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Good weed or bad weed ID please

SkylarksSkylarks Posts: 379
edited May 2020 in Problem solving
My front garden is really overgrown with weeds, it gets like this every year 🙈. I’m hoping to pull up some of the grasses and any bad weeds this weekend. There are some pretty flowers on some of them so I don’t want to pull everything out. I’m going to try planting some cornflowers, forget me nots and foxgloves - they are the seeds I have at the moment. Can I just randomly sprinkle them on the ground?

Could someone tell me which are bad please? I’m keeping the Welsh poppies as the bees seem to like them. There’s also a thick green patch developing 2 and have no idea what’s there. I’d also like to keep 6 as that has some pretty pink/purple flowers. 

3 is something that is growing on the house next door which is currently empty. 




  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Posts: 11,391
    You have a lot of really common weeds there:
    1) is Geum urbanum (wood avens), seeds like mad. Bad in my book.
    2) is more of the same with dandelions growing through.  Something else coming up there with long thin serrated leaves but not sure what.
    3) is Centranthus ruber (Red valerian.)  Bad in my book because of it growing in cracks.
    4) is an Ash tree seedling.  Very bad (potentially a 100 ft tree) and needs removing or killing with brushwood killer.
    5) can't tell - need close-up.  Rub it and smell - may be thyme (a goodie.)
    6) Herb Robert (Geranium robertianum) - a pretty but pungeant wild flower which pulls-up easily if you don't like it.  Seeds like mad.

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • SkylarksSkylarks Posts: 379
    There’s also this growing all around my back garden. Any idea what it is please? Is it possible to collect the seeds and sow in the front? I can’t work out where the seeds as as I can’t see any at the moment. 

  • PalustrisPalustris Posts: 4,210
    Skylark, that is wild violet. Pretty but an awful seed weed.
  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Posts: 11,391
    Those are Viola riviniana (Dog violet) - see the photo of the seeds capsules here:

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • SkylarksSkylarks Posts: 379
    edited May 2020
    Thank you, I best start pulling stuff up and get the weed killer out. 

    5 doesn’t smell like thyme. Here’s a close up.

    Why are the wild violets bed please? Thanks for the link to the photo of the seeds Bob.

  • B3B3 Posts: 26,432
    Spurge. Its a weed. Let centranthus grow and see if you like it they come in white, pink or a sort of red. I like them particularly the reddish one.
    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 53,924
    You've also got willow herb. It's just to the right of the number 6 in your photo.
    Seeds like mad. 
    I wouldn't keep any of them if it was me, but others may disagree  ;)

    You can certainly sprinkle your seeds direct, but I'd get rid of the weeds first so that you're starting with a relatively clean slate. Your 'nicer' seeds won't stand a chance otherwise. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • SkylarksSkylarks Posts: 379
    Thank you all. I’m pulling a lot up and using weed killer on some which I can’t seem to get out by the roots. 
  • LynLyn Posts: 22,852
    I wouldn’t keep any of it either.
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • BijdezeeBijdezee Posts: 1,484
    I would clear it all and start again by sowing a few packets of wildflower or bee friendly seeds. 

    Maybe some herbs etc, as wildlife really like those, also lavender. 
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