In preparing my vegetable garden for spring planting, I did what I thought were all the right things. I turned all the beds to remove the weeds. I added good organic compost and, good soil and tilled everything in together. I must have spent a good two or three days preparing my garden beds so that I would get a bumper crop this year. I even used theFarmers Almanac, and planted my vegetable seeds by the moon. Again making sure I did everything I could to insure I would have a bountiful crop. Everything started out good. I had all my vegetables plants on a drip irrigation system. And for the most part everything looked OK, not great but I had high hopes anyway. Some plants were struggling a bit but, I hung in there making sure they were being watered properly. I knew they were getting the right amount of sun as my garden is in the perfect place with morning sun, a little shade for an hour and then full sun until about three in the afternoon. Perfect garden location for those hot Texas days. I now decided that all I had to do was to sit back and watch it grow and soon I would be enjoying beautiful home grown vegetables.
About a year and half ago I started a compost pile next to my garden area. Throughout the year I have put everything from banana peels, coffee grounds, egg shells, leaves and grass clipping in it. Over the winter months I threw into the pile some cucumber peels and half a cucumber that had gone bad. Not thinking that the seeds would still be good. The compost was not quite ready to use in the rest of my garden. I continued to add matter to my compost pile and noticed a plant start to germinate. Wouldn’t you know it, the one plant that I didn’t plant, wasn't on the drip irrigation and, I did not even know it existed, was the best plant in the garden.
That’s right, a cucumber plant! So here is this beautiful cucumber plant thriving away in my compost pile, which is fine except, the rest of my garden is looking much less impressive. So now the cucumber plant has become my favorite child in the garden. I water it everyday and hope soon to be harvesting great cucumbers from my renegade plant. To say my pride was tested is an understatement. I did all this hard work to provide a perfect environment to grow all my other vegetable plants and the best plant in the garden was a mistake! Next year… I think I will try watermelon and cantaloupe seeds in my pile, but I think I will need a much bigger compost pile!!