Mysterious Sprout Growing in Containers

Posted on Oct 22 2010 - 3:04am by Mike Lieberman

I noticed that there were mysterious sprouts growing in some of the containers on my balcony garden. Unsure as to what they were, I posted a picture on Between the Posts and asked. No one could identify them.

They started off showing up sporadically in a few containers, but they’ve since started to grow more densely. Then I realized it.

Before I left for Costa Rica, I dumped out all of the soil (and seeds) that were in the coconut shell planters. There were about 20 in total and only three or four had sprouted. The soil was put into a bag to be reused when I got back.

After the trip, I mixed the soil with some compost, totally forgetting the seeds were in there, and filled up new containers.

They took so long to sprout because they were well mixed into the soil. So the mystery sprouts that are growing in all of the containers are some kind of lettuce that used to be planted in the coconut shells.

No clue how I totally overlooked that. What this shows is that these things want to grow and will under many conditions. Gotta love nature.


  • anotherkindofdrew

    Awesome. Man, I have lettuce growing randomly all the time. Whoever says they are not a hardy (or is that hearty) plant is wrong, wrong, wrong.

    I also have onion chutes that sprout up months after I harvest the bed and even grow something else in it!

  • Mike Lieberman

    True dat in indeed. One container has a ridiculous amount in it. I need to thin it out a lot.

  • Alan

    Looks like a lot of different lettuce, some kale, and maybe some other brassicas (those paired round leaves look like that family…) Could be a nice salad mix.

  • Jayedee Halpin Dewitt

    life WILL find a way!

  • Mike Lieberman

    i definitely planted kale and lettuces (or salad mix) in there. it’s all the other surprises.

  • Mike Lieberman

    It most certainly will.

  • Praterclp

    This same thing happened to me. I am about to post on my blog all the pictures of basil that I am find around my garden. I tried to grow various types of basil and when they did not sprout after a few weeks, I combined the soil and used int in various areas of the garden where it needed to be replinshed and f course some of the soil fell to the ground. Now I have various basil growing in my blueberry pots, in the ground next to the fence, in with the carrots, I mean everywhere. And to think that I went and bought 2 basil plants. So now we have to picke the basil and use that first before we harvest from the actual plants I inteneded to have. Tooo funny.

  • Mike Lieberman

    Hahah. Gotta love it.

  • Anonymous

    Looks like it was a salad mix you had there. For sure I see a could of kale poking out also.

  • Anonymous

    those small ones look like basil.

  • Domestic Efforts

    I noticed funny sprouts growing in my compost bin, pictured here
    I have no idea what they are, but it’s pretty amazing watching things grow out of my garbage scraps!

  • Mike Lieberman

    Great. Ain’t it?

  • Mike Lieberman

    Not sure I ever planted basil…

  • Mike Lieberman

    The kale I definitely planted and some of the salad mix…not all of it.

  • Meemsnyc

    Nice!! Gotta love it.

  • Alan

    Hope you follow up with what you got. Gifts from the gods should be celebrated!

  • Mike Lieberman


  • Gypsyof6

    That was the story I used to give too!!! 😉

  • Danielle

    Some of it looks like micro arugula to me. I’d just eat it.

  • Mike Lieberman

    I ate them. They were good.

  • Melanie

    Nice! I love those types of surprises. I found a tomato growing amidst my cucumbers one time. All the other tomatoes had given up on me, so it was a nice end-of-season gift from nature.

  • Mike Lieberman

    Love em.