Sep 8, 2009

Volunteer Plants Really Step it Up in the Garden

The volunteers went crazy this year.

I am usually the one sitting in front of my monitor totally green with envy when all you good folks talk about rogue tomatoes and masses of mint and tomatillos taking over. I am jealous because in a normal year I have NO surprises. Nope , not a one.

This year is a different story. While I have been stripping dead leaves and branches off my poor blighted tomatoes. Hoping and praying that he fruit will be usable...and reminding myself that it isn't my fault and there is always next season. The volunteers have been chugging along. Warming me to the cockles of my heart. Please don't ask me what a cockle is though.....

My bowling ball sized pumpkin. It has been orange for about a month now...I am in complete love with this squash. It went thru hell and high water to survive...we cracked the vine , squirrels attacked it...we split the vine a second time...and yet here it is proud and orange just hardening off waiting to be part of my Halloween display. Then ultimately giving itself over to the Thanksgiving table in pie form. What a trooper! To think...I didn't even plant this.
Hard to see here, but those are wonderful 'Olena Ukrainian' Tomatoes. The fruits are growing huge this year. From the two fruit I have eaten from this one plant so far, they are 100% tastier than last season, when I actually planted them. Very juicy and silken and traditionally tomato in flavor with a hint of sweet...oh yum. There are still about a dozen or so tomatoes on the one plant I kept...and they are doing pretty well blight far(knock wood)Plus I had about 40 or 50 seedlings that I was able to give away. Got to love those tomato volunteers.

Even harder to see here is a lonely 'Sun Sugar' Tomato growing in amongst the cucumbers and Sweet Peppers. I guess when I was adding kitchen scraps to this newly made , haphazard lasagna garden, the seeds went in. They are not nearly as prolific as the plant I grew last year, but who cares it grew all on it's own so even one little cherry is putting me up a notch on the harvest scale.

A squash vine growing out of the compost...I believe it is a pumpkin(don't mind the powdery mildew, rain happens). I cant be sure though because the one little fruit in the end that may or may not have been pollinated is kind of Pumpkin shaped but until it gets a chance to grow a bit more I wont know for sure...unless of course it is part of the larger vine behind it ...then it is most definitely a pumpkin as there is a fruit on that about grapefruit size and one about plum size at the moment( I am crossing my fingers that they make it before a hard frost.)

Another squash growing out of the compost pile. I am almost sure this one is going to be a 'Delicata'. I bought a few of those last season so it is very probable that a seed or two made it into the pile. That oblong white fruit in the center of the picture is about 5 inches long.There is another fruit on the vine that is not quite as far along but is at least 6 inches long and a little thicker. I love 'Delicatas' so I am hoping that this is what they are...Mmmmm....roasted squash with brown sugar and cloves ....Mmmmmmm.

All in all, it has been a frustrating year in some aspects, but highly rewarding none the less. Well....that's gardening for you.

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