I have several volunteertomatoes this year. I almost always have several volunteer collards. I missed a few sweet potatoes last fall that overwintered and have taken over several feet of other growing areas.
We have several corn stalks growing out of a big pile of mulch my husband brought home. I would like to use the mulch, but I don't want to move the free corn!
Some of the volunteers are in the way of plants I'd prefer to nurture. But I hate to pull up free plants! So I'm in a quandary about whether to pull them or leave them be?
What is your personal preference for volunteers? Keep? Transplant? Put in the compost heap? Share your philosophy and experiences.
I have had volunteer tomatoes. They were fun! I put them in mini greenhouses, and I even got a few tasty cherry tomatoes before the frost.
I guess I am envious. Volunteer sweet potatoes? Hook me up. You have a great, long growing season. Ours is 4 months, maximum, between seeds-in-the-ground to a killing frost. But at our higher latitude, we have many more hours of daylight during the summer.
Back to the point, though: if we have volunteers that are interfering with our food crops, off with their heads. If they can flower and feedbees in the interim, they get a reprieve. It is temporary.
When people are envious of my long growing season, I have to remind them of our AWFUL insect pressure. And the humidity keeps our temps sauna-like--Our dewpoint this afternoon was 72 degrees...oppressive!
But back to the volunteers...I suppose our opinions are similar. Keep what's good, compost something that's intruding on other, more desirable crops.
I hope to get my BB for the volunteer plants soon. I can't count the sweet potatoes, as they were merely forgotten from last year. But I did find a volunteer squash of yet unknown variety I could count with the tomatoes and collards.
If something want to grow and feed me, I feel sort of obliged to let it. I occasionally move them somewhere better (better for me, I mean), and sometimes they die from that, but I don't think I've ever just killed a volunteer vegetable. But that's probably a more soft stance than is really ideal.
I love volunteers and generally let them grow or transplant if they are in a spot that interferes with planting something else.
There are some exceptions, tomatoes being one. I have a basically feral population of current tomatoes that have crossed with something else and are easily recognized by their foliage, I keep them. I generally discard other volunteer tomatoes because I save seed from the best of the best and if it was left in the garden to rot it probably didn't make that cut to start with.
Some other things that I barely even plant any more because they have established on their own are radishes, dill, turnips, poppies, marigolds, sunflowers and a few others. They are in the group that is either left alone or transplanted.
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