The first accidental tomatoes have emerged. I’m so excited! Not only are tomatoes one of my favorite things about summer time, but this is also the first time I’ve ever grown a tomato. And to think… it all happened on accident!
Here are a few photo updates to the accidental garden that appeared in our back yard. What started as vegetable plants from no effort have now invoked lots of work on our part. We strung up the netting all around to give the plants something to grow up, and now Ryan has taken to researching how to pollinate the squash flowers ourselves to ensure they all become little squashes! We’ll have to see how that process goes!
As mentioned in the last post, six weeks ago some dear friends helped us landscape our yard. In the process we built a new bed along the back fence. The monkey grass used to border the bed was planted using soil from our composter. This was the first time we’ve made use of the soil we’ve been accumulating for over a year now and we were excited to put the fruits of our labor to work for us!
What happened next was… well, surprising (to us).
Above is how the new bed looked just after completion, six weeks ago. We tended to it daily, watering, weeding as needed, etc.
Then one day I noticed a number of “weeds” had cropped up in the monkey grass. For some reason I decided to just watch these for a few days (maybe I was just being too lazy to walk down the stairs and pull them). The day I went to pull the first one I noticed it was growing a pretty yellow flower and I couldn’t decide what it was. Pause here to understand that I’ve never grown anything edible besides herbs in planters before. Uncertain what it was I decided to just leave it for now, until my friend Jessie, the organic gardener, was over again. On her next visit she was showing me photos of her garden at home. Suddenly I saw a picture that looked identical to one of my weeds. I made her go back, asking what it was.
Darned if she didn’t tell me it was squash. I said: I think that’s what’s growing in the monkey grass!! Sure enough, Jessie went down to inspect. Not only are we growing multiple squash plants. We are also growing about 10 – 12 tomato plants, plus something else she said looks like melon. I could not believe it! How was this possible.
Then Jessie reminded us we had used the compost and it must have grown from our seeds in the compost. Ryan of course was ecstatic to hear all his hard work composting was paying off, until Jessie enlightened him that vegetables growing out of the compost soil was a sign that we’d been composting incorrectly.
Well, I don’t care if it IS a result of our poor composting skills, I’m pleased as punch to be growing vegetables (especially tomatoes), and purely by accident! Jessie suggested we string up netting and give them a place to thrive. So that’s just what we’ve done. We finished the last of the netting Thursday before leaving town. By the time we returned Sunday we had our first squash growing like a… well, a weed!
P.S. If you’d like to know how to garden on purpose here’s a post from Jessie on growing veggies from seed.