Volunteers are those hardy plants that pop back up from seeds that dropped from the year before. Today, I got the final bed ready for planting, and there were quite a few volunteers that needed to be lifted out first.

Volunteer Lettuce

Most prominent among them were some lettuce plants. These must have grown from seeds that didn’t sprout when I planted them in late summer of last year. There were also eight tomato seedlings among the mix – I have no way to know which varieties they are, but six of them seem to be the same, and the other two the same, based on their location and leaf shapes. I really hope some of those are Black Krim – the best tomato I grew last year.  That tomato seedlings are thriving outside tells me that I can cheat the season a bit and get some plants in the ground soon! I’ll probably plant out the rest of the bed this weekend, after visiting a few nurseries and plant sales.

Volunteer Tomato

Most strange among all the volunteers are two plants that look like carrots. This is really odd, because I did grow carrots last year, but I grew them 20 feet away in the shady bed, and none of them went to seed. After I pulled them out, I knew they weren’t carrots – they’re probably a weed related to carrots, like Queen Anne’s Lace, but they look very similar to my carrot plants from last year. Well, on closer inspection, these weren’t carrots at all.

I carefully lifted each seedling out of the bed and set it aside while I mixed a large bag of peat moss and five bags of composted manure into the bed. I then replanted those seedlings that looked sturdy enough to survive – all eight tomato volunteers found a new home.