What seedlings do you hate to yank?

Ruth_MI(z5MI)May 17, 2014

For me, it's hellebore seedlings. I love hellebores and think those little seedlings are beautiful. I let them grow when I can, and transplant what I can use, but always end up having to pull some which seems like such a waste.

This year I have a bumper seedling crop and the hellebore seedlings are everywhere, including being intermingled with everything from sedges to hostas. They're deep rooted little buggers, so just a little more effort than some seedlings to get rid of too.

Then there are the maple seedlings...a.k.a. the SE Michigan 2014 plague. I love to get rid of those, but it's not fun. Hundreds. Everywhere. To the compost!

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seagreen_turtle(Z5 MI)

Yes, maple because they don't want to come up. The roots are so strong. Dandelions of course because the roots break apart and make many more if you don't get them cleanly. Ditto for purslane.

On the other hand, love to pull up lambs quarters and deadly nightshade - so easy to uproot.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2014 at 10:34PM
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jennypat Zone 3b NW MN(Zone 3b NW MN)

I have never had to deal with Hellebore seedlings, wish I did! But mine don't seem to reseed.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2014 at 10:50PM
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sara82lee(8a - SE Va)

I have Japanese maple seedlings that come up every spring. . . I always say I'll let one grow and see what happens, but they never seem to pick the right spot and it almost hurts to pull them all up. I never tried to transplant one to a pot or a better spot. I'm kind of feeling the inspiration to try that now!

    Bookmark   May 17, 2014 at 11:10PM
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I don't like to yank phlox divaricata, corydalis lutea, geranium phaeum, hellebores, wood poppy, but I DO because they reseed in the wrong places. Also some start looking bad in hot weather.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2014 at 8:13AM
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mxk3(Zone 6 SE MI)

What do you mean hundreds? Try THOUSANDS of maple seedlings this year! (no, I am not exaggerating - it's freakin' unbelievable!)

I hate pulling lawn grass out of the beds. Ugh! The seedlings aren't too hard to pull, but the runners - UGH! Those roots are so dense and strong. Clover can be hard to get out too if the soil is dry.

This is prime weeding season - all that rain is making it so much easier to pull the plants cleanly, they come right up (well, most of them - have broken a few dandelions, but even the majority of those have come up cleanly and easily).

I spent about 8 hours out there yesterday weeding and lightly trimming and mulching. 8 hours! And I'm only about 1/2 done in the back. What a mess. It's embarrassing. Much of it my fault -- I didn't mulch after the patio install, didn't have time after I re-planted the area. Now I am paying the price. UGH!

    Bookmark   May 18, 2014 at 8:39AM
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docmom_gw Zone 5 MI(5)

I refuse to be embarrassed about my yard, ever. No one knows what else is going on in my life, and I could(and might) install a completely native yard and leave it completely to it's own devices. My neighbors should be happy I pay any attention at all. Of course I do because it gives me more pleasure than anything else in the world. But, last fall, my riding mower quit mid oak leaf mulch. The next day it snowed early and never stopped. This spring it's been rainy or so windy that the leaves would have all blown into their yards if I tried to touch them. So, there they still sit, enriching the soil and providing haven for cocoons and nesting creatures. I did clear a huge portion of them last weekend and it's on my list of things to do once I get the planting done. But, getting new roots established before the heat sets in is higher on my priority list than clearing the leaves. There will be less wind in June.


    Bookmark   May 18, 2014 at 8:58AM
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katob Z6ish, NE Pa

I hate pulling hellebores and sunflowers. The hellebores because I feel like every one could possibly be that next great bloomer, and sunflowers because the bees and birds love them and they're so trouble free.... But they're so big and bright, so they really don't fit in with my mowed and edged suburban neighborhood :)
Oh yeah, foxgloves and forget me nots too.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2014 at 10:16AM
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Try to avoid seeders (and runners) in mixed perennial beds and maintaining close plantings certainly contributes to shading out seedlings, at least after spring.

Still find the Japanese primula 'Miller's crimson' gently seeds in our garden.

Find it such a pretty plant, especially in clumps, that I'd hate to eliminate any of it. So far, have had the room to just move the young plants around the garden.

Picture (June 7, 2013):

    Bookmark   May 18, 2014 at 12:34PM
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paul_(z5 MI)

I don't mind dandelions at all. Never have understood the social mindset against them. But then too, I don't buy into the "immaculate golf course style lawn" mentality either.

Grass is a frickin WEED. Like Mxk, I find it to be a royal pain in the dupa pulling it out of beds and trying to keep it out.

Silver maple seedlings are annoying because of their sheer volume, but never found them to be that difficult to remove.

My number one "hate" is wood sorrel. That crap gets EVERYWHERE and can rejuvenate from small pieces that break off when trying to pull plants up. I will admit the exploding seed pods are interesting from a biology standpoint, but a nightmare from a gardening one.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2014 at 12:54PM
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aachenelf z5 Mpls

There's really no unwanted seedling I hate yanking. But then again, I'm not terribly fond of children.


    Bookmark   May 18, 2014 at 2:48PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Silver Maple seedlings exploded this year. I can't remember the last time we had this many. Five silver Maple trees within 10ft of my lot line and another two regular Maples.

I will pull them out wherever I am working, but I don't go after them seriously until the rest of the spring work is done. We are behind this year and I don't know when that will be. They'll probably be about 4ft tall by the time I get to them. [g] I have them coming up in a bed of vinca and I will just run over the whole area with the mower set on high and that will be that.

I make sure I look over the base of every shrub, because that is where they really love to hide and the next thing you know you have a new sapling coming up in the middle of a shrub.

Poison Ivy is the thing I dread getting out of the yard. The long sleeves, the gloves, the plastic bags and the intense focus to watch what you're doing. DH takes that job.

Agree about the dandelions and the grass with the long runner roots, witch grass?

    Bookmark   May 18, 2014 at 4:55PM
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I confess there aren't many. I mulch heavily over recycled corrugated cardboard so generally speaking the only things that defy it are invasives and weeds. I do yank dandelions, pour vinegar on violets, creeping Charlie, evening primrose and a few other aggressive weeds. The only seedlings I've noticed here and there are rudbeckia and columbine so I normally let them grow wherever they sprout.

My cardboard & mulch approach to weed suppression effectively prevents hellebore seedlings which I would welcome. I just try to win the battles I can and ignore (or else am in denial of) the ones I can't.

I give thanks daily there were huge oaks growing here before I moved in. There are two maples down at the back that aren't doing well and I ignore them--any seedlings get mowed along with the lawn.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2014 at 7:14PM
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I'm with you, Martha. I'm sure my neighbors cringe at my front yard right now - full of weeds (so is the back but they can't see that) but frankly, with all the rain we've had the last few weeks and 50+ hour work week I haven't had a chance to do any real weeding. It also is in desperate need of new landscaping - I ripped out a bunch of things when I moved in but never got around to putting new things in (only been two years). I focus my energy and money on the backyard - sorry, all. One day.

Anyway, back on subject, I can't stand pulling up violas. They are such a pain and they have several secret rhizomes that, if you don't get, they come back in full force, or fuller. UGH!

    Bookmark   May 18, 2014 at 10:04PM
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Paul, I hear you on the "golf course" thing. I usually settle for just cutting the flowers of dandelions before they seed on the lawn. As for keeping them from borders and flower beds, I just do the best I can. At least when they come up through rocks, they're weak and pretty easy to whack back.

The worst plant to dig up here is an old crawling rose called Rosa Mundi that came with the house. It's actually very beautiful in flower, but the shoots go everywhere. Then I have to try and get them out without disturbing the perennials and bulbs. It's a real pain.

Runner up: Walnut seedlings. Those end up everywhere in my yard thanks to the squirrels. If you don't get them out soon enough, you're SOL as it practically takes dynamite to get the saplings loose once they get going. :/

Everyone seems to complain about Violets, but I never mind digging those up, as I can always find somebody that wants to take the plants off my hands. I'm lugging another 5-6 pots to work later today for a co-worker, in fact.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2014 at 11:42AM
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Violets are hard as the devil to get up. I don't mind them in the grass, though - they're so pretty when they bloom. But, if they're in the grass they'll eventually be in the ground cover in your beds, too. Oh well!

I had one very horrible year of oak seedlings. We had a bumper crop of acorns that year. I had meant to get them from beneath the tree after they had fallen, because we were trying to get a new bed established there. Before I had a chance to remove them, my husband mulched over the top of them. Oops. I had a feeling that wasn't ideal, but I had no idea how bad it would be. All summer long, every single weekend, I spent a couple of hours pulling oak seedlings out of my newly planted bed. I thought it would never end!

    Bookmark   May 20, 2014 at 5:16PM
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Just about any plant I went to a lot of trouble to get would fall into the category of hating to yank a baby, I often take the trouble to transplant or even put it in a pot to save---just in case--or trade it with someone. You won't believe this but one year I decided I had to add native grasses because it was the missing element. I was online constantly looking at varieties. When you want it right NOW, this minute, its hard to be patient with seeds and acquiring starts. To this day, I hate to yank a grass and will study them to see what kind it is before pulling & often will take the care to move them to another spot (mine is a prairie garden which takes up the whole property so there is always a spot).

Pecan trees are the toughest because the root is always about 10" long by the time they sprout & I end up with a bucket full of 'rat tails'. You need a shovel, not a yank. Squirrels plant them all over the yard. Hackberry seedlings are the most prolific but easy to pull. Tree seeds drive me crazy in general because they come from the neighbors yards along with stealing my access to sun.

This post was edited by TexasRanger10 on Wed, May 21, 14 at 5:11

    Bookmark   May 21, 2014 at 12:28AM
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diggerdee zone 6 CT

Well, there are different things for different reasons.

Any weed that I have to spend time to remove is something I hate yanking. :) I detest sheep sorrel most of all, but garlic mustard, bittersweet, that wild raspberry thing that always trips you and then pricks your hands when you try to unwrap your ankle from it, and my newest nemesis, the newly-rampant poison ivy, are all a close second.

Then there are those I hate to yank because they are just lovely annuals in the wrong spot. For instance, I hav a bunch of larkspur seedlings coming up where they are really inconvenient. These I especially hate to remove because I have such a hard time growing these from seed, so I hate to yank the reseeders. I've tried transplanting them but that never seems to work.

I've got the most beautiful purple columbine that has been coming back for years now - can't even really call it a seedling anymore - but it grows between the cracks in the patio. Every year I say I am going to remove it and try to transplant it, and every year I don't because I'm afraid of killing it, and it really is my favorite of all the columbines I have.


    Bookmark   May 21, 2014 at 9:26AM
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diggerdee, since I changed my landscape to a native wild-scape of sorts, I like it when something comes up in a crack like that now. I even intentionally put seeds in little crevices. It works with this kind of garden. You have me dying to know what kind of columbine that is. I just got some seeds, as of now I don't grow it but will plant these in fall. Somehow I get the sense we are too hot for them but maybe not. Seeing photos of gardens further north just now being posted showing early spring flowers has shocked me into the realization of how drastic climate zones can be. We are fully into summer mode now, a full two months ahead of ya'll, have gotten up to 90's & 100 degrees a couple times. Last night it was still 80 degrees at 10pm. Columbines would bloom early before the onslaught but I wonder if the plants would survive July & August. I have come to the conclusion that our spring is similar to a zone 5 summer.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2014 at 3:03PM
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jayco(5b NY)

I took the title of the thread to mean, what seedlings do you hate to yank up because they're nice plants -- vs what weeds are a pain to yank.

In the former category two words: plant swaps! I pretty much pot up any decent-sized seedlings of anything good, since I usually go to a few swaps each year and there's always somebody who wants them. I actually get a little thrill out of now -- after years of gardening -- being finally able to recognize most "good" seedlings for what they are, and not just pulling them thinking they're weeds. Progress!

In the latter category nothing wins out over the repellent poison ivy. Like Prairiemoon I dread the entire process, and I especially hate it when, after I've yanked it for half a day, I still am seeing it two weeks later in spots I thought I cleared! It's an on-going battle.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2014 at 7:07PM
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diggerdee zone 6 CT

Texas, your little plant in the crack is absolutely charming! Unfortunately, my columbine gets to be about 2 to 3 feet tall, and is in the middle of my patio! Actually, this year I noticed the roots are finally starting to move the pavers, so I guess it really is time to move it.

I searched back for a photo of it, *knowing*, jus tknowing, that I have one that shows it growing out of the patio, but I just can't find it. I did, however, find a photo of the blooms, and luckily, it was labeled. It is a Woodside variegated columbine (although I doubt that a bit since it is NOT variegated...?) I think perhaps I either mislabeled the photo or didn't put enough info. Anyway, here is a photo of the blooms. I'm also going to post another photo of it with some deutzia that was growing in a pot on the patio next to it. The only reason for the second photo is that I loved the combination, lol!


    Bookmark   May 21, 2014 at 10:08PM
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diggerdee zone 6 CT

And here is the photo with the deutizia Pink Minor

    Bookmark   May 21, 2014 at 10:10PM
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shpnquen(z5, IN)

I did notice some sedum starts in the yard that are not mine (courtesy of birds?) I don't care for sedum, but I hate to pluck them.

I always seem to get Liatris starts in odd places, & it took so long for me to finally get decent looking stalks from the corms I planted, that I hated to pull them. However, now there are tons of them that I've had to transplant some & so I'm potting up some of the seedlings this year for others.

I've had several Bleeding Heart starts this year & I won't even get into the amount of Japanese Painted Ferns that are coming up everywhere & between the edging blocks. If you don't get those plucked up in time, they become life-ers.

I usually leave the sunflowers because I can't get them to grow when I purposely plant them. They usually don't make it to full size before something destroys them.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2014 at 10:43PM
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ooooh I like it. The seed I got are from Arizona. I always associate them with Colorado, lots of those plants are ones I cannot grow here.

Check out this little cutie in the sidewalk. Each year something is coming up in a dwarfed version so it always has the cute factor.

Actually the Flame Flowers are the worst for finding their way into cracks. Its a perennial in the same family as rosemoss and seeds just about as aggressively. Still, they are very low succulents which put up thin stems topped with dozens of small magenta flowers, they look quite pretty in cracks. I've got them coming up in the street by the curb.

Oh my gosh, we just had an earthquake tremor! We keep getting these lately, the whole room just shook. Sorry to get off topic, I'm shaking now. We think it has something to do with all the fracking by the oil companies.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2014 at 10:50PM
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linnea56(z5 IL)

The purple short-spurred columbine is an Alpine columbine. I grow them too, and hate to pull any.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2014 at 10:52PM
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paul_(z5 MI)

DD, I have that same type of columbine planted up at my folks' place. Might be Aquilegia atrata.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2014 at 10:58PM
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I'm going to look into that variety. I like the color. Diggerdee, I think I will take that as a tip & sow them between flagstones.

Here are the Flame Flowers coming up in a crack by the studio. I finally gave up trying to weed them out and just decided they need to be there. The flowers aren't open much in the photo, they are a mass of very bright pink. Goes well with the blue door.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2014 at 12:29AM
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diggerdee zone 6 CT

Yes, Texas, I love the color of the columbine as well! I don't know why this one hasn't spread like all the others - its the only one I have of this color, which is why I worry that moving it will kill it!

That little red flower is charming - is it a portulaca? It reminds me of portulacas I had out by the street, in a very dry, hot, sunny area with poor soil, where they did well. They reseeded all around, including out in the street, in the cracks of the asphalt! Those I would definitely move, so they didn't get mowed over. Of course, I had to be careful that *I* didn't get mowed over trying to save them, lol!

Hope your tremors subside, and very soon! That's got to be a scary!


    Bookmark   May 22, 2014 at 10:05AM
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davids10 z7a nv.

verbascums, campanula sarastro-a vicious thug-sunflowers-do the finches actually eat any of the seeds or just fling them around-eryngium bourgatii- beautiful but i dont need a thousand-would love to have dicentra seed itself though

    Bookmark   May 23, 2014 at 1:01AM
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