You can turn your living area and surroundings into a Secret Garden by planting edible perennials around your house, apartment, condo, park, trails, woods, creeks, ponds and any public access area.
Start by looking at your nearby area for garden beds, hedges, planters, etc. to see what you can plant close by. Then look at a Satellite Map of your area to identify places like trails, waterways, parks, etc. that you can legally get access to.
Around your area, try and plant some of the following:
- Fruit & Nut trees; Figs & native pecans are good, but any other low maintenance tree that produces food each year without humans action necessary. Fig trees can be grown from cuttings, or cutting a finger size limb off of a regional variety that performs well and putting it in moist soil.
- Asparagus is a great vegetable that produce early spring food, and continues to produce for several months, as long as it is not over harvested. It resembles a flower bed or hedge plant that most people would not recognize and can be grown most anywhere. Plant roots are available to purchase for a few bucks, or Heirloom Seeds or the Mary Washington variety can be planted and grown, but may take more care to get them going.
- Black berries, blue berries, muscadines, wild plums, and persimmons are all good to plant most anywhere.
- Jerusalem Artichokes and Sweet Potatoes are a good root vegetable that will be largely unnoticeable by others and can be grown most any place.
- Spinach is a good cool weather plant that will be largely unnoticeable by others and can be grown most any place.
If necessary, grow some in pots inside, on your patio or porch to get them started.
Once you know what grows well, begin transplanting some to surrounding areas. Plant things that will blend in with the surroundings, and look similar to other vegetation in the area. For example, if a hedge bush dies, replace it with a tea or blue berry bush. Plant them on holidays, when the apartment staff is off, &/or early in the morning when few are awake.
Look for places that are already dirt surfaces like flower beds, and transplant a single plant there, with a label, or something to show this was intentionally planted, so the Gardner or lawn care people will not destroy them. Once you get one plant growing successfully, add more.
In nearby ponds and along creeks, you want to plant Cat Tails and Arrowhead, which are wild edible plants.
Over time, you can develop a large collection of edible plants. In addition, if there is a park near by, feed the ducks and pigeons there. They would be a great source of emergency food if ever needed.
Also good to identify the locations of any places that might have food or supplies for Salvaging if necessary. For example a grocery store distribution warehouse is a good idea. Keep old paper phone books and maps to use if the internet is down like in a power outage.
We have a number of gardening links below and in our Table of Contents that you should also visit.
Gardening101 – Soil Basics
Green House for year-round food supply
Vegetable Planting Dates