My assistant shared with me her dilemma/success that happened to her this year. She lives in a rental house, which can pose many gardening challenges because you shouldn't really change the home's gardens if you don't own them! So she's been growing her tomato, herbs, pepper and cucumber plants in pots on their deck.
Here's where the crux came in. Along the fence in their back yard is this sprawling bush. I asked her what the bush was and she didn't know. All she did know is the owner let it grow out of control, and told them they could cut it back, even saying "that bush is a pain in the butt. If you kill it, good for you!"
Her husband tried to cut it down to the root stock, and it keeps growing back. My assistant has 3 puppies (YES, 3 puppies) and with the puppies comes their deposits in the yard. One of the way they dispose of those presents is to dig a hole in their yard, fill it with those presents and recover up the hole. They've lived in yards with horrible yards, and the areas where the dog poop gets buried eventually turns into wonderful grassy sections. Her yard here was so dry and barren it had cracks in it!
But this isn't about grass....
So this past winter (which was a mild one here), she got the idea she was going to kill that bush once and for all. So she'd start digging her doggie poop holes by that bush. She figured that stuff and the volume of dog presents had to be toxic enough to kill that bush! If she overlapped the holes, she was amazed how they were FULL of worms! The area where the dog poop was buried filled in with grass nicely, and the bush didn't really grow in as full as it did the past few years, so they thought it was a success.
Until June came.
Once the weather started warming up, the first tomato plant came up. She nicknamed them the "Immaculate Conception Plants" because she didn't plant them, they just started coming up. So she put a tomato stake around one, and threatened her kids to not cut the tomato plant down when the grass was getting cut! Initially she thought one of the tomatoes from her pots had mistakenly gone over there (by maybe a bird or a squirrel), so she counted herself thankful she had another tomato plant!
Then another plant came up right next to the bush. And then another. The picture you see above is how the tomato plants look in September. They're so huge and so many they've grown up and over the fence. The shovel is a full size shovel so you can see how tall these have gotten (over 6 foot tall) . They are a mix of kinds too : they have round red cherry tomatoes, oblong red cherry and yellow cherry which are called Sungold (which she had in pots already).
Then they started to wonder how the heck those plants grew, because they didn't plant the tomatoes in the poop holes. Then they figured it out. Just like when she comes here to work, she gives my dog Maggie some of the veggies out of her lunch. And of course her dogs get the fresh veggies when they cook at home (who said dogs don't eat vegetables?). The best they can figure is the seeds came out, and added with all the vitamins and things that are in dog food, those seeds probably had the best environment to grow in. Those doggie presents decomposed in the yard, and were eaten by worms, so those seeds had all kinds of wonderful dirt to grow in.
The bush is in there somewhere , she said it's about knee high, and the rest is tomatoes.
Do you count this as a gardening success, or a failure? I think it's a success and it gives her growing 4 legged crew more yummy snacks for next years crop! LOL!
Leave me a comment weighing in on which side of the debate you fall on.