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New to this!

Hi all, would really appreciate your opinion.  I am new to gardening. I sowed sweet peppers and cucumber seedlings.  The photos show 4 different types of growing things! None that look like sweet peppers or cucumber baby plants that I have seen in the garden centre. What am I growing? Weeds? Plants? Veg? Fruit?...


  • pansyfacepansyface Posts: 21,897
    edited April 2019
    1. Hello. Welcome to the forum.
    Could I ask where you bought the seeds and if they came from a reputable company?

    The first looks like a plant called fat hen. As the name suggests, delicious for hens. Edible, I believe, for humans.

    The second looks like chick weed. Again, delicious for hens and possibly edible for humans, I don’t know.

    The third I don’t recognise, maybe a dandelion.

    Fourth, somebody else will be able to help there.
    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
    If you live in Derbyshire, as I do.
  • JennyJJennyJ Posts: 8,816
    edited April 2019
    The last one looks like shepherd's purse or maybe sow-thistle, but there are lots of rosette-type weeds with similar leaves. I agree with Pansyface on the first two. The third one I don't know but it isn't a pepper or a cucumber.
    What kind of compost did you use, and had the open bag been left outside at all, where weed seeds could have got into it? And where are you growing them? I'm thinking weed seeds could have got in to the compost and maybe it hasn't been warm enough for the peppers and cukes to germinate. 
    The other possibility is duff seeds from an unscrupulous seller.  Given that you have something different in each pot, this is looking likely, unfortunately.  Do you have any seeds left, or can you remember what they looked like?  Cucumber seeds are quite big, flat and pointy-oval-shaped, pepper seeds are smaller (like the seeds in peppers that you buy).
    Doncaster, South Yorkshire. Soil type: sandy, well-drained
  • LynLyn Posts: 21,886
    Definitely no peppers there, they’re all weeds, did the seeds come from China by any chance? 
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 11,421
    Hello @lesleybaxter24,  the general consensus seems to be they are not what you were told, and l'm afraid l have to agree. Did you get them from a well known auction site by any chance? 
  • Well - I hope I wouldn't be speaking out of turn if I say it was Frank Innes seedling compost, and the seeds were Suttons. I know they are good brands. I did them in the conservatory and I pricked out at just about 3 weeks from the seedling compost. I suspect I have dug out the weeds and not let the seeds have time to germinate and grow! Embarrassing! Might go and get some plants from the garden centre and pretend I grew them - and then some chickens... Thank you all for your advice. I am grateful for your time. You will be pleased to know that the beetroot, peas and onions look like they should!
  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 11,421
    If you still have the packets, it may be worth contacting Suttons. Give them the code and expiry date from the packet, and copies of the photos and see what they say.
  • Thank you - i might do that - I do still have the packets :-)
  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 11,421
    Can't do any harm  :)
  • pansyfacepansyface Posts: 21,897
    I think it’s the compost that is to blame.

    Sounds like, instead of the dependable compost made by John Innes, you bought some off his disreputable brother Frank.

    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
    If you live in Derbyshire, as I do.
  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Posts: 11,391
    The last photo is nipplewort (Lapsana communis) I think.  Agree that all of these common weed seeds likely came in the compost.  John Innes numbers are just mixing formulae and composts made with that name attached are produced by lots of different suppliers.  I've tried many types over the years but now tend to use Westland products which all seem to be free of any weed seeds (and with no big lumps, plastic, glass or other rubbish) and use their "multi-purpose with added JI" for both seeds and pots.
    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
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