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What is this weed?

LovelavenderLovelavender Posts: 20
edited 15 May in Problem solving
hi all
this weed is allllll over my garden. EVERYWHERE! What is it and what’s the best way to get rid of it?


  • The hopeful herpetologistThe hopeful herpetologist West YorksPosts: 382
    May be too early to get a sense of what they will become, but do you have lots of squirrels visit your garden? If so, these may be seeds that your squirrels have buried. They don’t remind me of any invasive species I’m aware of. 
  • LovelavenderLovelavender Posts: 20
    Thanks. Not really no. I’ve never seen a weed so prolific, the whole garden is covered with it. Even in the containers 🧐 
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 45,897
    Do you use homemade compost as a mulch and in the containers?
    If you stop taking chances, you'll stay where you sit. You won't live any longer, but it'll feel like it.” 
  • josusa47josusa47 Posts: 1,276

    Possibly annual mercury.  The two bottom leaves are a clue, they are different from all the others, which shows these plants are seedlings, not something with big tenacious roots that take for ever to dig out.  If the ground they're in is loose enough to use a hoe, that's the easiest way to shift them.  You needn't even pick them up, once their roots are dislodged from the soil, they will die off, especially if this dry weather continues.  Then it gets wet they will rot into the ground, returning the nutrients they've taken out.  

    If the ground is too solid to use a hoe, it will be harder work because you'll just have to hand weed.  Again, you can leave them where they are, or put them in the compost bin if you have one.  (don't compost them later in the year because they'll have set seed.)  Most of them will sprout over the next few weeks, so if you clear them a couple of times a week, they will stop appearing and you'll have got rid of them for this year.  But there will still be seeds in the soil, so you may have to repeat the process next year, and the next ....

    I should say that this treatment applies to annual weeds in general so if it's not mercury, carry on anyway!

  • AsarumAsarum Posts: 166
    Any chance they are nijer seedlings from your bird feeders?
    East Anglia
  • LovelavenderLovelavender Posts: 20
    🤣🤣🤣 that’s it! It’s annual mercury - just looked up images and that’s exactly it. Thank you so much @josusa47 I’ve heen trying to figure it out for ages

    @Dovefromabove in some containers yes - but in others I’ve used fresh compost bought from the shop - the stuff is literally all over the place
  • josusa47josusa47 Posts: 1,276
    edited 15 May
    Glad to help. I once ate some annual mercury in a sandwich by mistake, and it was really tasty.  20 minutes later, I started to feel queasy, and the sandwich and I parted company!  I'm happy to say I suffered no further harm.
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