Orphans and mysteries

We’re at the point with the garden now that it’s pretty easy to tell the weeds from everything else. Well…mostly. All the started plants: tomatoes, peppers, greens, romanesco — we’re good to go there. They are all quite obviously not weeds. Most of the things that went into the ground directly: cucumbers, melons, pumpkins, beans, peas, zucchini, sunflowers — those are all fairly obvious seedlings by now. What’s tripping us up a little are the flower seedlings. Beside the morning glories that are in the melon bed, and that are quite obvious from their unusually-shaped leaves, we threw marigolds just about anywhere. With their jagged-shaped leaves, most of the outcroppings are easy to recognize. However, we planted several different marigold varieties all over the place, and some of them are showing leaf variations that we don’t recognize (but we’re pretty sure they are marigolds). And in at least one instance, these maybe-marigolds have appeared in a spot in which they were not planted.


This is one of the half-barrels that contains cowpeas (around the edge) and ground cherries (in the center). What caught out attention here is that plant on the left with the star-shaped leaves. That, we think, is a marigold, as other instances of these same plants have popped up in areas of marigold planting. But we didn’t purposefully put any marigolds in this barrel. We also covered the barrel with netting from the start, so we’re not sure how any marigolds seeds (transferred by critters, perhaps) ended up in it to begin with! Frankly, it might not be a flower to begin with, but it (and the others like it) look very interesting, so we’re letting them grow. (And we hoping that they are, in fact, marigolds!)

Another mystery plant that’s turned up is in the stone bed.

14mysteryplantsin stonebed

In this bed, we planted tomatoes, peppers, various greens, marigolds, basil, and asparagus. The mystery plants are those two in the middle with the the single, fan-shaped leaves. They look kind of like cucumber or zucchini, but we didn’t even have those seeds out when we were prepping this bed, which was a completely new addition anyway. We know they aren’t asparagus, which hasn’t made a showing, (and probably won’t we fear). So what are they? Weeds? They are the only two in the bed, so it’s hard to tell. They get to stay until we know for sure.

Meanwhile, in the land of recognizable plants, little tomato plants have popped up in so many spots!


Amid the arugula, romanesco, and dill in one of the raised beds, we noticed this little tomato plant in the corner. Last year in one of the other beds, we found an orphan tomato plant that we transplanted, it it became one of our bet producers! This found tomato plant is staying put for now.


In the bed by the side of the house where some of our transplanted tomatoes continue to struggle, about a dozen little tomato plants have broken through the soil in between the transplants!


We’re anxious to see just how many of these plants survive to bear fruit. We anticipate that most of them will probably be cherry tomatoes or Roma hybrids, since that’s what we planted mostly in this same spot last year.

And finally, in the strawberry planter, we found this little guy under the strawberry leaves:


Next to the planter is where our cherry tomatoes absolutely took off last year (they aren’t as happy in this same spot this year, sadly), so it’s not all too surprising that a few tomatoes seeds manage to spread.

It’s really amazing to see just how tenacious plants can be, as well as how easy it can be for a garden to become much more than just the sum of its parts. So we’ll keep on with the careful and selective weeding for another couple weeks as we continue to identify plants that we don’t immediately recognize. In the end, we’d rather end up with well-formed weeds (that can be discarded) than throw away possible gems!




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