaster like pythons in the Everglades or Kudzu. But, it seems like it would be pretty easy to plant a patch of carrots or something. Do garden plants die off every 3-4 months?

    Any ideas? What would be good to plant?:confused:
     
  2. Canadian

    Canadian Well-Known Member

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    I think it would be far harder to do than you think. I'd go with window boxes or balcony boxes if possible. I'd also ask the super if they mind devoting a section of the lawn (if there is one) to veggies and such. I've seen a few apartment building in my area that do allow this.
     

  3. Jason

    Jason I am a little teapot

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    Another idea is try seeing if they would let you access the roof if your building has a flat roof. Not sure how you'd keep the neighbors out of it but maybe it'll become a building wide thing.
     
  4. Canadian

    Canadian Well-Known Member

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    +1 roof garden. Great idea.
     
  5. SurvivalNut

    SurvivalNut Retired Army

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    I agree with your thinking. I plant fruit and nut trees on family property in the area, it may become my back up location. I also subtly prune wild apple & nut trees on public land (avoid/see "persistent disorderly conduct-I said subtle!)

    I also gift trees to non-prepper friends and family to guilt them into caring for trees for me-it becomes a phone talking point, "How's my favorite trees doing?" Forget the kids.

    I vaguely remember a humorous story I read about someone angered about finding some trash bags tossed in an empy lot only to find out there were potatoes growing inside.

    Therefore, here is an interesting article on trash bag potatoes:

    Growing Potatoes in a Garbage Bag « Home Grown Food Network Blog

    Also just keeping some seed on hand is valuable because when the SHTF, restrictions will ease and seed may become scarce.
     
  6. GatorDude

    GatorDude Well-Known Member

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    SurvivalNut - The gift tree idea is pretty slick. Every little bit helps.

    My folks hacked a banana tree out of the kudzu by their house. It yeilds a decent number of bananas on a regular basis. They have also had various vegetables grow in their backyard without formal care. Watermelon seeds and pumpkin seeds in their compost have sprouted and grown to harvest without any assistance :cool:
     
  7. sailaway

    sailaway Well-Known Member

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    I like the gift tree idea, I think I will give them out to peoplec who help with the local government if I am elected. Fruit or nut trees seem most intreagueing.
     
  8. SurvivalNut

    SurvivalNut Retired Army

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    I am envious of the variety some areas have (bananas?). Here in Washington I have to really try hard and lose half the trees that make it. Harsh winters, dry summers. Not all of Washington is a rainforest!
     
  9. GatorDude

    GatorDude Well-Known Member

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    My folks are fortunate to live in Northern Florida beach community so they can grow vegetables year round. They've got five orange trees, a grapefruit tree, and the banana tree. They are almost self-sufficient in fruits and vegetables.

    On the downside, if a hurricane ever does hit their area a Cat 1 might put water in the house and a 2+ almost certainly would.

    We're moving down next week to live in the panhandle so we might be their bug out location and vice versa. Of course, as an apartment dweller, it's hard to be self-sufficient in anything.
     
  10. zorro

    zorro Well-Known Member

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    You can plant stuff almost anywhere on your property if you start thinking about it. I've successfully raised veggies and herbs in bags, all kind of containers (you can use plastic containers that would otherwise go to the recycling bin), baskets (you can make some using natural fibers, or using plastic bags or containers in the recycling bin and cutting them in stripes). Strong enough containers can be hang on the wall (with nails, screws, except a north oriented wall), a balcony rail, a cord tied between two posts, etc. If container is not strong enough, you simply put it on any flat surface (think shelves). You can install glass shelves in front of a window and grow herbs indoors (even during very cold winters).
    In my area, there are lots of electrical distribution lines (the big ones). The electricity company cuts everything that grows below it to prevent trees to grow and damage the lines. That cost them a lot of money. So many people cultivate gardens under the electrical lines, with permission from the company (so they know you will watch for tree growth). The company is happy because they don't need to watch for trees growth. But you need to be aware that even if they allow you to do this, if a wire needs to be repaired or replaced, they will simply drive their huge truck on your tomatoes :D According to the people who do it for years that I spoke to, this doesn't happen too often.
     
  11. Lake Windsong

    Lake Windsong Well-Known Member

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    apt. gardens

    zorro's right, lots of creative ideas are available for apartment gardening. Container gardens are an easy way to produce quite a bit of produce. Don't forget sprouts, they can be grown indoors. cut'n grow back salad mixes in large salad bowls; hanging buckets/pots with tomatoes, peppers, etc; if you find a few friends who garden they might loan you some garden space, or find a community garden in your area. Some edibles are attractive, ornamental plants and would easily blend into any stricter codes of apartment living. Upside down reclaimed gutters placed on a backyard wall in vertical rows with good sunlight will grow lots of produce. You may be able to wild-forage for items on public/private land - we get our muscadines, apples, pears, blackberries, and peaches by picking the 'seconds' from a nearby orchard (with permission).
     
  12. zorro

    zorro Well-Known Member

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    nice looking plants

    I like the idea of growing "nice looking plants" so as not to alarm/disturb neighbors.
    I have some suggestions: nasturtium (read the article on Wikipedia Tropaeolum - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia), rosehips (you can make jam/jelly high in vitamin C), asparagus (most people don't recognize an asparagus plant if they see one), herbs (most produce nice flowers and not everyone will know its not just decorative)
    Root crops too is a good idea. There are not only vegetables in this category, for example echinacea purpurea produces very attractive flowers and useful roots.
     
  13. zorro

    zorro Well-Known Member

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    getting acces to land for non-owners

    Something I tough of a couple of weeks ago. I must say I like to volunteer a lot in my community.

    A lot of young couples with young children are not able to afford land/house here because of high prices. Vegetable prices are increasing from month to month. A lot of poor young mother complain they can't anymore buy vegetables to make pureed food for their babies. I also know a lot of elders who own houses/land and still maintain a garden, but complain they may not be able to continue doing it next year (too sick, getting blind, etc).

    I wonder: what if a young couple would promise to help an elder couple (or widow, or someone sick) to take care of their garden and/or house a couple of hours a week during all summer and in exchange have the right to use a percentage of the garden space to grow food? I bet a lot of people would agree if they think they can trust each other.

    So I suggest: if one of your neighboors owns land and is getting old (or your parents, or your parent's neighboors if not too far away from your own place, or a friend's parent, you get the idea), just offer a deal. By the way, elders tend to know a lot about gardening, so take advantage of their knowledge: ask questions, look at their techniques and listen to their suggestions.
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2010
  14. NaeKid

    NaeKid YourAdministrator, eh?

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    Zorro,

    You are a thinker, I like that! :2thumb:

    I was talking to a new neighbor in the late-summer about his parents who live a few blocks south of where we are. They were telling him that they are getting too old to keep working their huge yard. I am not sure, but, I think that they were hinting that they wanted him to work the yard for them.

    I wonder if someone local to me that needs a garden would be willing to trade food for labor .. maybe someone with some chickens :scratch (I am moving out of the city shortly, so I am unable to promise to work a garden for someone else in the city .. I'll be working my own garden).
     
  15. mosquitomountainman

    mosquitomountainman I invented the internet. :rofl:

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    If you can find an older person or couple you might be able to trade some garden space for lawn care. My first mother-in-law (my first wife-her only child- died and I still keep in contact with her) would do that to have someone mow the lawn for her during the summertime. Her neighbor who is getting up in years quit gardening last summer due to health problems and would probably be open to that as well.

    Just an idea. It might work for you and might not.
     
  16. kyfarmer

    kyfarmer Well-Known Member

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    These posts are a perfect example of why like this site, were not just a bunch of nuts hiding in holes waiting for the world to end, i don't think so anyway lol!. We are at least i hope a people who think and plan ahead, also try to get along with the world. We are very lucky to live in the country with a garden but i will pick a dozen spot,s or more and plant two or three root crops, pumpkin, squash and some patches of corn, beans and anything i think might make it in the wild. I get some good stuff outa these patches, found out that deer and groundhogs are the enemy. I hang and tie low those stinky cheap deodorant soap bars and they work fairly well. Most of the time i let it fend for its self. You would be surprised what comes outa a patch or two like that. Even had one raided by local cops, they were convinced it had weed in it, it did have weeds but not the smokeable kind. :D
     
  17. SnakeDoc

    SnakeDoc Well-Known Member

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    An unmentioned aspect is that most clandestine gardeners are growing weed. Sneaking about with gardening gear might just get you some unwanted attention.
     
  18. sailaway

    sailaway Well-Known Member

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    I just discovered an unused office room in the building I work out of, it faces south and the windows are aslong as the room. I am going to grow vegtables and herbs in it with all of the suggestions from this and other threads. The room is un heated so part of the game will be heating it for little or no cost to possibly grow year round. I will be looking for gutters and soil to do as much as I can for free. The only problem seems to be that the natives like shooting the windows out with their BB Guns. It is on the second floor so I don't have to worry about break ins.
     
  19. AlterCow

    AlterCow The Silver Cow

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    If you can afford some extra electricity on your monthly bill and some extra costs in materials, I would suggest getting a 3'x3'x6' grow tent and set it up in a corner of a room. Maybe a smaller mother tent to get seedlings growing.

    One can get some amazing results with a t5 flouro fixture in the big tent, with grow and bloom bulbs. I have a closet that has half my indoor garden with that lighting set up plus the 3x3 in the corner of the room, however that is on a 600w HPS system.

    Right now I have Rutgers, Beefsteak and Brandywine tomatoes growing. Leeks, lettuce mix, amposta onions, danvers carrots, cilantro and ancho chilis banging out.

    It is truely amazing what you can do in a small footprint, and with artificial lighting you can create growing conditions to make the most of that small garden, even during winter!

    At 8000' elevation here I need to have an artificial lighting schedule and indoor garden due to short growing season and lots of deer and bears! This year i hope to put a greenhouse on the property, but until then it is indoors only.
     
  20. SnakeDoc

    SnakeDoc Well-Known Member

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    Glow lights here are darn near probable cause for a search warrant. Especially when used in a closet!