Frugal Gardening 101: Don’t Plant Things

See… I told you I could not be trusted with this series!

Here’s the thing.  I’m not exactly known for my green thumb.  Likely because I don’t have one. In fact, one of the most prolific plants in our garden in the last three years was one I didn’t plant at all!

Not intentionally, anyway.

We didn’t even know what this was when it sprouted out of our mulch pit (compost), but it looked like fun so we let it grow.  And grow.  And grow.

A few months and many exciting discoveries later, we supplied pumpkins for table decorations at our Thanksgiving feast!

I’d love to hear from the “real” gardening experts, since that so very clearly isn’t me: Is your garden as talented as mine?  Do plants just magically appear?  My neighbors call them “volunteer” plants.  I’m just thrilled that they volunteer in my garden since I have a bit of difficulty growing things intentionally.  😉

Before you link up today, would you please visit my friend Phoebe at Getting Freedom and say a prayer for her mom?  And go see what Smockity Frocks is up to in her own garden while you’re at it.


  1. Donna Walters says:

    This also happened to me a few years back. During the winter I would throw pulp and seed from butter nut squash, along with other scraps in our garden spot. The following summer squash vines just about took over the whole garden! They are very healthy vines.

  2. lol…that’s hilarious! I’m still working on the whole gardening thing…I’ve got a LONG way to go.

  3. I am attempting my first real garden this year. yay! My in-laws had pumpkins grow last year out of their compost pile. We did the same thing and watched excited to see what was growing. My grandfather-in-law used to work for the city and he said the guys who worked with the…um…sewer “stuff” used to have grow tomatoes every year!

  4. We live in a neighborhood where houses are right on top of each other, every year we end up with something we did not plant as well ‘volunteer’ tomatoes that somehow survive the harsh winter and come back up. Last year we came home to a rather large brussel sprout plant, this year we had some cilantro and I planted neither. My neighbor ended up with some strawberries and I was the one who had a hanging strawberry basket last year 🙂

  5. What fun! I hope you ATE the pumpkins after you were done displaying them!

  6. Chrissy says:

    This happened to me. Today I spotted what looks like tomato plants growing in my backyard. This, after toiling through the directions on how to assemble my “Topsy Turvy” yesterday, and saying a prayer that my seeds will sprout (at all) in due time. I’m now pretty amazed that I have run upon this blog and more specifically this post. I now know to call them “volunteer plants”! Love the site.

    • Enjoy your “surprise” tomatoes! And thanks for the reminder… I have two of those topsy turvy things in my basement. Forgot all about them.


  1. […] will be l inking this to Frugal Gardening 101 because having your neighbor give you all your plants, stakes and plant food is pretty darn […]

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