Check out what sprouted in my compost bin


6 Years
Jun 10, 2013
Well earlier this spring we cleaned out our animal pens and took their leftovers to our newly set up compost bin and shortly after two sun flowers sprouted. I love sun flowers! Then I noticed a tomato plant growing, so we left the two bins alone, just out of curiosity. Well it is now sept and I wanted to post how large this single plant is. I know how hard it is to tell, but I am hoping everyone can see that this plant is more of a bush. The two bins combined are a little over 8 ft in width and the plant is beginning to extend pass the ends of the bins. Have you ever had a grape tomato plant this big? I have not, so I am shocked.

Nice tomato plant, that sure is a big one isn't it. You've got an indeterminate tomato plant there (like most cherry type tomatoes), under the right conditions they get really big... looks like your compost bin made that plant really happy. I am pretty sure I have seen the Sci-Fi movie that plant starred in, better be careful walking around him after dark :)
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Funny! Thanks for the link. I am going to check it out.
My mom has gardened my whole life and her tomatoes always do great, but I have never seen anything like this. This is definitely a tomato bush :) I was also shocked that is has lots of green tomatoes, I would think it would not have barely any fruit because of its size. I wish it would have started sooner, because this would have been a great summer treat. It is starting to get cold at night, so its life is being cut short :(

Well hopefully when I use the compost for the garden next year the rest of the plants will thrive too. I am newer to gardening, so we will see. Hey, you would not happen to know if it would be better to spread the compost in the fall or the spring would you? I have read mix info on this topic.

Thanks again for responding and the link!
Save some seeds and plant some from that bush next year. It likes where you live so who knows how big it will get if you start it early. If you live in the north, the recommendation seems to be to put compost down in the fall, around now, so it has time to decompose over the winter. I like to put it down in the fall mostly because I know then it has been done, and I don't have too worry about putting it down in the spring if it is really rainy or something. Also seem to have better luck controlling weeds if it is down in the fall since more of them will sprout and you can kill / rotor till them before you plant in the spring.
Love volunteer tomatoes! I had a lot of tomatoes fall on the ground this year, so next year, I am not even going to plant anything--let them seeds do their thing.
I love growing giant tomato plants. I had 15 plants this year that I staked and suckered to control growth upwards and into larger fruits. All but two plants were at 10 feet tall plus. I had two cherry tomato plant in the range of 12 feet tall before a wind storm blew down almost all the plants. I've had volunteers that have grown out of my compost before and was amazed at how fast and vigorous they grew. Unfortunately, I am just now starting to get into heirloom plants so all mine in the past have been hybrids which won't reproduce true to type, and that is the only downside to volunteer tomatoes.
If you're trying to save the fruits, as they're still green - why not cover it with an old sheet or blanket at night? It'll save the plant, the heat coming off the compost will also help keep the plant warm under the cover. Uncover for full sun during the day - and you could likely come away with some really REALLY tasty fall tomatoes!

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