26 June 2008

Mystery Vines

To prepare the soil for our garden this year we rented a roto-tiller and tilled in the compost that had been metabolizing all winter long under a black sheet.

The compost mostly ended up in the back section of the garden and three weeks after the tilling took place, it began to sprout. At first glance I thought it was just a pile of weeds, but as they grew a bit bigger, I realized some of them looked very much like plants I had seen before. There are several small sprouts that, when pulled, smell exactly like tomato plants (do you know that smell?). I left a few of them in, just to see if they really do end up growing big enough to produce fruit.
The other sprouts look like they could be pumpkins, squash, or melons, as these vines all look similar when they start out as baby plants. I left about 3 of those sprouts in the ground and cannot wait to see what they will produce. I'll keep y'all posted (ha, ha, blog joke--posted. get it?)

Just add this to the list of amazing things that happen in a compost pile.

Oh, and here is my lettuce--this is definitely the easiest thing I've ever found to grow. Just buy a pack of seeds, throw them in the ground and they will grow. I mean, you do have to water them, but that isn't difficult. The best part of growing leaf lettuce is that if you leave the stem in the ground and just cut off the leaf , it grows back in a few days. So one row of lettuce can last you literally a month or more.

If you've never had fresh-cut lettuce in a salad, it doesn't even compare to the store bought stuff. But I guess that can be said about all homegrown produce.


Lizzy said...

I can't wait to see what that vine turns into. I wouldn't have even known not to just pull it up and throw it away. I can't tell a weed from a plant though.

I love home grown veggies. My mom did a garden all growing up and I loved sneaking out and getting carrots and tomatoes. They really are better fresh.

Heth said...

I can't tell you how I long for a garden of our own!! YUM!

Oh wait! You have to have a home first? Hopefully soon we will find one, garden and all...

I look forward to future updates on the vine. Good luck - and thank you for my first comment on the new blog!

Lis said...

Once out here on the farm a pumpkin vine grew with a one giant pumpkin from where seeds had fallen where the kids carved theirs for Halloween.

Seeds really want to do their job, wherever they can, don't they? It's fabulous.

Emilee said...

that is so cool. we really need to start a compost pile.

Lima Bean said...

out on the farm? alisa. . .do you live on a farm now?

and em, you totally should--now that cb isn't pooping so much you can compost all the wet g's and give your poor plumbing a break.

Kari said...

Kristine, that lettuce looks great! I am impressed especially considering they were from seeds and survived. Which lettuce is the leaf lettuce? I wonder if it's growing in my garden--and if so I don't want to pull out the roots. We are seeing the same thing happen in our garden spot. The couple we are renting from put compost into the soil, so that must explain the many tomato, cilantro, watermelon (I think), and other plants that have appeared on their own. Fun stuff!