Thursday, March 28, 2013

Do any of you clever people know what these plants are?

Don't you just love garden volunteers? Those plants that come up - seemingly out of nowhere but often out of compost or worm castings - and proliferate in you garden? We usually get a good number of volunteer tomatoes, pumpkins and rocket. Tis year we had some stella tomatoes come up out of some worm castings, which we'd put in when we planted some geraniums along our mattress fence. Unusually, they weren't cherry tomatoes, and even though they're growing in very heavy clay and haven't been watered or cared for in any way during their growing season, they're now bearing beautiful, tennis-ball-sized perfect tomatoes. Crazy!
In addition to the tomatoes, we also have a couple of volunteers we've been unable to identify. We're hoping that the esteemed readers of this blog may be able to help.
Exhibit A is some kind of cucurbit that popped up all by itself. Really.
The leaves are unusually soft and velvety. Curiouser and curiouser...
There's wasn't even any compost or worm castings around. I let it grow, as you do, and got really confused when it flowered: the flowers were white. Have you ever seen a cucurbit with white flowers? I haven't. The fruits are getting to a reasonable size now, and we still have no idea what it is - melon or pumpkin of freaky hybrid gourd??
Exhibit B is some kind of grain which has popped up all over the place. 
It's quite tall, and bears many heads of seed, which the chooks love.  I'm keen to find out what it is, since it might prove handy as home-grown stock fodder for when our pastured poultry enterprise gets off the ground.
Soooo... if you recognise any of these here volunteers, give us a hoy!

"brrrrrk brrrrkk... nom nom... this volunteer seed sure is delicious!"


  1. Don't gourds have a reputation for being smelly? Does this one have a particular scent?

  2. It looks like a gourd...make a lamp.

  3. Def. a gourd. The white flowers are startling the first time you see them. My bottle gourds are quite edible (i.e., bland) when they're still little (but zucchini are nicer).

    Could the grass be some kind of millet?

  4. Yay thanks team! I think we've settled on gourd. Shakers, coming right up. We've still got quite a zucchini situation so there's no need for any more bland cucurbits in our lives.

  5. Maracas ahoy! If you want to carve patterns into the skins, while they're soft and green is the best time (as I figure you'd have already figured).

    Rethinking the grass: sorghum?

    1. By Jove I think you've got it! now for the real mystery: how did we get heaps of volunteer sorghum growing in our veggie garden??

  6. You ladies inspired me with all this talk of volunteers in the garden. Brought back a really warm memory. Thank you!

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