In this gardening season, we’ve had several volunteer plants make their presence known in our teaching garden. The most common have been lettuce, squash, and tomatoes. Volunteer plants are called so because they volunteer to start growing without any planting or sowing by humans. Most likely these are seeds that survived from seasons past, didn’t decompose in the compost, or may have possibly been deposited by birds.
These have been really exciting to find while weeding our garden. Seems to make pulling all the weeds worthwhile when you find an actual plant. Even though our plants are in nice, neat rows, I’ve let the volunteers sprout wherever they please. This is one of our lettuce plants that sprouted from last year’s lettuce crop. Since our lettuce did so terrible this year, I figured it couldn’t hurt letting this one grow (even though it’s in our tomato area).
Another interesting volunteer plant appeared in our middle bin of our compost. A full tomato plant appeared. It has now been transplanted to the proper tomato area and out of harm’s way in the ever-turning compost pile.