Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Well, Shut My Mouth!


After composting for over 8 years, I’ve been proven wrong. 

I’ve been telling people you cannot grow plants that go to fruit in your compost. After all, compost is organic matter that adds nutrients to soil, not soil itself. Of course, I’ve gotten volunteer tomatoes in my yard where I amend the soil with compost, but never have I had more than flower blossoms on vines in my compost until this year.

Short story is I have been using an open pile all these years as well as this winter. This spring I began using a plastic compost bin purchased at the District’s sale and let the open pile continue to decompose and season. As usual vines emerged and I let them go to harvest the flowers for salads. Much to my surprise one day in June I noticed one of the flowers had actually developed into a baby squash. Days later another appeared, yet different looking. How excited I was!

The first vegetable soon identified itself as an acorn squash but the neighbor and I disagreed on what the other was: honeydew, pumpkin, or spaghetti squash? Spaghetti squash it was. By mid-August I had three acorn squash and one spaghetti squash before the vines died off and they were harvested. The squash were runts but I did love the no maintenance vegetable garden. Oh, and my neighbor now has 4 giant pumpkins growing in her flower beds complements of the nearby compost pile. The grandkids can’t wait to carve them!

Gotta’ go. Need to pick some of my volunteer cherry tomatoes from my flower garden!

Guest Blogger/ Compost Gardener Jenny Lohmann