Gardening

Surprise Plants

One of the funniest things about gardening that I only learned last year is surprise plants.  Last year about this time I noticed these plants popping up all over the garden that looked very familiar.  Once I looked a little closer I found they were actually tomato plants.  I suppose it makes sense when you think about it because overripe tomatoes would’ve dropped in the garden leaving their seeds to sprout new plants the following year.  Birds or the wind could spread the seeds around too.

Last year I had 4-5 surprise tomato plants that I let grow in the garden.  They produced roma-esque tomatoes that we used for tomato sauce.  I also had an eggplant pop up, which was a very welcome surprise.  A big patch of marigolds popped up and also a couple of watermelon plants.

These were all plants that simply sprung out of the ground on their own.  I didn’t have to do anything (except have a garden the previous year).

This year I have surprise plants again.  It’s so fun to discover them.  This watermelon sprung up next to my second planting of lettuce and carrots:

Then this patch of pumpkins sprung up at the north end of the garden where I haven’t planted much of anything yet.  I think I let a pumpkin rot right around this area at the end of last season.

There are so many of them that I may have to thin a few out.

Then the funniest surprise plant this year is this:

There’s a freakin’ tomato growing in my flower pot!  I have no idea how this could’ve happened.  The pot was in the garage all winter and I don’t even remember using it in the garden last year.  I don’t remember if I used compost or dirt to pot these flowers, but if I used compost then that would explain it because the seed could’ve very well been in the compost.  But other than that I’m flabergasted!

I’ve noticed a few surprise tomatoes this year, however I’ve been pulling them out.  The surprise tomatoes last year ended up being more of a nuisance than anything because I didn’t cage or stake them.  So they got in the way of other plants and took up a lot of space and grew into the grass and blah blah blah.  If one popped up in a good location this year I would keep it, but I would definitely stake it up off the ground!

There’s one more surprise to share:

Do you see the BLUE?  Berries, that is?

Remember the blueberry plants I put in my front landscaping in April?  Well I plucked all the blooms off of them right away so that the plant would use its energy to develop a good root system rather than producing berries (just for this first year).  But I left three blooms on one of the plants just so I could see what would happen.  And I came home from work last night and found that the three little berries are getting ripe!

I’m really glad I took this picture last night because this morning I noticed there were only two berries on the plant.  A bird must’ve taken off with one of them!

This means that a year from now I could be picking blueberries off my very own blueberry bushes.  Maybe two years from now the bushes will produce buckets of berries like my crazy strawberry plants.  Here’s hoping!

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3 thoughts on “Surprise Plants

  1. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I love my volunteer plants! I have 3 giant sunflowers that came up all on their own and are doing great. Also, this year, one of my carrot seeds turned out to be a fennel seed. A fennel plant grew proudly smack in the middle of all my carrots. I don’t use fennel but I left it to see if Swallowtail butterflies laid eggs on it. So far, none have come.

  2. This is one of the most fun things about being a repeat gardener. I have a few tomato plants coming up and a really surprise cilantro plant on the whole other side of the garden than where my cilantro was last year! I also have zucchini and squash and carrots!

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