Weed and grass seeds are happy to germinate in winter, and this winter has helped them along by being quite mild in patches. Unless you take them out, weed and grass seedlings grow rapidly and soon flower and seed, leaving you with even more weeds.

(As I write, I know some of us are digging ourselves out of heavy snow. All the same, overall it’s been mild enough to keep the grass growing in most places, even if it’s been too wet to get the mower out.)

Grass seedlings growing rapidly

Annual meadow grass is a coarse grass ‘weed’ and it seems to like causing trouble.

grass seedlings

Annual meadow grass (Poa annua). © Rasbak and reused under https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/

I’ve found quite a few bright green grass seedlings that are quite rapidly turning into tough little clumps. I can only see the top growth, of course, but I have no doubt that a good root system is developing down below. This is not what’s needed in the flower border!

Take action quickly

Take action now! Do this before the tough little clumps of grass have grown into larger, tougher clumps and their removal causes disturbance to the surrounding plants. My plan is to wrap up warmly (including a hat and gardening gloves) and remove this grass with the assistance of a hand three-pronged cultivator.

I’ll get rid of any other weed seedlings I come across too. I’ve noticed sweetheart (goosegrass or cleavers) and hairy bittercress already, and groundsel and daisies won’t be far behind. I’ll pay attention, though, as other seeds may have germinated, some very welcome.

grass seedlings

Hairy bittercress (Cardamine hirsuta). © Kris Lord and reused under https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Getting rid of the weeds

It’s too damp and cloudy just to leave the weeds on the surface to wither and die, as I do when I hoe them off in summer. They won’t dry out and will start to root into the soil once again.

My plan is to collect them all into a bucket which I’ll then fill with water. The idea is to drown the weeds and then they will rot away.

grass seedlings

Goosegrass (Galium aparine), also known as sweetheart, cleavers and sticky willy. © Mike Pennington and reused under https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

This is a good job to do before spring begins, with all its garden activity.