Saturday, June 19, 2010
I have over the years thought a great deal about volunteers. One year you plant Zinnias and then pop, some come up the following year in the onions. I spend a lot of time planting Zinnias, and sometimes I get a gorgeous display. Or take the case of melons, I carefully comb catalogs for the perfect melons ordering seeds from all over the country. This year we have some very rare melons for your enjoyment. But look here. A melon coming up in the middle of the corn. What kind of melon? I don't have the slightest idea. Last year there were 5 different melons in this bed. All I can say at this point is that it is not an H2O melon. Then there is a mystery squash coming up in the compost. A tomatillo and a bok choy coming up in the green beans and tomatoes starting up willynilly every where I look. This all sorts of smacks of conspiracy to me. Think about it, I spend hundred of dollars on seeds and countless hours starting seeds, transplanting, composting, watering and poof like wild magic these plants just start themselves.
Well it's all very understandable you say, a seed gets left behind and comes up the following year. It is after all in their nature to try to self persevere. Seeds are very opportunistic. They wait for the right weather and then the right conditions. They are very patient. Some seeds can sleep in the soil for 20 years. It is coded in the DNA from their mother when they should sprout. All I can say is that I have battled with some very stubborn tomato seeds who didn't want to sprout. I have no idea what their mother told them. And, it's a darn shame the whole garden just doesn't volunteer and I could do something that really needs to get done, like painting the living room.
There are garden experts that say that you should rogue all volunteers out of the garden. They might carry disease, and you don't even know if they will be any good. Although this is true, I don't kill volunteers. That's why there is a mulberry coming up in the Tigridia.
Besides, what if this squash is the wonder squash of the decade? What if this is Super Squash and I killed it? I guess I'll just live with the mystery.
Here are a few more volunteers that I didn't have anything to do with. Heck, I didn't even plant their mother or father.
Posted by Foothill Farm at 10:57 PM