mystery squashes

Squashes
8 Comments

mystery squashes 056

This year I have a bunch of squash-type plants that volunteered in my community garden plot. One of them sprouted from my compost bin, and is growing out of my fence and into the path. No fruits yet. I am curious to see what it will produce. The others are a clump of three plants in the far corner of the plot where my compost bin was last year. They are BIG plants that sprouted early. The fruits are forming and look like Big Rock pumpkins.

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  • I love volunteer plants! We save them and plant them. It's like a garden mystery.

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  • I was nurturing what I thought was a volunteer plant. I watered, I fertilized and then my husband told me it was a week. Darn!

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  • Fun. Part of the fun and mystery of gardening. =) Looking forward to how it all turns out.

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  • Love the volunteer squash in your compost bin. That is one of the things that is fun about compost, you never know what will sprout from the compost bin or from what you spread around.

    Yael

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  • I let volunteer squash grow in the compost a few years back, but I've stopped doing that. Here's why: squash and melons and cucumbers cross-pollinate like crazy, and the seeds that end up in the compost are the result of that cross-pollination. They grow into really huge volunteer plants because of hybrid vigor. But the fruits they produce are always something strange. I've gotten a lot of zucchini-shaped pumpkins, or melons that taste kind of squashy, or greyish spaghetti squash in the shape of giant pattypans with hard shells that just taste awful.

    It was fun for a few years to see what exactly the volunteer vines would produce, but now I just pull the vines when I find them and just grow the actual squashes and melons I intend to grow.

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  • Magic growing mystery plant!

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  • My Mom has had the same experience as Laura with cross pollination in her compost which equals really odd veggies. The most common was 1/2 yellow squash 1/2 zucchini, still edible but very odd looking.
    I have tons of volunteer tomatoes this year and one potatoe plant. I love free food!

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  • What Laura and Jeska said. I keep the volunteer squash for decorating the outside of the house and the table indoors for autumn, rather than eating.

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