Things are still growing in joene’s gardens, in spite of the absence of recent posts. Again this season, volunteer plants grow in the compost bins, namely compost squash.
Like most home compost bins, mine become hot enough to decompose kitchen scraps, shredded leaves, and other plant material into rich compost. However, they do not get hot enough to kill all seeds. Therefore, I never add plant material with weed seeds, but do add veggies with seeds and some perennials that have begun to produce seeds.
This results in volunteer lamb’s ear (Stachys), foxglove (Digitalis), lady’s mantle (Alchemilla), and other perennials showing up in places where I spread compost. These volunteers either get transplanted where needed or pulled.
Some volunteers, however, grow right out of the compost bins. Each season brings a surprise crop of some sort – usually squash – growing from seeds dumped into the bins the previous year.
The 2016 compost squash crop consists of volunteer butternut squash and pumpkin.
What a nice surprise after previous years of prolific gourd vines of growing from the same bins! While it was nice to use virtually free gourds as autumn decorations, it will be much more fun turning this year’s compost squash into soup and pie.