Thursday, May 30, 2013

Volunteers Mix with May Garden


Our summer garden is beginning to bloom and it's mixed with lots of volunteer plants from previous seasons, especially lettuce, bok choy, different types of beans and primrose, a type of wildflower.

Have you ever had a pot of flowers, grown plants in your garden, or even thrown out dried blooming plants to discover the next year they're growing? If, so you have a volunteer that reseeded, itself or kept alive by strong roots and Mother Nature.

Above is an example of a type of lettuce that will reseed next year. Hot weather will dry the blooms and after tilling the soil, planting another vegetable for summer, tilling again in fall may allow a volunteer to sprout without any help, when the time is right.

We added cucumbers and sweet potatoes to our summer garden this year. Last year the sweet potatoes kept growing even after we dug them up in the fall but no volunteers this spring.

We were out early this morning picking sugar peas. No volunteers here (except, Deberah and Jerry). This wasn't our best season for my favorite pea.

As you see, we did have enough for salads and as side veggie. A grilled meat will be perfect for the main course. Jerry is an expert griller, as well as, our expert tiller.

We let these butter lettuce volunteers grow between the rows of "Rattlesnake" green beans and turnips greens (left the greens for those purple top turnips).

All volunteer lettuce in this basket! Earlier this year, we moved volunteers to another spot in the garden and they continued to grow in the original spot.

Onions and garlic volunteer in the yard and other places in the garden. Pictured above are red onions we planted this spring. Once mature the onions will show the fruit.

Parsnip sprouts, grow and bloom in the yard close to the garden from two years ago.

Root crops like carrots and red potatoes can reseed and volunteer, but we usually harvest before there's a chance.

Primrose seeds are volunteering all around the garden.

Volunteer plants grow all around a yard or garden, often we don't recognize their small sprouts or realize the benefit. I think volunteers make some of the best and strongest additions to your landscape.

Here's a few reasons why:

*already acclimated to your soil & climate
*survived neglect from drought and zero cultivation
*surprise...surprise (most fun)!

Until Next Time.......

Happy Gardening 2013!

Posted by Wilma Smith

1 comment:

  1. How fun! All the volunteers in your vegetable garden (including Deberah and Jerry, ha) are just amazing!