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DPChallenge Forums >> General Discussion >> Any gardeners here?
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08/02/2010 01:20:48 PM · #1
Especially if you grow veggies. Last year I planted some Sweet Millions and Tiny Tims in my minute garden plot. This year I bought more tomato plants but only put them in planter pots, as I decided to grow only herbs in the garden plot, and the tomatoes just took up too much space.

But apparently now the impossible is happening...there are 3 very big, healthy tomato plants growing like gangbusters in the garden plot, where I am 99% sure I didn't plant any this year!!!

All I can think of is, some tomatoes fell off last year, rotted into the ground and some seeds just took root and did the growing thing. But I have been under the impression that most domestic varieties are hybrids and thus sterile. I could be wrong.

And I left the garden to itself this year, haven't done any watering as we've had lots of rain, and barely any weeding. It was just now while chasing the lawnmower around the plot that I smelled that nice warm tomato-ey smell and saw the plants growing happily.

So if anyone here has a greenthumb and has ever had anything like this happen before, I'd like to hear about it!
08/02/2010 01:28:28 PM · #2
sounds like you have miracle plants, if they have the shape of the virgin Mary or Jesus, you may be get some national press and have some strangers show up to pray at your house.

08/02/2010 01:33:46 PM · #3
Originally posted by mike_311:

sounds like you have miracle plants, if they have the shape of the virgin Mary or Jesus, you may be get some national press and have some strangers show up to pray at your house.


Ohhh...and I thought they were just the people from the local snowmobile club across the street having their annual bbq!! :-) Or maybe it was the really good compost I used, got it from the depths of the oldest manure pile I know.
08/02/2010 01:42:12 PM · #4
Oh yes, garden volunteers have happened to me plenty of times. You're right, a lot of varieties for the home gardener are sterile or hybridized; obviously whatever you have coming up wasn't sterile, but these "children" may not have the qualities that the "parents" did. They may produce no fruit or poor fruit. However, they could also put out prizewinners!

I could pretty much never bring myself to kill off healthy volunteer plants; I never wanted to discourage them. Most memorably, I've gotten tomatoes, potatoes, a watermelon, and carrots from plants that came up of their own accord.

Message edited by author 2010-08-02 14:26:23.
08/02/2010 02:04:00 PM · #5
I buy heirloom seeds, and had this happen the year before last. ended up with 7 HUGE tomato plants and so many tomato plants that I couldnt eat them all. This year we had 2 sprout from nothing... and planted 4. crazy things they are.
08/02/2010 02:08:45 PM · #6
This is one of three plants that are growing out of a 20 year old Boxwood hedge...

08/02/2010 02:17:22 PM · #7
Originally posted by mycelium:

Oh yes, garden volunteers have happened to me plenty of times. You're right, a lot of varieties for the home gardener are sterile or hybridized; obviously whatever you have coming up wasn't sterile, but these "children" may not have the qualities that the "parents did." They may produce no fruit or poor fruit. However, they could also put out prizewinners!

I agree -- hybridized plants will produce seeds which -- if they sprout -- will probably have the characteristics of one or the other parent plants. Volunteer plants are often the hardiest and will frequently produce usable fruit.

One way to deal with tomatoes (i.e. save space) is to grow the "cherry" varieties in a hanging planter. The little ones are often more flavorful than the bigger ones, and are easy to pick and store/preserve.
08/02/2010 02:41:36 PM · #8
Aw dang, so now I have to drive around taking down all the signs advertising my miracle tomatoes! I was going to charge only $20/photo of the gullible suckahs err, worshipful types with the plants ;-)

So far as I can tell they are producing fruit, one of them in fact may be a Lemon Boy as I put some in last year. Very cool that this kind of thing can happen.
08/02/2010 03:30:09 PM · #9
Originally posted by snaffles:

Very cool that this kind of thing can happen.

Funny, until the advent of seed companies it happened that way every year!
08/02/2010 05:24:10 PM · #10
Originally posted by GeneralE:

Originally posted by snaffles:

Very cool that this kind of thing can happen.

Funny, until the advent of seed companies it happened that way every year!


LOL yeah you're right, nowadays there is so much frankenfood designed to not reproduce, easy to forget that that's how it used to be...*sigh*
08/03/2010 06:40:06 AM · #11
Two years ago we switched the flower garden plot and the veggie garden plot around. Both years since we have had tomatoes growing in the now flower plot. This year we decided to let one of them go to see if it produced. Well, we got lots of tomatoes so far!
08/03/2010 06:54:26 AM · #12
I do a small 8ft x 8ft patch of annuals and wildflowers for the birds and butterflies. I put in some sunflowers for the finches, but normally end up with volunteer oddballs here and there. They're not very tall or big, but the birds don't seem to care. Might have to get some heirlooms next year.
08/04/2010 02:44:01 AM · #13
so funny !!
08/20/2010 09:55:23 PM · #14
I get quite a few volunteers in my compost heap. I usually let them do their thing.

Commercial hybrids are grown from two different strains, each for a particular trait. This means that you are likely to get fruit that looks nothing like the tomato you bought in the store.

Since you are getting excited about gardening, I suggest you check out open pollinated heirloom varieties. As long as you keep them from cross-pollinating, you will always know what to expect.

Congrats on your garden!
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