It’s that time of the year again. Crowds gathering at The Home Depot garden center to get their pick of the best looking tomato plants to plant for their summer garden. Or maybe you’re the type that grows theirs from seed ( me? no more!) The light, the watering, all the little planting cells and seedling soil, ohhhh the fragility! Take a deep breath and calm down because it doesn’t need to get that far.
Check out this baby
What in the world is this? They are multiple tomato sprouts growing out of a discarded old tomato…from my garden compost bin. It doesn’t just stop at the tomato folks, there are peppers, zucchinis, pumpkins( if you dare), and basically anything that has seeds. And if you have a kitchen compost bin, then you’re in luck, because you can be a lazy gardener as well!!! And maybe even share your compost with your neighbors and family members so they can become lazy gardeners just like you and me!
Here’s the magic that happens in your compost bin. The fruit and vegetable scarps you toss in there sit nice and warm throughout the year, while all those little organisms and decomposers break them down, and excrete them as poop (hello little worms.) Might sound gross, but your garden LOVES it!!! When that time of the year comes and you mix your wonderful compost into your garden beds, all those seeds get in there as well, and when you start adding water and sunshine…well you know what sprouts. For me it’s lots of tomato plants this year. In the past I’ve had potatoes, bell peppers, and pumpkins.
It started for me a few springs back when I was so diligently planting my summer vegetable garden. I mixed my garden compost into my beds, worked it in real good ( blisters in my palms good), mapped out where my plants will go, I made sure they were spaced accordingly, that they would get along together and so on. If you’re a gardener you know how time consuming this is. Everything looked so professional, I patted myself on the back and had a nice cold drink. A few weeks go by, my plants are thriving, but I also notice that things are starting to sprout….everywhere in my beds. And it wasn’t weeds. I noticed the fuzzy starting leaves of tomato plants, the smooth and pointy ones of bell peppers and even a few thin sprouts of garlic. “What is going on?” I though to myself, it was a DUH moment until I figured it out. After I chuckled at myself for trying so hard when I could have had veggies for a lot less work ( and money.)
So, now I wait in anticipation to see what kind of vegetables I’ll be eating this summer. Will it be heirloom, cherry or maybe I’ll get the kumato brown tomatoes, baby bell peppers or jalapenos? This is such a fun project for kids as well, they can get a lesson in photosynthesis while you’re at it!
Remember what you throw in your kitchen compost today, you might end up eating next summer in your salad…or side dish. Happy Gardening!