If you’re a new gardener and have just sown seeds directly into your garden soil, you should know the difference between the weeds and seedlings. Pulling young vegetable sprouts along with the weeds is counterproductive and frustrating!
Methods to Help You Identify Your Seedlings
Plant in straight, definite rows.
Vegetables are easy to identify when a straight line of tender greens appear! This isn’t nature’s way. Young weeds will appear in a helter-skelter manner.
Practice Mulching Methods
To mulch the soil simply means that you give it a “cover,” leaving exposed soil where seedlings ought to grow. This not only defines your rows, but also smothers out the extra weeds that may confuse you (see How to Mulch Your Garden with Grass Clippings).
Do Your Research
If planting for the first time or adding a new vegetable you’ve never before grown, take time to look up the color, size and shape of the sprouted seedling.
Seedlings from within same families often have a similar look when they first germinate. Beets and chard are almost twins, as are sprouting shallots and onion sets (bulbs). Squashes, zucchini and pumpkins are so undistinguished from one another that only one set of photos was necessary to identify all three (see Squash).
Brassica members (cabbage, kale, radish, rutabaga, turnip), though they vary in color according to variety, look incredibly alike. All five make their first appearance with two heart-shaped leaves opposite one another. Russian kale along with red and green cabbage are the only ones included in this photo tutorial.
Lets identify some seedlings!