Have you ever thought of the jungle your yard would be if everything you ever planted was still alive and growing? Most of us would need a machete to cut our way through it.
But what about all those little seedlings coming up in our flower beds that we pluck out unknowingly when weeding, simply because we are not knowledgeable of their appearance? One day a friend showed me the half-inch-tall larkspur and poppies in her garden. Wow! I would probably have pulled them out right along with the chickweed and dandelions. I then became very observant of just what I was getting rid of.
Learn to recognize periwinkles by the whitish stripe down the center of a leaf that is only 1/4 inch long. And those little red leaves belong to the giant cockscomb you admired last summer. The tiny hair-like seedlings will someday be flowering vines covered with the red stars of the Cypress Vine. Don’t forget those wonderful moonflowers (Datura) from last year: the pointy gray leaves coming up by the hundreds will someday produce night flowers for the mammoth moth,
and grace your gardens with their wonderful fragrance. And don’t overlook perennial petunias and marigolds.
Some of my favorite gardens are the products of reseeding and a knowledge of seedlings. So when you pluck your “weedlings” for your compost pile, transplant your little seedlings around the garden and share leftovers with your friends.
Darla Wogaman, former Smith County Master Gardener
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service