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Hi Everyone, This is my first post, So I hope I am doing it right.. Please could someone help my wife & I with this greenery.. Is it a plant or a weed?.. and what's it's name?.. We bought half a tonne of top soil from our local supplier / Builder's yard to put put around the outside edge of our lawn in the borders for our tortoises to eat the plants that we were to plant for them. I sieved the entire top soil and placed it in the borders, But within days this green weed or plant appeared. It seems to grow quick and there's loads of them. If I knew it's name, Then I will find out if these are ok for my tortoise's too eat.. If so, I may leave them in the borders.. Please find attached photo.. Thanks in Advance



Hi again, I forgot to mention, That these appeared within days.. and I haven't planted anything into the top soil yet. So this is whatever came hidden in the top soil when we got it. Cheers


Looks like a tree seedling but I can't ID which one.

Thank you BobTheGardener I appreciate your help. I have attached 2 more photo's to show how many there are and that apart from these things, There is nothing in the newly sieved top soil.. Thanks for all help given.



Hi again, My wife pulled a name out of the hat.. & thinks that it could be a  sycamore seedling, as they look similar..  But not quite... the shaped leaves are different.





Its a weed I am always pulling them up.  Generally, if I didn't plant it, it's a weed.  I think you should follow this rule with your new topsoil!


Good spot addict - would also explain the sheer number of them in the later photos.


Looks a bit like a Wood Anemone.  Let us see how it developes.

Shrinking Violet

When we bought in a lot of topsoil (cost a lot of money from Travis & Perkins) we had a lot of weeds, just like your photo.  I kept pulling them out and gradually got on top of the problem, but it was a real nuisance.  Incidentally, the topsoil was pretty poor in terms of nutrients, and after one season it needed a lot of extra compost etc.  Given the cost, I was rather disappointed in the quality. 

Thank you Everyone, For all of your valued help. I will have a look at Wood Anemone as Welshonion says it could be, & also Cow parsley as Addict suggests.. I was more worried just in case it may have been unsuitable for my 3 Tortoise's. If I find out that they are unsuitable for them, Then I will be busy taking all the top soil out and put it bit by bit in Oven or microwave to sterilize the  I Think Addict may be right by saying " Cow parsley "... looks very much like my photo's.. If anyone has a different suggestion, Then Please leave a post.Thanks everyone..


The little Icelandic poppies look quite like that when they first emerge adn they seed like mad so that's a possibility too Kevin.

Thank you Fairygirl, Yes they do look similar don't they. I will wait a couple of weeks and upload a photo again, By then they should have matured into a more easily indentifiable weed or plant?..Thank you everyone for your help


If you have a large amount of top-soil, you are going to be very busy microwaving it bowl by bowlful.  Can you not hoe it very regularly until all the weeds have germinated?

Has any garden near by got any trees? or large plants that could of self seeded?


There are loads of trees and large plants within 50 feet of my 8 foot back garden fence, The only thing I find is , that all the weeds are the same in appearence. I haven't found anything within that radius that looks like my photos.. I still go with the suggestion of Cow Parsley by addict. But, The closest that is to me is approx 1 mile away. I do think that it came with the top soil I bought, As the builders yard / supplier told me that it hadn't been sterilized and was screened as dug.. I was only told this after cutting my thumb open on a broken bottle neck  while I sieved it & then brought my thumb to their attention. So I think as I said before, They came with the soil. Welshonion, I agree.. I would be busy. I will probably take the soil out section by section and get a finer sieve to re-sieve it.. But only after all the seeds have grown enough.. not to fall through the finer All good fun. I need to stop it though because as far as cow parsley goes.. most people say it's toxic for tortoises. 

I have checked the remaining untouched top soil that I have in storage in a wheelie bin that I haven't even sieved yet, And it has weeds of the same type growing in it, Even with the wheelie bin lid being closed. The top soil in my garden borders that contain loads of the weed /plant won't go to waste. I will take it back out bit by bit and sterilize it as I mentioned above earlier, But I will mix it 50% topsoil to 50% Childrens Play sand to use it as substrate for my tortoise's in their tortoise table ( Not Vivarium as not Suitable for tortoises). Then once their substrate requires changing, I will then return it to a different part of my garden. A good way of recycling it. I will upload a photo shortly to see if the weed / plant can be identified again once it has grown larger. Thanks again


I think welshonion's suggestion is probably the quickest and easiest method of solving the problem Kevin. It's very frustrating when this happens but you'll get round it somehow!

Yes Fairygirl, I could try Welshonion's suggestion as a first method. My wife & I will have to take at least some of the soil back out of the border / Tortoise run due to having coleus planted along a section of it. The last time we planted Coleus the slugs and snails thought it was their feeding time.. So We will removed a section of the border / Tortoise run top soil and replace it with a 15-20mm rough gravel to place around the Coleus, As I believe Slugs and Snails don't like rough / pointy objects. I can't use slug pellets, Due to my Tortoises. I wonder if this slug problem can be commented on.. My wife & I used to have a very small section of soil a few years back (before my Tortoise's) in which we planted vegetable's.. We surrounded the entire outside edge of this plot with Slug pellets... But they still ate the plants and were found in the plot... do slugs pole vault or are they ninja'


LOL would be great to watch if they could  No unfortunately the little grey slugs that do the real damage to plants (not the big ones that everyone thinks) live in the soil and tunnel through.