weed question plus soil preparation

Asked May 5, 2015, 9:43 AM EDT

Hello - Thank you so much for taking questions! These weeds started popping up in our shady, east-facing yard over the last two weeks. This one is about 6 inches high and the leaf is 7 inches wide, but others are bigger. What are they, and how do I get rid of them? Also, we have a strip of soil about 18 inches deep and 10 feet long adjoining a brick wall. We want to tear out the sad little junipers and heathers growing there and replace them with some grasses, sedges, small Joe Pye weed, etc. (the area gets morning and a little midday sun and is dry). What should we add to amend the soil, and how deeply do we need to dig? The pH is 6.5. A landscaper said he'd dig it only 1-2 inches but I'm worried that's too shallow. Your help is so much appreciated!

District of Columbia County District of Columbia

1 Response

The pictured plant looks a lot like begonia. We're wondering if a hardy begonia or a self-seeding begonia was planted in that vicinity in previous years. You might want to either let one or some grow and see what they do (flowers?) or send us another photo when they get bigger and preferably when they are flowering.

We'd recommend working in about 4" of organic matter about 8-10", which is about the depth of a spade or spading fork. If the soil has already been heavily amended, it can still have more organic matter to the surface each year.