Question #3: why?

Today is a simple question, perfect for a Friday post when my brain is not up to the task of using too many words: "why?"


As in "why is it so difficult to notice seeds in my potting mix?". I reuse potting mix all the time, and well, I get surprise seedlings in there quite regularly.

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It's the chipmunks. They love to bury little clutches of sunflower or safflower seeds in my pots and in the ground. Usually this results in a compact forest of seedlings, all crammed together like the girls' magical garden in My Neighbor Totoro.

At the end of the season though, the seeds don't have a chance to germinate. If I dump that pot into my mix recycling barrel, I'll end up distributing those seeds into the pots of new plants -- like my "firesticks" and "gollum" divisions.


You'd think that I would have seen these seeds, as they're relatively large, but I don't. So why do I miss them, until I see them popping up unexpectedly?

I don't really need an answer, but I do wonder: does this happen to others, or is it just me?


I actually enjoy this, as seedlings are one of my favorite things about gardening, regardless of where they're growing. When I start seeds indoors I always use fresh seed-starting mix so this isn't an issue then.

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outlawgardener  – (January 23, 2015 at 5:44 PM)  

It's always fun to find those little surprises planted by the chipmunks! It happens to everyone who recycles potting soil, I think.

danger garden  – (January 23, 2015 at 11:50 PM)  

Yep, it happens to me. Since there's no harm I kind of enjoy the surprise.

Mark and Gaz  – (January 24, 2015 at 2:46 AM)  

Happens to us too. Recycling gravel mulch brings in seedling surprises too.

Marie~  – (January 25, 2015 at 1:45 PM)  

Oh, good, I'm not alone.

I'll add another why. Why do I let these interlopers continue to grow? If one of them looks interesting, I find myself waiting to see how it develops. Doesn't always work out well, but I can't seem to help myself.

Alan  – (January 26, 2015 at 11:30 AM)  

Glad I'm not alone! At least I find the acorns before they germinate. :)

I should probably post a followup "why": why do the best volunteers always grow in the worst places?

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