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Garden Therapy: Seedling Surprises

Look carefully. What you should be seeing in this picture is a row of feather-thin, red-stemmed beet seedlings, which poked out of the soil a week ago. However, you're also seeing a few much larger seedlings. At first I thought they might be sunflower seedlings, reasoning that perhaps I'd randomly tossed in some sunflower seeds when planting and completely forgot about it. But that didn't make sense.

Then I remembered that we'd put a layer of compost into the bottom of the garden box that we then covered with soil. Was it possible that there had been seeds in the compost pile that had germinated?

To find out,


That's exactly what happened. While the compost we put in the garden box looked like it had finished decomposing — it was crumbly, dark, of a uniform texture, and had a pleasant earthy smell — apparently some butternut squash seeds had survived. Indeed, now our entire garden box is dotted with over two dozen butternut squash seedlings. I hope to transplant most of these to other containers, but I certainly don't need 24 squash plants.

Anybody out there need some?

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