New homeowner, looking for basic advice

Bedford, NH

Awesome site! I just bought a house and I know nothing about gardening. I'd love to learn and create a nice space for my wife (and me!) I have a thousand questions but I guess I'll start out with the most basic question I can think of. These are some pictures of an area by my front door (full area and three close ups). Are these all weeds or plants worth growing? Thanks in advance!

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Tustin, CA

I'm not an expert but it looks like a hodgepodge of things. Definitely some grass and weeds mixed in with other plants. Is it worth keeping? That's up to you. If you like the wild look then go with it. The problem is if you have a lot of weeds it is going to be difficult to remove them and stop them from growing. Often times they have a tap root so you have to get the entire plant and root out otherwise it will just keep multiplying. I've learned that it's easier to do things the right way from the start, such as removing the unwanted plants, churning up the soil and adding new soil if needed, put down a weed barrier and then plan you design. IMO it's also the fun part of gardening, prepping the area and planting what you want and watching it fill it. If it were me I would at least thin it out so you can create a better structure or design layout. In my opinion it would be easier to remove the portions along the edge, the taller grass within the dirt and replace it with a better ground cover. The majority of standard plants are relatively cheap so I wouldn't go through the trouble of picking and saving plants unless you LOVE them. To save money you can grow a lot of plants yourself. There are many easy to grow varieties and seeds are dirt cheap!

Tustin, CA

Also, someone can probably chime in as to what exactly some of the plants are, but keep in mind that if you don't want them there you can sometimes relocate them to other areas of your property. For example we replanted a few areas at my job and in doing so removed a ton of day lilies. Instead of discarding them we replanted them in other areas of the property that were a little sparse. Not all plants transplant well but something to keep in mind!

Lake Toxaway, NC(Zone 7a)

I'd start with pulling the grasses out. This is the easiest to do if you attack it right after a rain. There several tools with narrow blades to help you. There's even a trowel to help you wedge the grass clumps out of the ground. However, I would use a long-handled shovel with a narrow blade to pry weedy growth up.

Magnolia, TX(Zone 8b)

NH, short growing season. You would need to be there the whole season to spot what might have been planted there- as different plants show up in every month you arent under snow. The petunias were pretty, but that space has been very neglected, do you know what you want to plant there if you do choose to scape it?

Lake Toxaway, NC(Zone 7a)

I think it might be a good idea to contact you local office of your state's agricultural extension service. They will give you some ideas of good things to plant. You also may want to pick up a carton from them and take soil samples on a few places on your property. It gets mailed off and the results will be sent to you and you can take those results to the ag extension service and they will decipher it for you.

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