Self-seeding in the Veg Patch – Dairy of a Rocket Gardener

Over the past seven years (ish), I have come to know the joys and annoyances of self-seeding plants in the veg patch. For me, the joys are found when new plants pop up in just the right place or when you find a surprise wild rocket plant growing in amongst some weeds and you get to pick the leaves and eat them while you’re weeding. The annoyances come when marjoram self-seeds in the woodchip pathways, or strawberries self-seed somewhere unintended and then I can’t bring myself to pull them up.

I’m learning, though, to go with the flow more, and I think it’s a really good trait to develop as a gardener. Letting things unfold and letting nature do its thing brings its own sense of joy and I’m really finding that with all the self-seeded wild rocket that I’ve allowed to grow this summer. I have wild rocket growing in pathways, wild rocket growing in between broad beans, wild rocket growing in the cut flower patch, wild rocket growing beneath the bay tree, and it’s quite fun to harvest a little here and a little there. It feels more like foraging.

I have a few new clumps of marjoram where I didn’t expect it. It’s not ideally positioned, but now that it is flowering, it adds colour and it’s buzzing with bees. I have violas growing in the pathways, and they look really pretty.

I also have an abundance of self-seeded wildflowers that I wasn’t expecting – ox-eye daisies galore, quite a few foxgloves and knapweed. Again, it’s not perfectly positioned, but so much colour and such a natural, wild feel.

A few years ago, I was quite rigid about veg growing in its neat rows in weed-free beds, but not now. I write this to encourage you, if you are a gardener who beats yourself up for ‘letting things go’, to be okay with it, and to enjoy what happens naturally without feeling like you have to spend hours weeding in order to make your veg patch look a certain way.