What plants have volunteered in your garden? I'm thinking edibles, but maybe you have flowers or weeds or another notable plant that has made your garden its home? Include your zone and any other helpful information...
Here's my offering:
I have always loved plants that reproduced themselves. Kale and arugula come to mind; Italian parsley, leeks, lettuce, edible pod radish, currant tomatoes, even one year tomatilloes! The oddest was the carrots. I never had luck with self-sown carrots in the garden, except for making pretty flowers. But the seeds ended up in the compost, and the compost eventually was used in the pots we placed on the roof to grow jalapenos. The carrotseed would sprout and grow long, fat, worm-free carrots. On the roof! which made even tomatoes and eggplants wilt and die a horrific death.
Now, our home in zone 7 is too near a field with a lot of Queen Anne's Lace (same species) and the volunteers nearly always have roots like those.
"She is a mermaid, but approach her with caution. Her mind swims at a depth most would drown in."
I love volunteers. :) I have a few pretty reliably every year - parsley, cilantro, dill, lettuce and garlic (does that count? I leave behind a few garlic heads when I harvest in the summer, and the next year they turn into a thick patch of garlic.
This year, I also have hollyhock, cantaloupe and sunflower volunteers. I'm not sure whether the cantaloupe will bear, because my zone is marginal for ripening the fruit, but I'll give it a shot since it is there. I also have some seedlings that I'm pretty sure are sunflowers in my community garden plot. I've never planted sunflowers there, so I'm not even sure where they came from. This is the first time in years that I haven't had any tomato volunteers, and I'm a little sad about that. The volunteers usually bear late, after my store bought plants are starting to slow down, so it usually works out well to have them.
We have onions coming up in our garden at our old house. We haven't rented it out yet and DH found them a couple days ago. Apparently, they are doing quite well. It figures (considering my onions did terrible last year).
Mom to (12), (7), (5), (4), (born 7/8/11), , and
Garlic, always, and wild garlic......
Parsley -which is supposed to last for 2 years and I am on year 4
I think I have a squash growing in my garden. I did plant squash last year, but certainly no this year. It is not in a great spot - as squash takes over. I might have to pull it - but first I want to confirm it is squash.
zone 4 or 5 (depends on map!)
Oooh, tell me more! You mean you leave the whole bulb in, and it goes to seed, and that's it? No sowing garlic cloves at all? Do you have to thin them? I'm very curious...
If you leave a garlic in the ground it eventually flowers at the top of the stalk. The flower has many, may little cloves. They will eventually fall to the ground and reseed. Thinning might be necessary.
Yes! But even if you don't let your garlic go to seed (I don't - I always pick off the scapes), if you just leave bulbs behind, they will grow into new plants, and they sort of naturalize - so I end up with more plants than I left behind every year. I do have to thin the patch out, so I use the immature garlic plants for cooking as I thin them out, then pull most of the large bulbs at the end of the season for storage.