Weed or veggie
May 20, 2015 5:49 PM   Subscribe

New gardener inherited a plot, asking for help to identify seedlings. Which weeds or vegetables are these? (album link inside)

I inherited a disorganized plot from someone and want to start by weeding it. But I can't tell which are weeds and which are vegetables. I think some of the planted vegetables include melon, radish, beets, green beans, and mint. But there might be more types.

I put up an imgur album with the ones I don't know circled (you can only see the circling when you click on the image to zoom in). Many of them are probably weeds, but could anyone ID whichever ones you can so I could be a bit more sure? I live in the northeast if that helps.


(For the last image, nothing is circled but I'd like to know what the red leafy ones are)

I've done quite a bit of research myself pouring through weed identification guides, and I'm pretty sure I've figured out the: purple deadnettle, lambsquarters, and ragweed. Other than that, I'm at a bit of a loss. Any help would be appreciated!
posted by tasty to Home & Garden (17 answers total)
I've got ideas on a few of them, but not much in the way of specifics.

#2 - some sort of squash
#3 - onion/garlic family (can probably ID this by smell)
#5 - carrot?
#6 - radish
#7 - I don't know what you circled, but right next to it is mint

Good luck!
posted by Gneisskate at 6:00 PM on May 20, 2015

#2 is possibly in the squash family.

#5 definitely appears to be a carrot.

#6 is absolutely something squashy or cucumber.

#7 is almost certainly vegetable and not weed. Maybe a very young squash seedling.

#9 looks like marigold.
posted by raspberrE at 6:01 PM on May 20, 2015

Picture 1 is purslane. Largely considered a weed, but totally edible and with a nice crunch (and tons of omega 3s). Even though you didn't mark it, I'm almost certain that's lamb's quarters in the upper left of the same picture (and at least one other photo). Also usually thought of as a weed and also edible and tasty. So even though you didn't plant these I recommend keeping them. They are not wildly invasive, but you probably want to keep the lamb's quarters from dropping seeds.

Speaking of, mint is in fact rather invasive. You should contain it in a pot or put a very deep barrier around it. The roots will spread and it will pop up in other places. Some kind of mint is at the top of image #7.

9 could be kale.
posted by O9scar at 6:01 PM on May 20, 2015

I agree with Gneisskate's assessment, except that #6 is definitely not radish. The seedlings have pretty distinctive heart-shaped leaves.
posted by raspberrE at 6:03 PM on May 20, 2015

#4, the bottom one is a tree. I don't know which kind, but probably not the kind you need in a garden bed.
posted by mgar at 6:03 PM on May 20, 2015

I'll take a shot. I think (numbered based on the URLs):

0) is purslane, sometimes a wild lettuce thing, sometimes a weed
1) squash of some type, maybe melon
2) chives, though I'm unclear why there aren't 10,000 more
3) not a clue
4) carrot or a bit of tickseed coreopsis. probably a carrot because if you have one tickseed, you have a thousand
5) cucumber
6) second younger cucumber
7) a shameless weed
8) marigold
9) not a clue but I'll go with chard or red orach just to have a guess
posted by A Terrible Llama at 6:04 PM on May 20, 2015

0 - purslane - weed but tasty and good
1 - some sort of squash
2 - chives probably
3 - weedy shrub
4 - let me know if you find out, I think we have the same thing, maybe carrots?
5 - squash of some kind
6 - too early to tell, maybe beans
7 - can't see it well enough to guess
8 - looks familiar but can't put my finger on it, a flower of some kind
9 - don't know (on preview, yeah, I'd second kale)
posted by Beti at 7:13 PM on May 20, 2015

9 might also be chard.
posted by Miko at 8:07 PM on May 20, 2015

#8 is cosmos, I think. #9 has me stumped too. Red amaranth? Doesn't seem quite right though.
posted by bluebelle at 8:13 PM on May 20, 2015

And the one on the right in #7 looks like spinach.
posted by bluebelle at 8:17 PM on May 20, 2015

#3 looks like an onion to me (partly because you'd want to give it space, unlike chives, which you'd plant all together)
#5 probably a carrot, but I couldn't get the photo large enough to tell for sure if it was that and not a California poppy (I don't know how much of the US they grow in)
posted by Margalo Epps at 9:30 PM on May 20, 2015

Response by poster: Thanks everyone. Looks like there is a consensus on half of them! For the other half, I'll keep them all there for now until they grow bigger. To explain the chives/onion one, there were a bunch more, but I had already pull most of them out thinking they were grass but stopped when they didn't seem to smell like grass.

The only one I'll remove is the one mgar says looks like a tree and that Beti thinks is a weedy shrub. If anyone knows more about http://i.imgur.com/QlNeQZE.jpg (picture 8 aka index 7) please let me know! I'll post an update later if anyone is curious, once they grow bigger and I can positively ID them.
posted by tasty at 9:43 PM on May 20, 2015

The 'tree' in number 4 looks like a sycamore seedling to me, but I'm in the UK, so I've no idea if you have them. Definitely something you want to pull out if it is....
posted by Helga-woo at 1:05 AM on May 21, 2015 [1 favorite]

I think #5 could be fennel.
posted by raisingsand at 12:19 PM on May 21, 2015

fennel's a good guess. That bronze (non-bulb) fennel is incredibly invasive.
posted by Miko at 12:42 PM on May 21, 2015

1 - Purslane. Omega 3s.

2 - Mallow, or Geranium. Mallow is edible but not very tasty.

3 - Chive?

4 - Dunno.

5 - California Poppy?

6 - Some kind of squash or melon

7 - Sunflower

8 - Dunno

9 - Cosmos

10 - Amaranth, edible.
posted by Puddle Jumper at 8:26 PM on May 22, 2015

Response by poster: Hi folks, you guys were really good at this!

I've got a much better idea of these seedlings now, and asked some local experts. So wanted to post an update what I'm fairly sure they were.

1) Purslane, as you guessed. I am leaving a couple around to try and taste later, though have not been brave enough yet.

2) Mallow. I pulled these out.

3) A very young scallion (identified by the root which you couldn't see).

4) For the bottom one, I'm not totally sure, but I pulled it. For the top one I'm still not sure but have more photos: http://i.imgur.com/XohqWE4.jpg

5) Dill or fennel, not sure how to tell the difference. Some smell like dill, some like fennel. There's a ton of these now (bigger too), so I might have a better idea later.

6) Still not sure but now it's become a giant. It's the one in the middle: http://i.imgur.com/rhVM70H.jpg

7) The one on the right become a tomatillo! The one on the left was some kind of grass weed that I pulled.

8) Tomato seedling

9) Amaranth, which I ate some of.

Thanks everyone. I learned a ton about seedlings in my plot from you guys, (and also some seedlings not in my garden after googling your suggestions ).
posted by tasty at 1:46 PM on May 31, 2015

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