Another noob gardening question
July 8, 2021 5:51 PM   Subscribe

Last month I planted a few herb seeds in my raised bed out in my backyard. None of them really took, which ok, fine, no big deal. But the strange thing is, not a single weed grew in that patch of soil either, despite plentiful weeds growing elsewhere in the bed. I did put down a new bag of soil in that area (this one specifically), could that be the reason nothing is growing there? This is more of a curiosity question than a gardening one, btw.
posted by cozenedindigo to Home & Garden (5 answers total)
The bag of soil was likely weed-seed-free. Given time, seeds will be blown in by the wind or dropped by birds and critters and will grow in that area.
posted by vers at 5:56 PM on July 8, 2021 [8 favorites]

It could be that the bag of soil was contaminated with herbicides or chemicals that prevent seed germination.
posted by Lycaste at 6:46 PM on July 8, 2021 [1 favorite]

Vers is probably right!

One other thing to mention is that seeds (weed or otherwise) need to be moist to germinate, and raised bed mix is often designed for good drainage, meaning it dries out very quickly especially in the summer sun. This can make it hard to get good germination rates this time of year, and will also affect germination of weed seeds.
posted by goingonit at 7:46 PM on July 8, 2021 [1 favorite]

Yeah, regular dirt has all kinds of dormant seeds in it - manufactured soil doesn't by design. So it will take longer for weeds to get established there (after which they'll thrive like any other plant).

FWIW, I have the best luck starting most herbs in small containers that I can keep moist and then transplanting them to a more permanent home once they're established.
posted by aspersioncast at 9:01 AM on July 9, 2021 [2 favorites]

I think the herbs not taking and the weeds not growing are two unrelated events. Herbs are really delicate and I've found it's best to start them in pots indoors. If only to prevent critters from coming along and eating the shoots before they've even had a chance to be witnessed by you!

And the weeds will take a bit longer than you'd expect to get going. That soil is so new and, ahem, unsoiled, that it'll be a while yet before the wind, water and insects start carrying weed seeds into it. Be patient, they'll grow. :P
posted by iamkimiam at 3:55 PM on July 11, 2021

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