Compost pile volunteers - with potential

This is a pretty common occurrence for me with my lazy composting method… something sprouting and growing well in my compost pile.

Can you help me ID this one ?

I think NOT watermelon cucumber or spaghetti squash.

Possibly cantelope ???

I had a spaghetti squash vol a couple years ago that we got 7 nice fruit from.

Got anything promising growing in your pile this year ?



Looks like cantelope. Could be a squash.

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I am hoping cantaloupe… it is pretty keto friendly… low carb and we like it.

I will check it for blossoms when I get a chance… that might help ID it.

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Leaves definitely are the right shape for cantaloupe.


Cantaloupe plants look nice.

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Looks like my cantaloupe.

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Last month i had two blackberry plants that sprouted up. Currently have some potatoes, onions and all kinds of sunflowers that the chipmunks have planted.

If you crush those eggshells up in a good dollar store bag by hand the worms eat them. I throw sand and grit in my pile for the worms as well. They love it. Not sure if you are into or like worms though.

I cover mine with a thick layer of old leaves and cardboard…everything that eats waste food seems to prefer the dark and damp… not sure on the science of that…but if i leave mine to open air and light the flies and other maggoty things eat the foodstuffs then fly away. Lots of good molds and fungis in the dark damps of my compost pile too.


@krismoriah … my composting method is lazy no fuss… and wait for it.

I start a new pile during a warm spell in Dec or Jan… and do nothing to it except pile it on for a year.

When I start a new pile… I turn the old one over once. Then as spring approaches… I will turn it over another 3 or 4 times… and during those last turn overs… anything that does not look like it will finish in time… I toss it in the new pile.

When spring comes and I start using it it is finished nicely eggshells and all.

Trust me… if you just pile it up and wait and turn it occasionally… it will over a year and 4 months or so… turn into very nice black gold.
Nothing special required.


I get rats here if I leave my compost outside, so I keep mine in a bin. But I get lost of plants from my compost, papaya, cherrymoya, tomatoes, and lots of melons, but I just remove them.

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@SoCalGardenNut … I am sure lots of critters visit my pile and eat what they want.

Field mice, not sure about rats. Never saw a true rat out here… but I am sure coons and possums get some goodies. I am OK with that… plenty of it remains and turns into very nice compost.

I harvest compost from the woods too… over winter… and add it to my pile. Woods compost from woods with high percent of maple and poplar trees… good calcium content. A good stout leaf rake and a wheelbarrow is all you need.

I learned to do this while doing some forrest farming.

Yep… I even grow stuff in the woods :wink:


I don’t have a big yard, this year my husband caught 20 rats already, just to reduce the population but I’m sure there are more out there. We have hawks patrol this area. But the more rats we attract the more they go after our fruit. So that’s the reason to keep them down.

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I have this neat pumpkin growing. Also some Hubbards and acorns. Guess my pile wasn’t hot enough!


I have a worm bin that gets a lot of the veg and fruit scraps. we’ve had tomatos, cabbage, poke etc. come up in it. The chickens think it’s their own personal snack shop.
Leaf litter from under trees has wonderful things like mycellium in it. Good stuff!


@Pokeweed … in the winter after a snow that comes and stays a few days… then you warm up again (that happens a lot here)…

Well that snow then warm up… makes the ground under the forest floor leaves very soft.

You can just rake lightly to move over the leaves that are still mostly fresh… and reveal the layer of rotted mostly composted leaf litter…and under that some very rich leaf compost for a good inch or so deep.

I rake the fresh leaves over to one side of my rake strip… then rake the mostly composted leaf litter and all that good rich leaf compost
Over to the other side.

I may do a strip 5 ft wide by 50 ft long.

And get like 2 or 3 wheelbarrows full of wonderful woods compost from that.

Works best after a good freeze or snow then a rain and thaw out period but can be done anytime… you may just get less.


Got a blossom picture today… still hoping cantaloupe.


Getting some quick growth on my compost pile (hopefully cantaloupe)… lots of blossoms on now.


Things grow fast in the compost pile…

Looks like it might be a cantaloupe to me.


It could also be a watermelon.
I have a watermelon from my compost. Very small though.

@SoCalGardenNut … the leaves on every watermelon variety that i have ever grown… are quite heavily lobed.

These are mostly unlobed… somewhat round…
Sure reminds me of cantaloupe.

The way this thing is growing should be able to tell for sure in a few weeks.


Charleston Gray is the watermelon variety I grow… when I grow them. This image shows some watermelon leaves…


You are right, I was looking at the fruitlet, not the leaves.

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