Tips for new DIGers

  • 5 replies
Tips for new DIGers
« on: July 05, 2010, 11:11:04 PM »

So, after several incursions into the inner city I've learned some things. I figured I'd share. This may not be for the person who wants to sow a few odd flowers. I'm putting this in for the person who might try to serious change things up a bit. Maybe some of you looking to do stuff for the homeless might get helped by this post. Planting veggie patches in derelict land. I also know some of this may not work everywhere. I'm working out of Miami, Florida. So if it helps. Awesome. If not... B'Seder.

  • Don't bother weeding.
    Weeding, plowing, or tilling to be technical not only requires too much work and energy for return, it also takes up too much time. Sure, pull out maybe large pieces of garbage. Tires or Nuclear Waste drums. If there's a tree in your way, well work around it. I find the easiest way to get more bang for your buck in terms of ease is is to use No-Till techniques which brings us too...
  • Cardboard is your friend.
    It's biodegradable... after a while, but that's actually a good thing. Crimp any weeds in the plot you're looking at and put down your cardboard. This'll form the "bedrock" for your new "garden bed". Throw on mulch and compost, maybe *another* layer of mulch and compost finally cover with good soil and you've got a new garden bed to work with. This works because if you're working with inner city dirt like I am, you don't want your hands down in that ground. Aside from pollutants (motor oil, e coli, staf., toxic ooze), you've got used hypo-needles (read exposure to blood borne diseases), broken glass and other hazzards. Start new layers of soil and let the archaeologists a thousand years from now deal with the garbage... literally. Some might not like the idea but I was one of the kids that cleaned his room by stuffing everything beneath my bed. Bonus? This method actually makes all those weeds into compost in the long run.
  • Being obvious can be inconspicuous
    I read this idea on the site stating that using a GAS can(?!?!?!?) was an effective method of hiding what you're up to. Yes, but while you're hiding the fact you're A GARDENER you make yourself look like a TERRORIST. Come on folks. You have a shovel in one hand, a gas tank in another. If you were like me you also have some bags of dirt over a shoulder or in a backpack... which could be mistaken for combustive fertilizer, which could make you look MORE like a terrorist. A simple watering can, instead, will do wonders in our post 9/11 world for keeping the fuzz out of your hair. At least in downtown Miami, people will give you a lot less trouble.
    Also, this has to be confirmed but try working in the light of day.
  • Being plain inconspicuous
    I've stated in a previous post that a lot of times you'll have a lot less trouble on foot than with a car. You drive a car to your site and you have homeless rushing at you, police rushing at you, security rushing at you. Let your car never be seen by the site of your dig. Don't drive past it. Don't patrol. Don't play loud music (ya... that one is a personal problem for me). You just want to be a faceless individual amongst the masses. This may be the hardest part but carry your materials. Hey if the homeless can get away with pushing their stuff packed in garbage bags in grocery carts, don't worry about carrying your garbage bags of compost and mulch.
  • Attitude.
    My last item. Here, I'm not talking about having a "tude". I mean just walk in like you're supposed to be there. You run around skulking, or rushing not to be seen - like you're not supposed to be there, people will think you're not supposed to be there. Do you're work like you're getting paid less than minimum wage to do a big ass crappy job and people will leave you alone. If someone asks you, why you're doing the work ask them why wouldn't you be doing it. Make them feel dumb for asking in the first place. Be nice, polite. An honest guy doing an honest (all be it hard, boring and laborous) day's work. My cousin has seen me do it a load of times in other situations. He tried it when faced with security giving him a hard time on the dig. It worked.

Those are just some of the things I learned so far. I'm Saint Walker, the Blue Lantern.
In Fearful day in Raging Night
With Strong Hearts full our Souls Ignite
When All Seems Lost in the War of Light
Look to the Stars Hope Burns Bright


willie wit

  • /soil is analog/
  • *
  • 51
Re: Tips for new DIGers
« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2010, 07:51:36 AM »
`Why wouldnt i be doing it ?`

love the `tude dude
                                     made me LOL   ;D

An excellent , concise guide to
                                       `the way of guerrilla gardening`
.........may the fork be with you  :D


Re: Tips for new DIGers
« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2010, 02:37:15 PM »
Thanks. Just wanted to address somethings that would have made my first couple of digs easier had I known them.
In Fearful day in Raging Night
With Strong Hearts full our Souls Ignite
When All Seems Lost in the War of Light
Look to the Stars Hope Burns Bright

Re: Tips for new DIGers
« Reply #3 on: October 02, 2010, 09:17:24 PM »
Nice Post and some good thoughts!
Especially the "just act like you're supposed to do this job" part has helped us often!

Keep posting good tips!

Re: Tips for new DIGers
« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2011, 06:23:19 PM »
Love this post! Just joined and planning on starting some work here in my town. Not a big city, but can definitely use some guerrilla efforts here as well  :) Thanks for the tips and the great perspective...

Re: Tips for new DIGers
« Reply #5 on: March 05, 2011, 08:38:52 PM »
 ;D Thought your post was fantastic  ---keep them coming ---Blessings ::)
Drink deep and never thirst