The serendipitous partnership began in February, when I discovered two practically empty packets of oakleaf lettuce seeds. I scattered the 6-year-old seeds into cottage-garden snowdrifts and promptly forgot about it.
When spring arrived, a volunteer lettuce crop sprouted among perennials. I savored and shared the harvest and let a few plants go to seed to fuel this year's sowing.
Fast-growing lettuce is a perfect edible to tuck among other plantings. With shallow roots, it doesn't disturb established plantings.
I plan to repeat the tactic this year. It's an easy way to squeeze in a tasty crop with virtually no work. My kind of gardening!
The nutrient-rich compost pile provides another wonderfully unexpected garden spot - this time for sprawling butternut squash vines.
Years ago the first vines appeared unplanned, but I've since developed a system.
How I Grow Compost Squash
1. In March I grab the saddest-looking two butternuts from my winter squash stash and whip them into a savory soup.
2. I bury squash peels and seeds in the sunniest end of the compost pile. I don't disturb this section of the compost until after autumn squash harvest.
3. As temperatures warm, seeds sprout.
4. I thin seedlings, transplanting a few into the vegetable garden.
5. The compost pile stands along a deer trail. Plastic netting clothes-pinned in place protects vines and ensures a crop.
I'm roasting butternut squash and garlic (both homegrown) as I write this, savoring the aromas and getting hungry. I'm anticipating those sun-ripened flavors on a wintry day - yum!
Even if you don't have lots of room to grow edibles, you can shoehorn them into the landscape.
What creative ways are you growing edible crops?