If you look to the right and left of my little tomato plant you'll see some volunteer plants---what they're volunteering for, I have no idea. What they are is also a mystery. What I do know is that they belong to the squash family. I got a little hasty in using some compost that wasn't finished. I figured what hadn't decomposed yet could be food for the earthworms. Well, the squash seeds didn't get the memo. I'm having a little drama about whether to let one stay. After all, it goes without saying that we like all kinds of squash. It could be spaghetti, acorn, or butternut squash. I also hate giving up on anything green--especially those green things that volunteer themselves to me. Last year's crop of basil was entirely volunteer, so were my grape tomatoes. I once made a homemade pumpkin pie out of a volunteer pumpkin plant that grew in my compost pile. Who else can say they took a pumpkin pie to a 4th of July celebration?
The biggest question is, do I have room for them? Not really. They are pretty close to a fence, maybe I could train them to hang out there. Maybe I could make them into little bonzai versions of squash vines---a little trim here, a little trim there. They probably aren't even a variety that does well in central Texas---heck, they came from the grocery store. Goodness, it hadn't even occurred to me that they might be hybrids and thus unable to produce fruit???
What's your vote? I have a good track record with volunteers, I'm nice to them even though they aren't technically on the payroll. Do they stay or shall I send them on their way to the chicken coop for consumption?