accidental gardening... compost seedlings - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 05-07-2011, 06:52 PM - Thread Starter
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Last year our compost sprouted a lovely, fruitful cucumber plant! :)


the past few days I've noticed what look like squash seedlings!  I'm guessing they're butternut since that's what I can recall tossing in there.


I know compost done well is supposed to heat and prevent germination but... I've apparently not got that down.  I have quite a bit of fears about my inadequate compost skills but feel sort of happy and hopeful that I'm getting something for tossing our scraps in the backyard!


I had some wheatberries that I'd thought were bad/wormy and DH tossed those in.  A week later, a luscious wheat grass lawn covered our compost, lol.  I tried to turn it in (is that like "green manure?") but wasn't entirely successful.


there are quite a few butternut seedlings and I may try and do a trellis as we have very, very little room, but I want to grow them :)


something cruciferous-looking is also coming up, but I don't recall any cabbage-y seeds I would have tossed.  I don't think broccoli would have seeded and sprouted.  I did toss some moldy brussel sprouts in about a month ago, but do they have seeds?

blessed Catholic mommy to DD 10/07 and DS 2/09, little one due 8/12!

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#2 of 6 Old 05-07-2011, 07:41 PM
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I tend to avoid letting volunteer cucurbits grow out, for a couple of reasons. My compost volunteers are often acorn squash, and zucchini, acorn squash and pumpkins are all the same genus species.  They can and definitely do cross (the bees traveling from one flower to another is how the plants make their fruits) so the results can be kind of odd.  Butternut is C. moschata and a lot of the commercially grown butternuts are probably just Waltham, which is open pollinated & if it was grown in a field of butternuts there's a good chance it's going to produce fruits that look like what you ate, BUT since squash are a pretty big plant that stick around in the garden for a long time, it kind of feels like a big gamble to me.  I like to know what I'm dedicating all of that garden space to if I'm going to grow out a giant squash vine. 


Brussels sprouts are leaves, so those probably didn't sprout.  Did you have another brassica go to flower (arugula or radishes) or throw away some mustard seeds? 



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#3 of 6 Old 05-08-2011, 05:24 AM
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Thats interesting!  I happen to have one rogue seedling growing in my garden. Whats strange is that I dragged out the cucumber trellis and placed it where I wanted it to go this year and then a couple weeks later I have what looks like a cuke plant growing right under it.  Now I KNOW I didn't have my cuke seeds out because I won't be planting for another couple weeks.  Is it possible that maybe an old seed from last year fell off the trellis and planted itself!?  If so I am amazed!


Otherwise it could be a zucchini because they tent to look alike but I don't know how to identify it yet.  Should I leave it? Its in a perfect spot!

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#4 of 6 Old 05-08-2011, 06:17 AM
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Leave the ones you want.The squash is good,but I would flip the grasses.My best pumpkins grew from the compost.Better than the ones I planted.

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#5 of 6 Old 05-09-2011, 06:10 PM
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I have decorative pumpkin volunteers in mine, so neat to see them pop up all by themselves. I hope we get a bunch of pumpkins this fall just for fun!

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#6 of 6 Old 05-09-2011, 06:54 PM - Thread Starter
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thanks for the thoughts, everyone.  Still can't tell what my cabbage-looking volunteers are.  I don't think I've had anything brassica-like in there except the brussels sprouts but my memory is challenged, lol.


duckduckgoose, if it were mine, I'd leave it!  I suppose you could train either one up the trellis, right?  (Not that I've ever done that - if I do this will be my first time!)

blessed Catholic mommy to DD 10/07 and DS 2/09, little one due 8/12!

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