Things growing in my compost bin! Brought a smile!

nursejennyAugust 15, 2007

I've been casually composting for the last 2 years (throwing in an entire apple, didn't have all of the facts). Just recently, I've gotten serious about chopping/shredding things, aerating and mixing, browns and greens--the whole bit. I decided yesterday that I was going to clear out the finished compost and take some of the stuff off of the top to start in a lasagna-style bed on the side of the house.

As I dug through the finished compost, I saw a smooth golden "rock" tumble out and thought, "Hmm. That's an unusual color for a rock!" A few more, easily pierced with my shovel! I discovered about a dozen baby potatoes growing in my finished compost!

It made my day to see these cute little things that'd grown independent of any of my efforts! My cantaloupe seeds started sprouting the other day as well.

I'm curious whether anyone else has had experiences with interesting things growing in your compost bin?!

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I've had some potato volunteers myself, made me smile too.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2007 at 6:49PM
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I composted under my apple tree last fall and had acorn squash and a pumpkin plant sprout this spring. I'm glad my wife stopped me from pulling them out. Both are doing great and add a nice feature to an otherwise boring mulching area. The pumpkin plant is only feed away from a light post that I decorate every year. Considering vining the pumpkin patch to this area f I can get over killing the grass to do so.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2007 at 10:20PM
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joepyeweed(5b IL)

Potatoes and squash are common growers out of my pile.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2007 at 10:00AM
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Tomatoes, sunflowers, potatoes and onions commonly grow in mine. It is fun to see them growing so far from soil.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2007 at 10:25AM
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paulns(NS zone 6a)

We didn't have the heart to pull the sunflower although it had probably sucked a lot of nutrients out of the pile by the time it got this big. We started digging out compost around it.

Here is a link that might be useful: sunflower

    Bookmark   August 16, 2007 at 11:39AM
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paulns(NS zone 6a)


Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   August 16, 2007 at 11:42AM
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ok that picture is awesome

    Bookmark   August 16, 2007 at 1:53PM
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Wow. That sunflower is pretty impressive!

I'm curious, Steve (I'm marking myself as a newbie), about the onions. They've grown from chunks of onion thrown into the compost or flowered onion stalks that you've thrown in there?

    Bookmark   August 17, 2007 at 11:48AM
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nursejenny, I planted 600 onion plants in February. Earlier in the year, I would just pull 6 or 10 to carry into work, along with other veggies. I don't trim them in any way, so if unused they get tossed on the compost pile.
Next day, I would gather more by flashlight before heading to work. I like veggies fresh, but the unused settled right in and completed their life cycle on the pile.
Needless to say, everyone in my neighborhood + co-workers, friends and family had plenty and my compost missed their trimmings - darn it.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2007 at 12:48PM
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kqcrna(z6 SW Oh)

I've had a tomatoes grow out of mine. My husband won't stop throwing the bad tomatoes in there.

I also collect my neighbors oak leaves for composting. They come with lots of acorns and they often sprout in there, too.


    Bookmark   August 18, 2007 at 2:28PM
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paulns(NS zone 6a)

There's something funny about these volunteers - like the compost pile is making a pun.
The bush-sunflowers seem to come from letting store-bought sunflower-seed plants cross-pollinate in the garden. We haven't planted sunflowers anywhere for a couple of years but they keep coming up, often very bushy. They're partly descended from bird-seed sunflowers.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2007 at 3:16PM
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billhill(z5 MI - KBG)

Not my pile really but it might as well be. Community lawn and yard refuse dump. In the couple years that I've been helping myself to the black gold, have never seen anyone here. Can't wait for these melons to ripen. Next year I think I'll scatter some seeds. Bill Hill

    Bookmark   August 18, 2007 at 8:53PM
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paulns(NS zone 6a)

Jumbo watermelons - wow.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2007 at 8:03AM
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