Volunteers You Can Count On

Phaedra

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I was amazed and disappointed by a cherry in '22.

The plant was just covered with green fruit. Because the first frost was so late, I was hopeful that they would ripen in the garden. Some did.

Tasteless. It was likely a Super Sweet 100 parent. That's a hybrid. Reading about some of the breeding that goes into the production of hybrids informs us that the immediate parent lines may have been hybrids themselves. Whoa -- the genetic complexity!
I immediately ran to the garden and tasted them, after reading Steve's reply. And thanks heaven, they have a balanced flavor, overall sweet, and the best of the best of the best -- with pleasantly thin skin. :lol:

Ok, at least 3 volunteers are qualified now. Let's see.
 

Zeedman

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I've mostly been AWOL from the rural garden for the past week, but went out today to pick a few things & take photos. In my absence, the volunteer tomatillos staged a coup, and took over part of the garden... several parts, actually. I can't even get into those areas to weed now, without cutting some tomatillos down for access. The walkway adjacent to the North fence is blocked... and a row of one of my favorite edamame soybeans is hopelessly buried in there somewhere.
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The tomatillos were so cocky, they were getting in my face as I took this photo. :lol: Weeds... you gotta hate them, or eat them, or both.

But on the plus side, it appears I'm going to get a great harvest from something I hadn't planned on:
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Hopefully there are enough green peppers ready to make a couple large batches of roasted tomatillo salsa. :drool And probably some fresh Salsa Verde. With 5-6 weeks yet until the freeze, these tomatillos may actually end up being the most successful crop in that garden! But if I don't get them under control, they will probably be the #1 weed there next year.
 
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Zeedman

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While weeding the rural garden today, came across another volunteer from years past - Martynia. A rather obnoxious plant that DW nicknamed "stink plant", because it gives off a strong, nauseating odor when the air is warm. Sticky & irritating to the touch too... and for a native of the U.S. Southwest & Mexico, surprisingly well adapted to the Upper Midwest. Can't even remember the last time I grew it, but apparently the iron-tough seed pods protect the seeds for a looonnngg time.

Supposedly the Indigenous Peoples of the Southwest used the very young pods much like okra, which was the reason I first tried it. The pods developed fiber too fast for my taste... which is too bad, because it doesn't possess okra's hyper-sensitivity to cold, and blooms 30 days after planting. Pretty flowers, and the dry seed pods are ornamental; but you wouldn't want to grow it if you have animals. Those curved pods are sharp (they will draw blood) and designed to hook to an animal's leg to carry their seeds elsewhere.

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This plant wasn't even there a month ago - and sprang up through the weeds like a botanical honey badger! :ep
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Those curved flesh-covered pods conceal super-hard woody inner pods which will split when dry, and the two sharp, hook-like ends then curve inward to trap anything which steps between them. This plant is pretty high on the weirdness scale... probably why I tolerate it. :rolleyes:
 

Zeedman

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zeedman...it's hard to tell from your pic, but I think this may be your yellow weed...

as for your yellow strawberry, there are yellow alpines..maybe a bird dropped a seed?
That looks similar, although the plants in my driveway do not creep. In contrast, the strawberry in question now occupies several square feet, and has sent out dozens of runners! It is not a yellow strawberry, it is a yellow flowered strawberry... and it has continued to flower & fruit for a couple months now, albeit a few at a time. The berries are round, red, about 1/2" wide, and separate easily from the calyx.

There are wild strawberries in my back yard; but those bloom (with white flowers) and bear all at once, then done. Their population too has diminished over the years. I'd love to transplant some of those ever-bearing, yellow-flowered runners, to replace or invigorate the poorly-performing strawberries there. If they take over the area opened up by the death of my ash trees, I'm fine with that... and the Great Grand kids would enjoy hunting for them.
 

Branching Out

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I ended up with several volunteer ground cherry plants, and are they ever lush and beautiful for late summer. This photo also includes an orange cherry tomato that popped up-- and yesterday I saw a dark purple petunia peeking through the foliage as well. These plants all showed up uninvited, but are so welcome in my garden. :)
 

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Zeedman

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While out in the garden. I caught a glimpse of red. The volunteer ever-bearing mutant strawberry is still bearing! They really do go all summer, even completely embedded in onions & grass. I really want to spread these all throughout my back lawn, to rejuvenate the wild strawberries that have faded away (and give me an excuse to not cut the grass back there). :D Pretty sure the Great Grandkids would enjoy hunting for them, as I did when I was their age.
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