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.


22 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. anotherkindofdrew October 22, 2010 at 1:25 pm -

    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!

  2. Mike Lieberman October 22, 2010 at 1:47 pm -

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

  3. Alan October 22, 2010 at 2:05 pm -

    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.

  4. Jayedee Halpin Dewitt October 22, 2010 at 2:33 pm -

    life WILL find a way!

  5. Mike Lieberman October 22, 2010 at 3:04 pm -

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

  6. Mike Lieberman October 22, 2010 at 3:04 pm -

    It most certainly will.

  7. Praterclp October 22, 2010 at 3:20 pm -

    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.

  8. Mike Lieberman October 22, 2010 at 3:38 pm -

    Hahah. Gotta love it.

  9. Anonymous October 22, 2010 at 4:45 pm -

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

  10. Anonymous October 22, 2010 at 5:38 pm -

    those small ones look like basil.

  11. Domestic Efforts October 22, 2010 at 6:01 pm -

    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!

  12. Mike Lieberman October 22, 2010 at 6:05 pm -

    Great. Ain’t it?

  13. Mike Lieberman October 22, 2010 at 6:06 pm -

    Not sure I ever planted basil…

  14. Mike Lieberman October 22, 2010 at 6:06 pm -

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

  15. Meemsnyc October 22, 2010 at 9:07 pm -

    Nice!! Gotta love it.

  16. Alan October 27, 2010 at 1:17 am -

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

  17. Mike Lieberman October 27, 2010 at 4:31 am -


  18. Gypsyof6 March 9, 2011 at 11:49 am -

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

  19. Danielle March 20, 2011 at 1:15 pm -

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

  20. Mike Lieberman March 20, 2011 at 4:49 pm -

    I ate them. They were good.

  21. Melanie April 16, 2012 at 5:13 pm -

    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.

  22. Mike Lieberman April 16, 2012 at 5:25 pm -

    Love em.

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