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What's this popped up in my new bed?

i10ki10k Posts: 23

Hi everybody!

I'm a long-time lurker on these forums, but this is my first post.

Before launching into a request for help, a brief intro...

I'm Ian, a mid-thirties father of three, who has in the last year or so discovered a mad passion for gardening!  Since moving into a home with a couple of modest sized gardens (front and rear) 2 years ago, and completely ripping out all the patios (one laid atop another!), sheds built in the middle of the space on concrete bases half a metre deep(!) and digging out the roots of hugely overgrown hedges, I've levelled the garden and improved the soil by adding a dozen or so bulk bags and created a lovely lush lawn, which is now well-established and enjoying its first summer.

Landscaping done, I began to stock the borders.  Initially thinking I'd just go to the garden centre and grab any old stuff that was on offer and looked nice, I swiftly discovered the world of wonder that is gardening and have been an avid reader of this forum ever since.  There is barely a moment these days that I'm not pottering about in the garden, pruning this, dead-heading that, lifting, moving and dividing plants that would on reflection be better suited elsewhere, etc. If I'm not in the garden I'm thinking about it, or reading about gardening techniques or looking for inspiration and planning plant combinations for different areas...

You could say I am obsessed.  Luckily my eldest (6 y/o) is equally interested in the wonder of nature, so we are learning together... enjoying our strawberries this year, and looking forward to harvesting our first ever crop of Charlotte Potatoes, currently swelling in their planting bags on the patio.

So; for anyone still reading(!)

Firstly; thank you for all the wisdom and insight you share so freely on these forums.  It really does make all the difference to a keen but clueless beginner like me!  

Secondly; I wonder if you could help me identify a plant which has appeared in my newly planted Herbaceous border?  I am hopeful the collective wisdom of this wonderful forum can help me identify it, and decide whether to hoick it out, leave it, or lift and replant elsewhere?

There are a few of them dotted throughout the bed, I don't know whether birds have dropped seed, or if they have come from some homemade compost which I dug in before planting?  they've certainly appeared from nowhere and grown quite rapidly - they don't appear anywhere else in the garden.

I've attached a couple of pictures here


Thanks in advance, and - now that I've broken cover - I hope to get to know some of you through contributions to other discussions within this great community!

I'll get some pics up on the "show us your garden" thread at the weekend.





  • B3B3 Posts: 25,266


    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 83,998

    Welcome aboard image  Lovely post image

    Did you put some squash/pumpkin seeds in your compost bin last year?  I think you've got some 'volunteer' squash plants of one sort or another ... it'll be interesting to see what you get.  image

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • i10ki10k Posts: 23

    Thanks both for the warm welcome!  

    I think you may be right Dovefromabove - my lovely wife made an equally lovely batch of Butternut Squash soup last winter, and all the scraps went onto the compost heap.

    I wonder if I carefully move them, whether we'll be able to get a crop ready for some more delicious soup this year?  A quick bit of research suggests squash seeds should be planted out in April/May.  These seeds will have germinated mid/late June, so might be killed by autumn frosts before they reach maturity?  Only one way to find out I guess! :-)

  • pbffpbff Posts: 433

    Welcome to the forum, Ian image

    Interesting to hear the story of your garden - a lot of hard work - already paying off by the sounds of things.

    Hapy gardening and we look forward to hearing more from you soon.


  • josusa47josusa47 Posts: 3,530

    Hi Ian,  welcome to the slightly bonkers world of gardening.  I have a couple of random seedlings that look like yours, mine have softly fuzzy leaves, do yours?  I guessed mine were from the squash family.  I've never tried growing any squashes but I've read that they don't come true from saved seed, you have to buy seed that has been bred for the purpose.  This is true of many fruit crops.  Still, I'll keep them and see what happens.

    If your wife ever complains that the garden gets more attention than she does, tell her, nicely, that many a woman would be only too pleased for her husband to have a hobby that kept him at home!

  • Welcome to the lovely world of gardening it so nice that you and your small son are learning together.

    your picture does look like a squash plant, do you have to move it can it not stay growing where it is?

    it would do better at this stage if it's not moved, veg plants do not always have to grow in a veg bed.

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 83,998

    And squash plants give just the same sort of architectural structure  in a border that some quite expensive perennials provide, and squash flowers are beautiful. If it starts to get a bit rampant you could train it up an obelisk or wigwam.

    The only reason I'd move those is if they're in a shady spot ... squashes need sunshine, especially late sown ones.  image

    Last edited: 07 July 2017 13:57:11

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • i10ki10k Posts: 23

    Hi josusa47!  Thanks for the welcome :-). Yes, my seedlings do have soft fuzzy leaves.  If you can zoom in on the first photo in my original post, you might just be able to see the fine furry "hairs" on the leaf unfurling from the centre.

    After the initial identification (thanks everyone!) I've researched it and it certainly does seem to match google image search results for Squashes.  interesting that the seeds may not result in a true reflection of the parent - will certainly be interesting to see the outcome.  I'll leave them be as you, Chrissy the gardener and Dovefromabove all suggest, and report back later in the year!



  • i10ki10k Posts: 23

    Thanks for the warm welcome pbff!

    Yes, lots of hard work.  This is the first summer the family and I have been really able to enjoy it - last year it more closely resembled the Somme circa 1916 than a nice relaxing space...

    I might see if I can dig out some before, during and after photos and start a new thread telling the story of how a total amateur bit off more than he could chew, and turned it around into something to be proud of!  Well, I'm proud of it anyway - major garden envy from some of the fine pictures shared on this forum.  One day...



  • Victoria SpongeVictoria Sponge Posts: 3,501

    Welcome to the forum Ianimage

    I'd love to see some before and after pics...your story reminded me of my garden, slabs everywhere, foundations for goodness knows what and everywhere I dug a pile of rubble. 

    Am imagining digging up a patio to find another one underneath!image

    Wearside, England.
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