What plants survive a neglected vegetable garden

What plants survive a neglected vegetable garden

If you’ve been following me on YouTube or social media you may have noticed my lack of presence over the last 18 months. I took a break from the garden and let it go wild! We’ve since done a clear out but I was surprised with all the things that I found growing with very minimal input from us.

Many perennial plants lived up to their names and a lot of things self seeded, surprisingly in convenient locations (which is not normally the case). This is the ultimate goal for a food garden, to have it just survive and thrive on very minimal input from us.

In this video I show some of the things that survived.

Biennial Plants that survived on neglect

We love plants that give us a couple years, and with very low risk of plants these guys will keep growing.

Perennial Plants that survive neglect

Here in the subtropics, perennial plants are a must. 

Prolific Self Seeding/shooting Plants

Things that just decided to pop up with zero input from myself. 

Making your garden more resilient

One thing that was interesting was the difference between the front garden and the back garden. The back garden was particularly barren and the front garden was a jungle. If you’ve been following us for a while you’ll know about my battle with tree roots invading my raised garden beds in my back garden and that definitely made a difference in the survival rate of most plants. After many failed attempts of using geo-fabric and root blocking plastic, we’ve finally admitted defeat and we’re now in the process of converting all of these back gardens into wicking beds. I don’t have any intentions on letting the garden get as wild as it did again but I am hoping that the gardens out here will be a little more self-sufficient with the change.

I’d love to know if you’ve let your garden go wild and have been surprised at what plants survived? Leave a comment below.

If you haven't already checked out our YouTube channel we would love for you to subscribe, your support means a great deal to us and encourages us to create more free content. 

Back to blog

1 comment

My garden is well into its third year. There is a lot of diversity even though it is just a suburban block. As a result, weather and energy sometimes conspire to prevent from keeping up with the growth. I have had parts of my garden looking like a jungle at times, especially when you mix good rain with pumpkin and sweet potato. Amongst all this some plants have thrived and taken the initiative in places they were not planted. A paw paw started growing amongst my climbing beans. Ginger magically reappeared in places that were harvested or a former compost heap. We use Liquid Amber leaves for mulch and this has led to a couple of new trees growing, already a metre high. We have a couple of finger limes that just appeared. One of these started growing in the roof gutter. We let a large Daikon radish go to seed and they are now growing outside of the bed they were once planted in. Rocket is a great self seeder, providing hundreds of young plants. We pick and eat those when they are very young because they are great in a steak sandwich. Broccoli is also hard to destroy. I cut some of these off at ground level but they kept growing, giving us leaves for stir fries. We live in a frosty area but the cherry tomatoes are still popping up everywhere, including amongst the mat of sweet potato that keeps growing. We also get nice Tommy tomatoes from under our front steps. It is not even a garden there but they just sprout up.


Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.

Organic Kitchen Garden Example

Want the secrets to a successful veggie patch?

If you need help starting or fixing your kitchen garden come on over and join us inside Dirt Lovers. Courses, workshops, step by step guides and more.

Plus you'll get loads of support and assistance along the way.

Find out more

Visit our Australian Seed and Organic Garden Supplies Shop

Seeds and products curated for those who live in the Australian subtropical climate.