photo credit: Mike the Gardener
|Every year volunteer plants pop up in my garden. Sometimes I simply pull the volunteer plants like a weed and discard, and other times I let them grow since they are not intruding on my more “valuable” vegetables and herbs that I am growing.|
|This year, one volunteer in particular popped up, so I let it grow. I let it grow because it is located on the outside of my garden fence, and I just figured the rabbits would eat it. Apparently the rabbits don’t want the freebies they only want the good stuff behind the fence.|
What is a Volunteer PlantSo what exactly is a volunteer plant. Honestly I can tell you I don’t know who coined the phrase or used it first, but I can tell you what it means. A volunteer plant is nothing more than a plant that pops up that you didn’t plant, mostly referring to, fruit, veggies and herbs as opposed to merely weeds.
|For example, tomato plants popping up the following season in an area where you planted tomatoes the year before. That sort of thing. A volunteer plant can pop up in area for a variety of reasons. One way I already mentioned, another being a bird dropped the seed there, or from compost you mixed in.|
Should I Let a Volunteer Plant GrowI have a rule of thumb when it comes to letting volunteer plants grow. That is, if it does not intrude upon other plants in my garden, then I let it grow. As is the cast with the volunteer plant that I talk about in the video. It’s growing outside the garden fence, therefore I let it go.
Do You Know What This Volunteer Plant Is? Take Your Best Guess
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What Kind of Volunteer Plant is itThis is a bit tougher if you are not familiar with basic appearances of the most popular varieties of plants. For my volunteer plant I can tell it is in the squash family just by looking at the leaves.
|As it gets bigger, and starts its pattern of growth, I can tell even more about what it could be. This is the part of what makes a volunteer plant fun. You may think you are growing a tomato plant, only to find out it’s a marigold. You think you have zucchini, then it turns out to be a pumpkin. Volunteers are a lot of fun.|
|Volunteer plants in your home garden can be fun and frustrating. If your volunteer plant is growing in an area that does not encroach on other plants in your garden, I say let it grow and enjoy the mystery.|
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