Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Self-sowers....You Can Grow That!

Are you a thrifty gardener? Like to garden on the cheap? Like surprises?

For this month's edition of You Can Grow That!, I have decided to share my favorite self-sowing plants. Because I am all of the above!

My favorite self-sower is cosmos. I can't even remember what the original variety was that I bought. The ones that come back every year are either white or purple. I love these plants for cutting in the house.

Also another popular choice....sunflower. My kids love these since they grow so tall.

With those two plants, I take the little seedlings in the spring and move them around to where I want them. One benefit of these volunteers is that they begin growing as soon as the soil warms up and they are usually bigger earlier in the season than plants that I sowed from seed myself or transplants.

These snapdragons sow themselves around my raised veggie garden. They pop up in the strangest places! One thing I love about the snaps is that they are a little cold hardy, so they bloom late into the fall.

And for some surprises.....I've been pleasantly surprised to have some volunteer tomato seedlings. All of the tomatoes pictured below just started growing in the garden this spring. They are already setting fruit, way ahead of my transplants.

I've also been pleased to find a little seedling of black-eyed susan in my veggie garden. I have this plant in the front of the house, so it's neat to see that the seed traveled all the way to the backyard. I'm letting this one grow bigger and then I will pot it up and plant it somewhere else in the yard.

And then....there are the seeds you don't want. : ) My caryopteris spread TONS of seedlings around last fall. I've been pulling them up and scratching them out. So.....note to self: put some Preen around this plant next spring!

What self-sowers do you plant in your garden?


Laila said...

Last year I left some Calendula a bit to late in the vegetable beds and now there are so many they are overcrowding my vegetables so I am pulling some of them out but the are definitely my favorite, bright yellow and orange, perfect for companion planting and the leaves are edible. Now I just need to find out how to make Calendula cream!

Fred Reeder Jr. said...

Let's start planting some dollar bills. Or Yuengling.

Jane Gates said...

So interesting how different -- and frequently unexpected -- plants self sow in different gardens.

Jean said...

That's what's so great about gardening I think. And what a great gardening intro for your kids!

Tiny Tim's Garden said...

Where would my garden be without the self-sowers like poppies, calendula, cosmos and hardy geranium? This year, I gave away starts I didn't want on Craig's list and met some awfully nice gardeners--also a plus!