Volunteers in the Garden

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No, I’m not speaking of conning your friends into pulling weeds for you, or plants from Tennessee. Take a look at the image above. Do you suppose that I planted these Italian parsley sprouts under the pot? No, seeds from the plant last year got washed under the pot and into one of cracks in the patio. Called “volunteers,” they are, in this case, herbs that turned into weeds. Some other plants that spring up as volunteers here are Siberian elms, desert willows, dwarf acacias, and cottonwoods. Volunteers in the yard can be good, like the one above, which is not in the main garden area so it won’t displace other plants or disrupt plant rotation schedules. But you obviously don’t want trees growing in the garden, so those seedlings should be pulled up when they are still small and their roots are not established. Here’s one very obvious volunteer, a lone corn (maize) plant in a field of soybeans.

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