If you’re a new raising your own food and have just sown vegetable seeds in your garden soil, it’s important that you learn how to identify seedlings! Weeds will inevitably sprout with the vegetables and in order to get a maximum harvest, the invaders should be pulled.
When you are weeding, you don’t want to pull the wrong plants! Here, you’ll find photos that will help you learn how to identify seedlings in your garden.
But before we start into all that, let’s cover a few tips that will also help you recognize your vegetables!
Plant in Straight, Definite Rows
By planting your seeds in straight rows, they will be easy to distinguish from the sprouting weeds that grow in a scattered fashion.
Practice Mulching Methods
Mulching (covering unused soil surface with organic matter) will also help define your vegetable seeds and smother out other weeds that may confuse you. Should you be interested in this technique, you can read up on How to Mulch Your Garden with Grass Clippings.
Do Your Research
If planting for the first time or growing a new vegetable, take time to look up the specifics on color, size and shape of the sprouted seedling! Reading this post is a great place to begin!
A Few Notes About Vegetable Families
When seedlings within the same family first germinate, they will be similar in appearance. Beets and chard are almost twins, as are sprouting shallots and onion sets (or onion bulbs). Squashes, zucchini and pumpkins are so undistinguished from one another that only one set of photos is necessary to identify all three!
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. For the sake of simplicity, cabbage and kale are the only ones provided in the photo identification below!
How to Identify Seedlings in the Directly Sown Vegetable Garden
Let’s start identifying some seedlings! Always remember that colors may vary within types (eg. red vs green cabbage). When in doubt, go by shape and not color!
Learning how to identify seedlings in the directly sown vegetable garden is an important part of every gardener’s journey. I hope this post has helped you gain more confidence. Let’s get planting!