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Hi, I really know nothing about gardening, but have decided to have a first go at planting various seeds and bulbs. As a first attempt, I chose them purely on height and colour, so I'm not even sure what I've planted (I threw away the packaging after I planted them).

Anyway, various things have started sprouting all over the soil since the warm weather arrived, though I'm sure a lot of it is weeds. Can anyone confirm that these five photos are of a weed, and identify it if possible? If so, I'll pull them all up tomorrow, unless I shouldn't?

It would be nice if someone's website had a gallery of common UK garden weeds in their early stages of sprouting so that newbies like me can identify them more easily, especially when we don't know any names or even if an early shoot is a weed or a flower. Unless it has course nettle-like leaves, I'm never sure what it is until it's fully grown.

I've noticed a few other very small sproutings which I'm sure are flowers from seeds, and a couple of sprouting bulbs, so hopefully some of what I planted will end up flowering in a few months... depending on how many the cats and foxes destroy.


 Edit: For some reason, the link I try adding doesn't appear in the message. Here's one of the photos of the (probable) weed.


That is too young to tell. It hasn't even got it's true leaves yet. Most seedlings start like that, could be one of your seeds!


Some seed leaves are quite distinctive but we'd need to see them from the top which is how you see them when you're weeding

hollie hock

Thanks for that link Busy-Lizzie, really helpful



Indeed yes, some of the old favourites there, including my main offender, enchanter's nightshade


Thanks for the replies! As I can't link to a page with the other four images, I'll have to insert them here:

 I know I was taking a risk when I plucked it, but I took it from a cluster of such sproutings, so if I've lost a flower then hopefully it won't show too much.


Thanks for that link, Busy-Lizzie! I'll try to compare what's growing out the back with what's on that page.

I wonder if my photos are of 'fat hen', as shown about half way down that link? There are more leaves per sprout on those photos, but my ones have only just appeared above the soil.

Until you become more expert at identifing what they are... keep them in an area which you have marked out, so even if you dont know the names, at least they should out number the WEEDS

Non the wiser after the latest photos, seedlings too young, no true leaves yet.


my guess, as that is all you can do is guess with a seedling that size is that it's some kind of tree seedling. Due to the stirdyness of the stem/root/leaves. But yes you need to wait for the second set of leaves before you really have a clue. 

Hi There!


I agree its too early to yet yet. If you have others growing leave a few to grow so it will be easier to identify.


Over at Scotts Lawn Service we have a great weed identification tool called the Lawnopedia with pictures and other identifying factors as well. In addition if its a harmful weed or a weed you just dont like it also gives useful control methods.

Message me if you have any other questions


-Scotts Lawn Service Representative



Tip for the future Tomsk,always put a label in whatever you plant with the name,and I also find it useful to  put the date of planting.

As already said too early to make an identification from your photos,perhaps you can repost when the true leaves appear.


To update this thread, those shoots are now 2-3 feet tall and I think they're weeds? They have small purple flowers but they're mainly green and not the colourful flowers I was hoping for. They also seem to have smothered the bulbs and seeds I planted for some colour in my garden. And there' milldew on these weeds too, which may be why a couple of the sprouted bulbs in the middle of them have gone brown before growing tall, let alone flowering. I sprayed them all a couple of times with heavily diluted bicarbonate of soda and washing up liquid, though the bulbs have still gone brown.


 Anyone know what kind of weeds these are? There seems little point in pulling them up now, as it's too late for anything else to grow properly. But if I see the same shoots next year I'm pulling them straight up!


They are weeds, I'm just having a mental blank as to name, I know them well! Do pull them up or they will set seed everywhere.


It may not be a native plant at all. Do you throw seed out for the birds? I have had some really odd plants come up that way.

It looks like a willowherb but I could not say which one, there are dozens of species. Perhaps it is a small-flowered willowherb.


definitely a willow hwerb, I've got that one (and most of the others)