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I have quite a large border in my garden that I cleared last year and grew and planted lots of cottage garden plants like antirrhinums, larkspur, cornflowers, lupins, foxgloves etc. It looked amazing at the time however I am seeing now that it has self seeded EVERYWHERE and now the whole patch is smothered with a carpet of tiny seedlings and I can't tell what is what and there are also a few weeds coming up amongst it all too. What on earth do i do? It is a huge job to sit and pick through them to leave evenly spaced plants and i don't want to waste them by digging it through to clear it, but I just feel like it is going to be a wild old mess. Please can anyone tell me what to do? Ps the area is about 15m by 4m and I have a bad back so can't bend down very easily!

I'd be inclined to do nothing (providing you haven't got any of the serious weeds) and wait until everything's a big enough size to identify. Then just pull up whatever you think is a weed or more importantly whatever you think doesn't look right. Remember a weed is just a flower in the wrong place, you should be pleased your efforts last year look like they're going to give you a good show this year too.

How gloriously wonderful!! Wait awhile, you should the be able to see what is flowers and what is weeds, though they may be flowers as well, just not ones you want - pull out what you don't want. Let some of the ones in what seems to be strange places do their thing, you often get incredible results of beauty like that - you can always get them out later if you don't like the effect. Maybe ask some local gardeners/friends if they'd like what you don't want?  If they know they day you are doing the thinning, maybe they could take the baby plants and grow them on?



Try to identify what's what....maybe in couple of weeks or so....and hoe between plants or pot some up. Take your time doesn't need to be done urgently or in one go. In future can you plant some less-inclined-to-seed perennials? Not sure lupins will seed that easily.....I expect someone will correct me on that. What about adding delphiniums, phlox, etc., which will occupy some of that space?
Gary Hobson

Are you confident that the ground was relatively free of weeds before you started. If not, there's a chance that a high proportion of this new growth could be just a mass of weeds.

Also, are you able to identify the plants from their leaves. If you're not sure, then when the little plants are big enough to have distinct leaves, post a close-up photo on here, and we might be able to tell you what the various plants are.


Clearing and cultivating the area will certainly have distusrbed dormant seeds, so you may have a bit of a job on your hands; however, as suggested above, you'll have to wait and see. But in the immortal words of  Corporal Jones, don't panic!

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