Weeds in seed pots

Jane McGary janemcgary@earthlink.net
Mon, 16 Nov 2015 16:25:28 PST

On 11/16/2015 9:33 AM, Michael Mace wrote:
> PS: The rainy season arrived here two weekends ago. For those of you 
> who don't live in a Mediterranean climate, this is our equivalent of 
> spring -- you can almost feel the land starting to wake up after the 
> long summer drought. Amaryllid seeds are ripening, the hills start to 
> turn green, and I rush through the last bits of bulb planting that I 
> didn't finish in the dry season. Little green sprouts are starting to 
> appear in many pots. Two thirds are weeds, one third are bulbs. But 
> which are which? When in doubt, I leave them -- but that means more 
> weeds later, and I'll never have the time to pull them all. So I'll 
> call them "indicator plants," and promise myself that next summer I'll 
> change out the potting mix. PPS: It turns out that putting window 
> screening around a raised bed doesn't keep out all weed seeds. Darn.

The nice thing about growing bulbs from seed is that most of them are 
monocots, so any dicot that comes up is a weed. I leave most of those 
until they make a pair of true leaves, which are easier to get hold of 
and pull. If you're growing dicots, the true leaves generally betray the 
identity of the weeds better than the cotyledons would. The only monocot 
weeds likely to come up in seed pots are grasses, and they're pretty 
easy to distinguish from the bulbs because they quickly develop a second 
leaf; also they have a different surface texture, if you have sensitive 

It's awful how weed seeds blow around. I keep my seed pots in a 
three-sided, glass-roofed shed, and still cress and Epilobium seeds blow 
into them.

Jane McGary
Portland, Oregon, USA

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