Thursday, June 28, 2007

Volunteers in the garden

Last year and this, we have enjoyed a few 'bonus' plants in our vegetable garden. Last year we had (too many) butternut squash, yellow pear tomatoes, cantaloupe, and the everpresent sunflowers. This year the sunflowers are back, but I have pulled almost all the tomato and squash plants and thrown them in the compost pile as I've been weeding.
The sunflowers are a favorite bonus - this one is over 6 feet tall, and stands sentinel in the middle of the garden. A few years ago my husband saw a small sunflower plant in the garden, and kindly asked me if he could weed it out. 'No,' I said, 'it's a sunflower! Let it grow!' DH shook his head and said, 'I don't think it is, I think it is a weed.' Months later, and when the stem had grown into a two-inch diameter trunk, I saw that he was right! It was some kind of weed (with sunflower leaves! I swear!) with thorns, absolutely nasty, and not a flower in sight. I couldn't pull it out myself, so had to ask for his help and admit that he was right.

This picture shows some of the volunteers that came up in last year's compost pile's spot: tomatillos, tomatoes, and dill, I think. It is a big crowded mess, but I will see what I get out of it.
Do you have any volunteer plants this year?

1 comment:

Blackswamp_Girl said...

I'll say I have volunteers! The red mountain spinach (atriplex hortensis var. 'rubra') is a fairly polite self-seeder, as is the purple verbena thus far. However, I obviously need to do a better job of cutting back my bronze fennel... I have seedlings EVERYWHERE! I love that stuff, but when the seedlings are small they blend in with the fine-textured mulch I use. So it's a bear to keep at them.