Rebel Without a Hose

Seed Bomb sprouting grass

Have you ever walked past an empty lot in your town and thought, 'What a waste.' You might just be a guerrilla gardener in the making. In every town and city I've ever known there are vacant lots and open patches of land that fill with weeds and trash due to neglect. What if you decided to 'adopt' an otherwise ignored patch of dirt, plant some seeds and let it grow?

That's precisely what 'Scott' did in Long Beach, CA. A recent LA Times article tells the story of a 'guerrilla gardener' who took an empty median strip and turned it into a stunning garden filled with succulents and drought-resistant plants. 'Scott' isn't alone. People in cities across the world have been cultivating vacant lots with plants ranging from the ornamental to edible. Most guerilla gardeners choose plants that require little to no care, like xeric or native species. Conversely, 'Pirate farmers' grow fruits and vegetables on a vacant lots where irrigation is difficult at best.

If you're looking for a low profile and no maintenance way to green up a vacant lot, you might try 'seed bombing'. Seed bombs are a mixture of local wildflower seeds, compost and clay rolled up into small golf ball sized spheres. Seed bombs can be placed, planted or thrown onto bare earth and left to sprout. Each 'bomb' only needs a little rain to soften the clay so the seeds can break free. Living in the desert southwest, I think it would be best to plant your seed bomb just before the summer monsoon season or in the late fall or winter to take advantage of natural rainfall patterns.

Hmm, this is giving me ideas about a vacant lot in my neighborhood.

More Info:

LA Times: Guerrilla gardener movement takes root in L.A. area

How to make seed bombs

Wikipedia: Guerrilla Gardening

Book: On Guerrilla Gardening