Tuesday, June 17, 2014

How to Spot Garden Weeds

Me in last year's garden.
Corn is my favorite thing to grow so far.  It stretches up high at the end of my garden, and makes me feel like I have my little bit of a farm here in the suburbs.

I'm pretty new to gardening, but I love it!  I can't seem to remember if this is my 4th or 5th year of having a garden.  It's one of those things in life that you have no idea how great it is until you try it!

Every year I find myself facing the same small problem though.  Things are sprouting up and life is beginning in the garden.  The little problem being that seedling can easily be confused with weeds, and sometimes it's hard to know which to pull and which to leave.

This seems like it should be obvious but it isn't always.  My first year of gardening I planted peas.  When they began to grow so did some kind of weed, right in with my pea seedlings.  The problem was that I didn't know which was which, so I took a guess.  A couple of months later I had interesting looking, tall weeds, and no peas. Lesson learned.

To help you keep this from happening I'm sharing my bit of novice gardening experience, in the hope that it will help your peas to grow big, and not your weeds.  :-)

Can you spot the weeds?

How to detect a weed...

1)  What color is the stem?  If the stem is green or a whitish color it is probably a seedling.  If the stem is a reddish color it is most likely a weed, the exception being root plants that are meant to be red, like red or purple carrots and beet plants (and possibly some others, but so far those are the only ones I've come across).

2)  Is it growing where you planted seeds?  Occasionally I have a random seed drop somewhere in the garden and I let it grow just for fun, but most of the time if it isn't where I planted then it's a weed.

3)  Is it growing everywhere?  I have a weed that I wasn't sure if it was spinach at first, however the fact that it's growing all over my garden, and yard, definitely makes it a weed.

My potted cilantro growing with a bunch of tiny weeds.

4)  When in doubt google it.  If you have gone through the above questions and you still aren't sure try looking up online what that kind of seedling is supposed to look like.  Or you can post a picture on a site like Facebook and see if you have any expert gardeners in your friend list.

5)  Worst case... just let it grow.  If you aren't sure it's not life or death, it's just gardening.  Weeds are really only a concern if they're taking the root space of a plant, or threatening to over take your garden.  Take a chance and let it grow and enjoy the mystery of seeing what it becomes!

My lettuce and kale growing.  I should probably thin them out.  LOL

I hope this helps make gardening more fun and easy for you!  If you have any additional tips you'd like to share feel free to add them in the comment field for others to see.

Pin It for later:  http://www.pinterest.com/pin/245024035951690119/

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