The Joy of Unexpected Seeds

Bean Seedlings in a garden bedOnce I started my second year of gardening, I discovered the mystery of seeds.

Or rather, the fun of having vegetables randomly pop up in the garden beds without me actually planting them.

This comes about because I’ve been planting vegetables and sunflowers that produce viable seeds, and also because at the end of the harvest each year I turn the soil over. The leftover seed pods and bodies of the plants get buried in the soil for the winter, and to my joy many of them return in the spring to grow alongside the seeds that are planted.

It’s sort of like having the child of a long-gone friend show up unexpectedly on your doorstep to visit.

In past years I’ve had corn pop up where there shouldn’t be any, as well as sunflowers and beans.

This year I took it a step further, and buried entire dried-out sunflower heads, bean pods, and chopped-up pumpkins in the gardens. Now there’s seedlings of all three plants showing up. I’ve posted a picture of two of the bean seedlings.

From one plant–if it is healthy and the seeds are viable–can come the seedlings to fill a garden bed. From one healthy pumpkin I can get enough seeds to plant a pumpkin patch, if the soil is good and the weather is good and the squash bugs are gone.

Nature can be cruel … but also generous.

See you next week, Lynn

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