The Q&A Archives: Weed Or Plant?

Question: I realize that this is a very basic question but I am a beginning gardener and having some concerns about this.

I am planting a "flower garden in a box" type garden in my yard and am sowing the seeds directly into the ground - How do I know which are the baby flowers and which are weeds?

Answer: You are right to be concerned because it is extremely difficult sometimes, especially if you are a new gardener (and even if you're an old pro!) Unfortunately I don't have a magic answer to give you and this is in fact one of the drawbacks to planting a mix. Some seed packets will show you an illustration of the seedling shape and size. Also, if you can start a portion of the packet in a container of some sort so you can see a representative patch of seedlings, that will help you identify them in the ground. Finally, if you can take a look around elsewhere in the garden nearby, you will begin to notice which weeds are most prevalent in your area, too. Last of all, this is always a fun project and often a source of much discussion for friends and neighbors who garden -- ask them if they can help you!

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